On Wednesday evening, May 14, the Richmond SPCA’s remarkable and creative harnessing of the power of social media for the benefit of homeless animals was recognized in a very big way! We won the Innovation in Community Award at the annual awards gala of the Richmond Technology Council, which are called the RichTech Awards. There were many nominations for this award and four other finalists for it, most of whom were substantially larger entities than we are. This wonderful recognition was the result of the terrific work of Tabitha Hanes, our director of advancement, and Caroline Radom, our manager of communications. Tab and Caroline have used all that the various forms of social media has to offer to convey the crucial messages of our organization to our community. They have used it to motivate help and support for us community wide as well as to explain our philosophies and educate our community about how to better care for and save the lives of animals.
Social media has become an increasingly important tool for sharing information not only about pets available for adoption but also about important animal welfare issues that have regional or national impact, and the engagement of members of our community, dedicated volunteers and donors. It allows us to motivate citizens to help us in moments of challenge (like the loss of power for several days) and to speak up on behalf of protecting animals’ lives for all manner of political issues. With the help of technology and social media, the Richmond SPCA continues to grow and expand its lifesaving reach throughout Richmond community and beyond. In addition to helping us reach potential adopters and get the help and support of our community for issues of importance to animals, technology has provided us with an avenue to easily keep lines of communication open with those who have adopted from our humane center. Whether it be through a Facebook message, a submission on Tumblr or a tagged photo on Instagram, we love receiving updates about how pets are adjusting in their new homes, photos of pets with their new families and seeing firsthand the overwhelming joy experienced through saving a life.
This award confirmed the belief that I have long held that the Richmond SPCA uses the immense power of social media more effectively and creatively than does any other non-profit in this community. Many others to a large extent leave the immense power of this tool, which is essentially for free, on the table and continue to use old ways of communicating to much more limited effect. Tabitha and Caroline have distinguished us as a sophisticated leader in communicating effectively through the various tools of social media and, in so doing, have inspired huge amounts of support in this community to help us to save animal lives. There were several other awards also given at the Rich Tech gala but none of them were for using technology to actually save lives. What an accomplishment that is and we all owe congratulations and thanks to Tabitha and Caroline for that amazing achievement. We are so proud of them and deeply grateful.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.