These guidelines were adopted on Oct. 27, 2009:
Online Technologies, Social Media, and Bread
Our goals in making better use of new online communication tools (e.g., Web 2.0 technologies, social media, or social networking sites) are:
• Expand and strengthen Bread’s advocacy work for poor and hungry people
• Expand our membership
• Better communicate with existing members and target audiences
• Strengthen our relationships with our members
• Fulfill our mission to end hunger here and abroad.
Our Online Communications Model
Increasingly, more Americans are not only consumers of information on the Web, but are actively participating in online conversations and creating content. It is important that we integrate social networks and other online technologies into Bread’s communications work.
In order to integrate all of Bread’s online communications work, we have adopted the wheel as our model. At the core of Bread’s communications strategy is a stronger, redesigned Web site, www.bread.org. Radiating from the core and interacting with each other are online communications platforms where people already congregate and where we want to establish or strengthen our presence.
In addition to pushing out Bread’s core messages and actions, we will seek to engage various audiences by facilitating conversation, awareness, and action about hunger.
The radials—e.g., blogs and social media networks—are relatively new and exist primarily in a “cloud.” We have to experiment to find out which ones will work best for Bread. On new platforms, we have to be flexible in our engagement, recognizing that they may have good or bad consequences.
Through this integrated model, Bread staff, activists, and members will leverage our storytelling across all media platforms—from traditional media like print, radio, and television, to online platforms like the Web and social networking sites.
As an organization,
…we will establish a Bread presence wherever target audiences or constituencies already congregate online. Bread’s communications department and designated site managers and/or teams will maintain Bread’s official sites in social media networks and other online platforms. We will actively invite and/or engage our constituents on these platforms if they are not already engaged through other means or if these new platforms will enhance our interaction with them. In most instances, we will sign up for all social networking sites, regardless of whether we will use them at all, so we can preserve our name in these sites.
…we will ensure that once we establish our presence in a social media site, it will be updated regularly according to the conventions of each site. In many cases, we will appoint a site manager and/or team that will coordinate with other Bread staff in creating its content. As is the policy, ultimate responsibility for all of Bread’s editorial content in all media platforms rests with the director of communications.
…we will be flexible as we encourage experimentation and testing of new social media tools and functionalities not currently used by Bread. Social media tools are new and developing rapidly. If no policies cover future technologies, we will be practical and flexible in dealing with them using whatever resources we have. However, we will adopt only those tools and platforms that will help us advance our mission, and not because they are trendy or cool. The main forum for discussion and coordination of such experiments is Bread’s eTaskforce.
…we will encourage Bread staff and supporters to use social media and Web 2.0 tools. The essence of an online community is that it exists so we can support others and they, in turn, can support us. The more people we have Tweeting or talking online about hunger and poverty, the better it is for our mission. But while we encourage Bread staff to use these new tools, their social media sites shall be personal sites.
…we will provide training and resources to Bread staff. Such training will only encourage familiarity with and acceptance of these tools as agents of change. As much as possible, these training and resources shall be provided online.
…and as appropriate, we will provide training and resources (e.g., tips, ideas, and guidelines) for key Bread activists. These will include an overview of Bread’s current presence on social media platforms as well as standards and style. These resources will be gathered and updated regularly by the Organizing Department and the site managers and/or teams.
…and whenever possible, we will be supportive of social media sites initiated by Bread’s grassroots. If needed, we shall provide them with the help to bring their sites up to Bread’s standards. These sites, however, shall carry a disclaimer that they were set up by Bread members and activists and are not official Bread sites. As the liaison to Bread’s grassroots, the Organizing Department will provide support for these sites, including notification of changes in messaging.
..we will endeavor to ensure consistency of messages and actions across all media platforms. We will ensure that the essence of Bread’s messages remains true to our current advocacy priorities and mission, no matter what media is used. We will also encourage the voices of owners of personal social media sites to enhance messages and actions being promoted by Bread. Whenever possible, we will solicit ideas and stories from our constituents to help enhance our messages and tactics. We will change our campaign tactics and messages if needed.
…we will adhere to Bread’s policies, including those covering privacy and confidential information, and the Bread for the World Brand and Style Guide.
…we will be guided by Bread policy staff regarding actions on legislation that we are currently campaigning on.
..we will identify ourselves clearly in what we write and what we post. When acting as a Bread staff member, we will always identify ourselves as such in responding to posts, blogs, or other social media. We shall not engage in arguments or “flame wars,” but in civil discourse.
…we will moderate all comments and responses to Bread’s blogs. We will ensure that no spam, profanity, defamatory, inappropriate or libelous language will be posted to our sites. Neither will we use such language when we post comments to other people’s sites.
…we will respect copyright rules. We will properly cite our sources, and post only items that are covered by fair use or published under Creative Commons. Otherwise, we will seek permission first.
…we will not use our identity as Bread employees, including our Bread email accounts, in association with personal sites that are outside the scope of Bread’s mission.
…we will be guided by Bread policy staff regarding actions on legislation that we currently are campaigning on. While personal social network accounts (e.g., Facebook) should remain personal, owners will be encouraged to call for actions consistent with actions being promoted by Bread. Such messages can and may be re-tooled into the voice of the owner, but not in a manner that could be construed as new Bread policy. To the extent possible, sample messages will be provided.
…we will be responsible for what we write and what we post. Our use of social media sites is governed by our mission and our credo – and by good judgment and common sense. In general, we will tell our stories responsibly and not write or post anything that would embarrass our families, or reflect badly on Bread.
…we will ensure that our blogging and social networking activities will not interfere with our work commitments. Unless we are officially designated to work with social media, we will reasonably limit our personal use of social networking sites at work.
Where Bread does not have an online presence and feels that it requires one, Bread’s eTask Force will recommend a site manager and/or team, as the case may be, to establish such a presence. Site managers and/or teams can come from any Bread department but shall always coordinate its work with the eTask Force.
The site managers and/or teams will administer these sites on a daily basis and will ensure that these are regularly updated. These sites will be administered consistent with Bread for the World’s Brand and Style Guide.
To ensure continuity, the communications department will maintain a central directory of all log-in information and passwords for Bread’s presence in online platforms and social media sites. This will include all global sites, regional sites, and micro-sites that are created by Bread staff in their official capacity.
In case of conflicts, the eTaskforce shall be the forum for resolving them. The eTaskforce shall also conduct a regular review of these social media sites. Sites may be closed if they no longer serve the purpose they were created for.
The eTask Force
All Bread departments are represented in the eTask Force. As of Oct. 27, 2009 its members include Adlai Amor (team leader), Kari Bert, Brian Duss, Hans Friedhoff, James Frank, Jennifer Coulter Stapleton, Mallory Moser, Matt Newell-Ching, Monica Mills, Asma Lateef, and Gary Cook.
The eTask Force reports directly to Jim McDonald, managing director of Bread for the World.
The current terms of reference are attached.