Tracy Thomes, a student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of South Dakota, has completed website and social media guidelines that provide a framework for the outreach and media resources needed to support the safety of children in South Dakota. Thomes created the Community Online Plan as part of her internship requirement with the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment. It was specifically designed to help community and youth-serving organizations in South Dakota provide helpful information on the strategy, collaborations and available materials for online education, outreach and connection.
The guide includes best practices for non profits wanting to promote their organizations and is based on research completed by Thomes. She includes sample posts, a strategy for scheduling and overall information about the right tone, timing and platforms to be used.
Thomes rights that the plan will reinforce a need for positive and uplifting engagement with community members while highlighting the importance of high-quality data, research and education.
“The online resources supported by this manual will serve as an effective education and engagement tool for child welfare workers and community members throughout the state of South Dakota,” she writes in the guide.
She said community organizations across the state could benefit from a strategic marketing plan that brings together a network of individuals supporting South Dakota communities as well as families impacted by the work of these organizations.
The rural nature of the state and the predominant use of cell phones to access social media, makes the guide particularly relevant for providing tools to reach South Dakotans.
The guide is available free of charge and may be adapted to fit the needs of specific organizations and their clients.