mobilise people

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Video Volunteers Photo

Plan your action

  • These campaigns blend digital information with in-person action: projecting videos made by advocates in India in their villages as well as online, or sharing photos of the many pairs of pink panties mailed in protest on the campaign's blog and on social network site profiles.
  • If you want to use a social network site like Facebook or Orkut to gather supporters, you may face challenges in sending mass messages to all of them at once. Plan for other ways to collect people's contact information so that you can also message people outside the social network site.
  • Using humour or surprise can help to get people's attention and can increase the chances that they will spread your call to action to their friends. Hearing about your campaign from social network site friends can make your issues more personal and easier to relate to.
  • When asking people to submit photos or videos as part of the action itself, as with the Pink Chaddi campaign, be mindful of communicating clearly with them how these images will be used. This can be especially important if you draw media attention to your campaign.
  • Consider how you can monitor the reach of your campaign, including how people understand and respond to your message or call to action. Video Volunteers use an outreach volunteer to contextualise their media to target audiences and offer workshops with their screenings.

Do it yourselfAsk

  • Is there a timely event or news hook you can use to draw more people’s attention to your action?
  • What is the simplest symbol or visual you could use for your campaign that would encourage people to spread your message, and how will you let people personalise this?
  • Does your action communicate with the people who have the power to make the direct change you seek (your target), or with the people you can mobilise to influence your target?
  • How can you capitalise on the attention you already have from people on your website, or on social network sites, to direct them to take an action?
  •  What is the easiest way for people to spread your message: on social network sites, by email or by text message, by in-person gatherings, by phone calls?

Different ways you can do this

  1. Create a short slogan that is easy to translate. Ask people to photograph themselves holding a sign with the slogan in their own language and send you the photo to share on your website or in a video or slideshow.
  2. Make a profile or a fan page on a social network site to parody a public figure you seek to influence, and ask supporters to become friends with this profile. But be aware of who has ownership over content created in groups you establish on commercial websites and consider who will own contact details of people that become group members.
  3. Host a competition for short videos about your issue and ask people to vote on their favourites. Host screenings of the winning videos in-person and online. You can hold a screening in a public building and invite local media.
  4. If you don’t already have a list of contacts interested in your campaign, partner with an organisation that sends out emails to its supporters and ask them to direct its members towards your action.
  5. If supporters must remain anonymous, you can make this anonymity part of your campaign imagery: for example, by asking people for photos of their hands or feet, or of objects that can become symbolic of an issue. You can then use these images in your campaign.