Following on from my article in Forefront magazine on trade unions and social media, I’ve been advising Unions21 the leading think-tank, on how trade unions you use social media to improve their public image. You can read the publication ‘The Future for Union Image’ online.
As Director Dan Whittle says:
Unions have not had such a high media profile for years.
More than half the population backed the aims of the March 26th March for the Alternative according to YouGov – but a third of people still see unions as old fashioned.
So what can unions do? These are three of the ‘tough love’ ideas our contributors have put forward:
Perform a social media audit
Facebook, Twitter and blogs are ever more important sources of information – and as trust in government, public institutions and almost everything else declines, people increasingly rely on their friends or even celebrities for their news and opinions.
Mike Harris recommends unions should perform a social media audit to identify their most highly networked members and involve them in delivering their communications. High profile supporters can be used to attract new interest online and well crafted online ‘asks’ can be used to build support and membership.
Drop the jargon
Writer and trainer Paul Richards argues that trade unionism, like every other walk of life, has developed its own slang, jargon and insiders-only language, every bit as impenetrable as polari, doctors’ slang, cockney rhyming slang, computer hackers’ slang… He reminds us that talking about collective bargaining, constructive dismissal and transfers of undertakings is language impenetrable to most people and off-putting and alienating to many.
Please do contact me, for an informal consultation on how your union can improve its image using social media.