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Public Relations News
Social Media and the Grange

By Terri Fassio and Robert Charbonneau, Public Relations Co-Directors

  FEBRUARY 2, 2011 --

It’s important to stay closely connected to our Grange members, friends and supporters, and one way to achieve these communications is through the Social Media arena. Social Media is where people use tools (like blogs and video) and websites (like Facebook and Twitter) to share content and have conversations online. Today’s communities are connected and social like never before. Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. LinkedIn. The list goes on and keeps growing.

Why take the time to use social media for your Grange? Because in today’s media landscape, it’s vitally important to be where our communities are. The Grange has always embraced a community philosophy, and that now includes being active in social media.  The exciting thing about social media is it offers the opportunity to engage in two-way conversations. What better way to know how to best serve your community than to hear directly from them? Social media has enabled new ways to initiate conversations, respond to feedback and maintain an active dialogue.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular and important Social Media networking avenues, and how the Connecticut State Grange is connecting with its communities.

Facebook:  Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.  Now you can learn more about the Grange through Facebook, too.  The Connecticut State Grange has a public Facebook Page. National Grange has a Facebook Group Page.  Three Granges in Connecticut currently are on Facebook as well.  Here’s all the links:

Connecticut State Grange:  http://www.facebook.com/CTStateGrange

Connecticut State Grange Agriculture Committee: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connecticut-State-Grange-Agricuture-Committee 

National Grange: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=77435139349

Cannon Grange: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=119657831390175&v=wall

Prospect Grange: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000898986250&ref=ts

Winchester Grange: http://www.facebook.com/WinchesterGrange 

If you have a personal Facebook account, post this as your status - “I’m a proud supporter of the Grange in Connecticut. Find them on Facebook or visit their website: www.CTStateGrange.org

Twitter:  Twitter allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Twitter is a portal to starting two-way conversations. Users post ‘tweets’ to their accounts, and other users subscribe to their updates (known as ‘following’).  Once an account has followers, then it can spread messages effectively - when a follower sees a tweet of interest, they share it with their own followers by ‘re-tweeting’ the post.  Search for people or organizations interested in and associated with Grange and follow them. Oftentimes they will follow back. Once accounts are following each other, conversations become possible. Nearly all of the media outlets (newspapers, radio stations, television stations, and all of their reporters) have Twitter accounts.  Twitter is a great resource to spread the Grange word to the media as well as the public.  Check out the following links:

Connecticut State Grange:  http://twitter.com/CTStateGrange

Connecticut State Grange President Jody Cameron: http://twitter.com/CSGPresident

Connecticut State Grange Legislative Committee: http://twitter.com/CSGLegislative

Connecticut State Grange Agriculture Committee:  http://twitter.com/CSGAgriculture

Connecticut State Grange General Deputy:   http://twitter.com/ToddAGelineau

National Grange: http://twitter.com/NationalGrange

Cannon Grange: http://twitter.com/CannonGrange

Winchester Grange: http://twitter.com/WinchesterPofH 

If you have a personal Twitter account, send this tweet to your followers - “I support the Grange in Connecticut via @CTStateGrange - Visit their website to learn more: www.CTStateGrange.org

YouTube:  YouTube is a website where users can upload, share and view videos. One of the key features of YouTube is that users can view videos outside the site. Each YouTube video is accompanied by a piece of code which can be used to embed it on a page outside the YouTube website, such as on Facebook.  The Connecticut State Grange and the National Grange both have YouTube pages.  Here’s the links.

Connecticut State Grange:  http://www.youtube.com/user/CTStateGrange

National Grange:  http://www.youtube.com/user/nationalgrange

MySpace:  MySpace is a free online community composed of personal profiles aimed mostly at a younger membership. A MySpace profile typically includes a photo and in-depth information about personal interests, including television, movies and music. Members routinely send each other messages and “network” or socialize within the MySpace community. The Connecticut State Grange has a public MySpace page: 

Connecticut State Grange:  http://www.myspace.com/ctstategrange

LinkedIn:  LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that launched in May 2003. With over 80 million members and growing rapidly, LinkedIn connects people with trusted contacts and helps in the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.  Both the Connecticut State Grange and National Grange have company pages on LinkedIn. You can follow us by visiting the links below:

Connecticut State Grange:  http://www.linkedin.com/company/connecticut-state-grange

National Grange:  http://www.linkedin.com/company/national-grange

Blog:  What is a blog?  A blog (short for ‘web log’) is a website consisting of entries (also called posts) appearing in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first (similar in format to a daily journal). Blogs typically include features such as comments, subscriptions and links to increase user interactivity.  Variations of the term blog: Blogging: The act of writing a post for a blog. Blogger: A person who writes content for a blog. Blogosphere: The online community of blogs and bloggers. Connecticut State Grange President Jody Cameron has his own blog, as does the National Grange.

Connecticut State Grange President’s Blog:  http://www.linkedin.com/company/connecticut-state-grange

National Grange President’s Blog:  http://grangepresident.blogspot.com/

National Grange Blog: http://nationalgrange.blogspot.com/

Each Grange has received a copy of the “Social Media Reference Guide for Granges” in their Public Relations packets. This guide goes into detail on how to set-up Social Media for your Grange. If you would like an additional copy of this booklet, please contact Public Relations Co-Director Robert Charbonneau and he will make sure you receive it.  Also, the booklet is available for download from the CT State Grange website on the Downloads page.

Social media has provided Granges with an opportunity to form new kinds of connections. People search the internet for relationships, shop online, and look for communities to join. The 1-to-1 connection will never go away. But, with the emergence of Facebook Friends, LinkedIn Connections, Twitter Followers, etc. Granges have an opportunity to invest in relationships and connections on a large scale. It is these connections that can lead to energizing existing members, and attracting prospective members. What is your Grange doing to make it “as easy as possible” for your supporters to engage in and help you spread the word through social media?


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