Routine Maintenance

Elizabeth Allen (@LizAllen) is the director of online communications and alumni relations at the American School in London.

Your online communications tools and protocols require continual upkeep. Just like your home or your car, you rely on these tools and use them regularly. Here are a few ideas for keeping your online communications engine running.

Get a Tuneup

Brush up on social media tools and online trends regularly, as well as the latest that your content management system provider has to offer. Do you know about the latest platforms and tools? What are the newest features and changes on the platforms you use? Have you taken full advantage of them where applicable, or at least given them a try? You should be able to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of these tools, including the latest additions. On the flipside, take a hard look at the pieces you currently use and pay for. This sort of internal audit will help you determine what you might be spending time on, or paying for, that you don’t need.

Change the Oil

When is the last time you reviewed your privacy policies, terms of use, user agreements or other policies surrounding your social media and online presences? Given the frequency of updates and changes in the online world, it is important to make sure your policies and procedures are up-to-date. Re-read these policy documents every 12 months and confirm that no changes or additions are necessary.

Check Your Spare

If your entire network went down, what would you do? If you store your policies and procedures on your servers, how would you get to them? Create a “low-tech” backup and print your policies and procedures, social media documentation, social media strategy and other important documentation (e.g., emergency contacts, crisis communications plan, contact information for vendors and other key players) —just in case. You don’t want to get caught without this key information if your systems fail.

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