Communications update: Vicky Browning on charities using the global bulletin board Reddit

Plus: the importance of a good crisis plan

- Although it's the 25th most popular website in the world, the global bulletin board Reddit might not register highly in many charities' comms channel choices. Yet CharityComms' most recent digital benchmark reveals Reddit as the fourth-highest driver of web traffic to participating charities' sites – ahead of YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. A few charities are experimenting with Reddit's Ask Me Anything Q&A sessions. Save the Children UK has run two AMAs to raise awareness of its emergency response work. And in November, Scope ran an AMA with the Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte, who has cerebral palsy – it received more than 2,000 comments and was at the top of the Reddit front page for most of the evening. As Esther Press, digital engagement manager at Save the Children, says: "Reddit is an increasingly important channel because users are such an engaged and informed community. It's a great place to show the human side of your charity."

- A badly handled crisis is a huge risk to an organisation's reputation – which is where communications professionals come in. No matter what the cause, the comms team will usually be on the front line when a crisis occurs. A good crisis plan, thoughtfully prepared and skilfully executed, can stop a crisis becoming a catastrophe. CharityComms has produced a free guide to creating and implementing a crisis comms plan. It explores how to identify a crisis and what a successful crisis comms response looks like. Get it at: www.charitycomms.org.uk/articles/ crisis-communications-for-charities.

Vicky Browning is director of CharityComms

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