Com0015 March 2014: Assignment 1 – Blog Post 2

Comm 0015 – Assignment 1, Blog 2 Strong and Weak Organizations

Strong Organization – Athletics Canada (AC)

AC www.athletics.ca is the governing body for track & field (athletics), XC running, and road running in Canada. It has thousands of members across the country from a variety of different demographics. Its primary functions are to facilitate National Championships and to promote the sport, from grass roots to the elite.

AC has actively embraced the web and social media in the past few years. It has a Facebook Page with 6000+ likes  , an active Flicker site , RSS feeds, links to famous athlete’s blogs, and best of all, a very active Twitter Feed with 20,000+ followers.

The best thing about AC is how frequently it is updated. AC will tweet multiple times daily and even more frequently when a major event is taking place. They are a very active re-tweeter as well. I don’t know that the organization does anything really cutting edge in social media, but I’ve always been a fan of good, useful content, updated frequently. AC really shines in this realm.

AC’s You Tube Channel looks abandoned, but hey, nobody’s perfect. You only have so many resources, so you focus on areas that you feel will give you a return.

Weak Organization – Wapiti Nordic Ski Club (WNSC)

The WNSC located in Grande Prairie, AB and has a few hundred members ranging from 4 year old “jackrabbits” to 70 yep are old “super seniors.” Its main function is to operate and maintain some of the best XC skiing trails in Canada. In addition, the Club rents out its Lodge for events and runs a number of programs (e.g. Race team ski lessons, women’s skiing group, etc.)

In the late 1990s, I built the Club’s first website www.wapitinordic.com and then maintained it on a volunteer basis for the next 7 years. Towards the end of my tenure, the new marketing director was unhappy with the dated look of the site. Since I didn’t have the time, inclination, nor skills to update the site, I resigned as webmaster, and they hired a contractor to redesign and run the site.

Flash forward another 7 years to today. The site is again dated, particularly when it comes to social media. There’s a lot a good information, but look is texty in many places. Moreover, the communication is strictly one-way, like a brochure. The links for Biathlon and the XC Race team pointed to password-restricted pages. I guess new biathlon or race team members are not allowed???

If you dig deep enough on the site, you can find a You Tube video  and a coach’s blog  on the site. The Club also has a Facebook Page  with 161 likes, but the website does not link to it. I couldn’t find a Twitter account for the Club.

In retrospect, once I did a bit of research, the WNSC social media presence (it’s not a strategy) wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it was. Integrating and coordinating the social media elements with the website and engaging the audience, rather than broadcasting at them, are two basic steps the Club could take to improve things. Integration and coordination would extend the reach of its social media efforts. Increased engagement can lead to increase commitment to the organization which, in turn, is really important when it comes to selling yearly memberships, recruiting volunteers and Board Members, securing political support, soliciting donations, and a variety of other objectives.

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