Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
When author Mark W. Schaeffer from the Content Code spoke about his short case study in chapter five, which was him asking his social media audience to donate money to support his favorite charity, it left me with mixed feelings. As he said in the chapter, “Asking for money on the Internet is a notoriously difficult position.” (Pg. 98) It is one thing to go onto a legitimate website, such as; Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Red Cross Foundation, etc. and purchase an item or make a donation, but, when one is asked to donate money, with their personal credit card information seems like a high risk. Agreeing with Schaeffer, “Sure, we might be willing to help somebody by clicking a “Like” button or even sending a tweet once in a while for a good cause… but opening our wallet? No. It normally doesn’t happen.” (Pg. 98)
Personally, I know I wouldn’t donate money for a foundation through social media. This wouldn’t be because I do not trust my friend/acquaintance with my information, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with the process. For instance, if I read the personal blog post from Schaeffer and wanted to donate, I would probably comment and like the post, go onto the actual charity organization website, and submit the payment that way. I would do that because if I am going to take the time to donate money, and spend my own hard working dollars, I want to confidently know that it is going to the right place. I would never want to risk my credit card information/personal identification being stolen. Because if it were to get stolen, then I’d have to contact that friend, tell them what happened, play the blame game, get a new credit card, etc. etc. etc. Drama I would not want to or have the time to deal with or think about, all from doing a good/chartable action.
In spite of this, I do think that promoting campaigns and advertising personal stories onto blogs and other forms of social media works very well, as long as one has an exceptional media audience. Through pictures and stories, organizations can really reach out to many individuals who would want to help. I just think that along with that story, blog post, or image, should be a link to the foundation in order for individuals to donate. This will leave potential donators feeling confident about the entire process.