Our messages are good. Our ideas are sound.Our commitment is solid. What do we do next?
Call local reporters about Early Care an &Education, your event, your story Suggest a story to them Invite them to your programWrite a letter to your editor Tell your story, the program story or a community story Kids always make great topics for letters.
oKeep it LocaloKeep it Interesting – what’s your hook?oKeep it Relevant and timely
Write with passionWrite clearly and concisely Try to keep it under 150 wordsFollow newspaper policyStick to the topicEnthusiasm is Key!Stick to the topic
If you’re responding to an anti-child letter, bepolite. Respect those you’re responding to.Use facts and figures to back up your points.Include major points in first few paragraphs. Editors tend to cut from the bottom of the text.Don’t be shy. Tell your story it is powerful.
Type and double space your letterProofread, Proofread, Proofread!!! Don’t be discredited by your mistakes. They lead to unfortunate stereotypes.Type name, address, telephone number andsign your letter. Include your contact information is you email the letter.Most papers will call you to ensure you wrotethe letter.
Newspapers are not the only place to write aletter.Don’t forget about: Monthly magazines Internet sites Blogs Social Media sources
After you start getting your story out there,don’t be surprised if others take notice.They may even start asking you questions aboutyour story – be yourself!Don’t be afraid to seek help for information, ifneeded!Remember children need a voice so all yourhard work is worth it!
Social Media: Mobilizing Advocates
Getting StartedHow Do You WANT to Use Social Media for your program?
The Internet’s Role in Citizen Advocacy Percentage of Staffs Agree In-Person the Best 97%Form Messages the Worst 90% More Involved 87% More Accountable 57% More Knowledgeable 41% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% —From the Congressional Management Foundation: http://congressfoundation.org/projects/communicating-with-congress/perceptions-of-citizen- advocacy-on-capitol-hill
Importance of Social Media forCommunicating with Constituents
Why Social Media for Grassroots Advocacy? Email Open Rates are Declining According to M+R: Email open rates declined almost 63% between 2004 and 2008.
Social Network Use Is GrowingAccordingto Pew:46%of adultInternetusers aresocialnetworkusers – up6x from2005.
Blogging Big PictureCreating and DistributingContentDifferent PlatformsStrategiesExamples
Blogging Big PictureCentral voice – can be like a websiteDriven by fresh contentConsistent stream of timely fresh contentto tweet and post via FB and e-listsMissing piece for building e-lists & drivingtraffic to website and SM forumsImproves search engine resultsAllows you to grow fans and followers onSM sites
Blogging PlatformsWordPress.org – free, must be downloaded on aserver (not WordPress.com)TumblrBlogger, Posterous
Grassroots StrategiesUse your organization avatar for logoSimple designMake resources easy to find by categoryHave links to related content appear beneath each blogpostAllow comments, moderated; encourage participationPost regularly about advocacy campaignsBecome local hub for advocacy infoCross-link to resources widely used by your readershipEx: NYTimes
Grasstops StrategiesInvite grasstops to be guest bloggersRegularly feature local advocacy projects on blogUse email, Twitter, FB, to invite grasstops to visit and commenton blogFor Legislators: Outline the legislation you support Link to state / national organization legislative updates Send them to pertinent blog articles containing policy positions of your organization
Facebook Networking Big Picture Personal Profiles Program or Class Pages Topic-Specific Pages Post and tag photos Lead and respond to discussions * Second-most visited website worldwide!
Engaging GrassrootsShare links/media in status updatesEncourage conversationAsk questions & answer every commentPost no more than 1-2 updates/day – or less!Do not automate content and sync FB w/other SN sitesEncourage staff/volunteers to be active on your pageHave more than one adminUse “events” to allow people to RSVP directly on FBCreate topic specific pagesIntegrate your FB page into your website, e-newsletter, blog, print materials and TY landing pagesand emails
Engaging Legislators on Facebook
Who To Follow on Facebook Your Legislators! Organizations/People: What are examples of organizations and people in your field?
How Do I know I’m Doing This Right?FacebookInsights Followers Views Post Feedback
Twitter Big Picture 140 Characters Shortening your links ReTweets and Hashtags How to find people to follow Searching Twitter Ways to receive and send tweets
Anatomy of a ReTweet Indicates a Original sourceUser Name Retweet of information Link to more information or Hashtag Avatar photo or video / Logo
Shortening Links & Tracking Data Bit.ly Owl.ly
Ways to Send and Receive Tweets Tweetdeck Hootsuite
Engaging GrassrootsTweet 3-5 times a daySpread tweets out throughout the dayConversational tone, but consistent messaging acrosssocial media platformsFollow influential people who are likely to beinterested in your workReply and retweet at least once a dayUse relevant hashtags; but use sparinglyTrack RTs to see what gets the most attention
Engaging With Legislators / Grasstops Encourage your followers to RT / DM Ask legislators questions RT their content that aligns w/childcare issues; hook to their interests. Share information and actions from your organization via phone / mail. Repurpose into a tweet:“Rep. @AnderCrenshaw: thought you might be interested in… #childcareMN”
Getting StartedGo to twitter.com and set up an account.Keep your user name consistent with your usernameon other platforms like FB.Do not protect your tweets unless you are usingTwitter to create a closed community.Only enable tweet location if you are not tweetingfrom home. + to increase exposure of your programlocation.Don’t leave background information blank. You may beperceived to be a spammer.
Who to FollowYour legislators!Lots of great folks to follow! How to find them: Search for hashtags; follow those who tweet interesting content Look at their follower list; follow some of their followers who tweet interesting content Search for state/national organizations whose message you support. Follow them.
Video/AudiooYoutubeoVimeoo Powerful tool – keep em short, focus on audio
Getting Started2 minutes: Get Involved. Sign up for relevant updates. Bookmark sites Act on alerts Like important organizations on Facebook. Follow orgs on Twitter5 minutes: Get Others Involved. Sharefactsand alerts. Get sample Facebook, blog, and Twitter posts you can use to update your status.
Questions or Comments? Contact Wendy Johnson wendy@YourMediaDirector.com 651-428-9052