With the launch of this updated version of Kiwanis.org, which includes this new blog, I'm frequently being asked by Kiwanis members, Kiwanins staff, and even colleagues in the marketing and public relations industry, "Why should Kiwanis International be blogging?" My answer, Kiwanis is blogging because we have a message that needs to be shared with the world.
That's the simple answer, and the core of why this blog is being started. However, the implications are far reaching. Therefore, expanding on the question, here are 4 reasons why Kiwanis International, a local Kiwanis club, or even a regular Kiwanis member share their story online.
With blogging, we're going to improve our search rankings on major search engines and drive more traffic to our web properties. When blogging began in the late 90's this new media behaved much like a personal diary, the only difference was that it existed online. However, something funny happened about 10 years into this blogging phenomenon. These blogs were appearing at the top of search results on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and the other search engines. In fact these blogs could sometimes even obtain the top search listing for a brand or product name, while the brand's own web site would be listed further down the search results page. Companies and organizations began to take notice. If they wanted to sit atop Goole for terms that were important to them, blogging was the way to do it. Kiwanis needs to be found when people google terms like "Kiwanis", "Service to children", "Worldwide Service" and "Service Leadership."
2. Social Media will help Kiwanis grow
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn. These web sites aren't just passing fads, they are reshaping how we communicate with one another. Developing a relationships on these platforms through which we can share the Kiwanis mission is simply an extension of the traditional word of mouth sharing that we are all so familiar with. Hearing about an amazing product or service and then sharing that good piece of news with your friends is something we all regularly engage in. Whether we share our news with friends through a facebook status update versus a face to face conversaion makes little difference in the grand scheme of things. In fact, the ease with which people can share these stories when communnicated through the social media arguably makes these stories more viral, and therefore able to make a greater impact.
So how do blogs fit into this? Blogs are a form of social media for two simple reasons.
- They give opportunites for two way communication
- Their posts can be easily syndicated across the web and into different social media platforms where the conversation can be continued, developed and spread to those who would not have visited Kiwanis.org.
A blog can be fuel which drives interation on the various social media sites Kiwanis calls home.
3. Blogs help develop trust
Blogging has a unique affect on organizations. It helps them develop trust with their members and the larger community. By showing the human face of Kiwanis and sharing regular thoughts and stories in an authentic voice, people from across the world may begin to listen. When people begin to listen, they can begin to trust. Once you have trust, you can leverage this into amazing things. In fact, it's like Chris Brogan says: "Trust is the currency of community"
It's one thing to read a press release, and entirely different thing to read a blog post telling the story of how Local Kiwanians in West Virginia are setting up a Disaster Victims Fund for the families of the miners who died this past week.
4. Fulfill the 4th Object
And finally, (and maybe even most importantly) blogging goes a long way to fulfilling one of our six permanent Objects of Kiwanis International. The 4th Object of Kiwanis reads:
"To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship."
We can see here that it's the nature of a Kiwanian to spur others on to service. Therefore when given the chance to impact our fellow humans across the wolrd and impart to them this similar passion, we make the most of it. Blogging is simply the application of this principal to our daily lives as Kiwanians.