This is for Online Community Managers and Social Media Managers:
Remembrance day in the past 15 years has changed from not just veterans and school kids around memorials unconnected across our vast land, but a conversation flowing from sea to sea between all age groups, levels of government and outside our country as well. With social media allowing us to share our family history, our group experiences, we are hearing so much more about diverse stories of sacrifices that have sat in suitcases and in the closets and some that happened in the past few years. The photo of our newest Minister of Defense in his full uniform in Afghanistan that is circulating on Facebook, made many of us believe we have the right guy taking care of our military. We have Legions come back to life as centers of communities. Social media has been an amazing way to express our love and pride in our sons and daughters, and to teach them about the heritage of our families. I personally have three friends with three children in the Canadian Military, it is all much closer to my heart than ever. Daily we have new immigrants coming to our country, kids growing to an age they are curious about the past, and this November 11 will not be a day to be silent, other than at 11:11.
The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President Dominion President Tom Eagles. **said it best:
“Any messaging that encourages Canadians to remember and share is worthwhile,”
More than ever, it is a time to share our experience of war, of pride and of country. We *have had so many different kinds of warriors in this country, from the women, European immigrants to Aboriginal women, who have stayed at home to care for families, business and factories, as their sons went off to war. Nearly one third of the aboriginal men between 18 -45, Métis and Inuit soldiers, went to war for Canada along with their other Canadian men of the same age in World War One.
For many companies who now have either a Social Media or Community managers, there may be a question of what to say, what is appropriate, as it is a new medium to deal with. The fear of offending a customer or community member is always something to regard. I would challenge you to be “Poppy Proud” take time to talk about Remembrance Day in the office, with customers and your community, before you take the day , or time off, and see if you can find at least one really relevant family story to share online each year. It is an opportunity to get to know who is sitting at the desk beside you as well. Does someone have a purple heart their grandfather earned sitting in the closet, a mother who kept the family store running while her husbands and son left to front lines and maybe never came back? Did someones mom work in a factory during the war and have some amazing stories of women working through the war. As much as Remembrance day is about taking time to be silent and remember our heroes, it is about sharing out past with our new Canadians, listening to theirs stories, and letting our children know how this country was build and what we will expect of them in the future.
So be #PoppyProud and share your stories on line. Schedule your posts before and after times that people will be at the cenotaph. Us the hashtag #PoppyProud, #Canada and check out what your local tourism board and chamber of commerce are using as well. Get curious, get connected and grow your community. Most importantly, read other peoples stories, share them, start conversations, and be as connected to other Canadians as you possibly can, no matter where you are in the world.
Don’t have an office stories to share? Here are a couple I was sent from Kerry Gibson – Director of Fundraising for The Institute for Healthcare Innovation on Innovation Boulevard, who is assisting in fundraising for the rehabilitation of many of the Legion buildings.
1) Iron soldier- Trevor Greene
2) Retired Canadian Military Hero Walks Again. http://www.theprovince.com/touch/story.html?id=11372221