Red Cross builds communities with Flickr

Photo by photo, this huge nonprofit connects with its stakeholders.

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If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to do a search on Flickr, the popular photo-sharing site, to see if your organization, products or services turn up. Because people “tag” their photos with keywords (making them searchable), you may be surprised to learn that there’s already a community of people sharing relevant images.

When Wendy Harman joined the American Red Cross’s communications department two years ago as a senior associate for new media integration, one of her jobs was to monitor social media conversations about the nonprofit. An avid fan of Flickr herself, Harman searched for photos tagged “red cross”—and got back 40,000 results.

“I thought, there’s something here,” recalls Harman of the large community of people taking and tagging Red Cross-themed pictures. “I was seeing a lot of people bringing cameras into blood drives, or photographing CPR dummies, or in disaster areas.”

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