The executive director of the Boy Scout council in Baltimore is effectively using Twitter to accomplish a number of objectives.
Ethan Draddy was named Scout Executive – executive director – of the Baltimore Area Council about two years ago. He’s probably the youngest Scout Executive in a major metropolitan area in the Boy Scouts of America. He also possesses an excellent understanding of the importance of marketing and communications to a large non-profit organization.
I stumbled across Ethan on Twitter as I was working on the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s Report to the Nation communications campaign. It was great connecting with Ethan. More importantly, it was interesting to see how Ethan used Twitter. A quick glance at his posts revealed a leader who was accomplishing the following:
- Communicating to his Board on mission, vision and priorities.
- Communicating to his staff on his daily schedule and priorities
- Communicating to stakeholders on a wide range of topics
- Sharing the successes and challenges of an executive director with anyone who’s interested
- Communicating with associates throughout the Scouting profession
I shared Ethan’s work on Twitter with another Scout Executive this week. He frowned when I tried to explain the essence of Twitter and its potential. I tried to place myself in the shoes of a Scout Executive and thought about who would be my most important constituents to communicate with. So, I mentioned that executive board members of the Baltimore Area Council could follow Ethan on Twitter. “You don’t think a board member would do that, would you?” was his response.
Well, yes. Twitter provides an immediate transparency for an executive director. It can provide the board of directors, donors, staff and the general public with key insights into the executive director’s priorities. A quick scan of the posts can reveal if the executive director is focusing on the mission and vision of the organization.
Twitter posts also can reveal balance. Ethan’s first “Tweet” was about taking a 20-mile bike ride. Personal renewal – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – is critical for an executive director or anyone leading a non-profit today.
Ethan’s posts might not be of interest to all, but they show how a non-profit leader is getting his job done.