Online Tools for Effective Organizing


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  • “ Online organizing/online advocacy” Using a variety of tools, tactics, and technologies offered by the internet (incl. mobile devices) to organize a community of individuals towards a common cause. There is no such thing as an expert Technology is constantly evolving User needs are constantly changing My context My perspective: national organizing feel free to throw in comments, questions, corrections
  • Most democratic medium EVER! Reach, engage and mobilize hundreds, thousands, or MILLIONS in a matter of seconds!! Gives voice Levels the playing field for access to engage in policy making process Community building – connecting people with common interests across traditional barriers Everyone’s a reporter / lowers barriers to information Free, free, free! – start a global revolution from your neighborhood library
  • Key item to keep in mind is that the internet is an organizing tool or a campaign tactic A means to an end The goal of your campaign should drive which tools you use and how The secret to the success of Obama’s online organizing was….OBAMA!!! A flashy graphic or expensive tool does not a successful online campaign make. Late 90s attitude was “if it has a website, it’s real” Today, “if it has a facebook page, it’s real” NO! – A cause, goal, timeline, strategy makes it real Don’t get fooled by developers’ promises of an impressive paint job Principles of effective online organizing are equivalent to principles of effective organizing Remember that all internet users are human Know your audience Build “authentic” relationships with your audience Be yourself / keep it real
  • Before you get started using any tool, be clear about what your campaign goal is Your overall campaign goal should inform your online campaign goal (not the other way around) Ex: Passing an ordinance against smoking in public buildings is your overall campaign goal. Getting 5000 signatures on an online petition in support of the non-smoking ordinance is your online campaign goal. Online campaign goals don’t have to be policy or advocacy driven. Can also be driven by goal of cultivating your larger campaign Ex. Education: getting a particular message out to a certain # of people. Recruitment: getting a certain number of people signed up to your email list or joined on your Facebook page Engagement: getting a certain number of people to participate in a photo contest. Associate a specific and measurable benchmark (i.e. number) with your goal
  • Still not time to jump into the tools and tactics! First you must develop a strategy “ Strategy” answers the question of, “how am I going to reach my online campaign goal” the answer is not, “by using X tool” – tools don’t achieve campaign goals, people do Knowing who your “audience” is should inform your strategy Key is to come to an understanding of who your likely audience is, then How do the people who care about your issue talk about it online—what is the language they use? Don’t just work off of your guesses and assumptions Where do they spend their time online Survey your audience “ Engage with your audience” – join forums, follow tweets, fan pages of like minded communities and individuals Why an audience-driven strategy—there are billions of causes vying for people’s attention the more you can get and keep your audiences’ attention, the more successful you can be in achieving your campaign goal “ Identify your competitors” – what do you have to offer the people online who care about your issue that they can’t already get elsewhere “ Identify your niche” – what can you offer your audience that the “competition” isn’t how can you deliver your cause in a way that the “competition” isn’t If it’s an advocacy campaign—do your research on how to contact that decisionmaker some only have webforms members of Congress typically are least response to electronic communications if Congressmember will be at a townhall, most effective use of resources for online tools might be for crowdbuilding in the lead up to a major vote, putting resources for online tools toward generating phone calls to office might be most effective
  • Essentially “your product”—what you’re offering people (based on your campaign goal) Your homebase – one stop shop the central location for all the basic information about what your issue/cause how to get involved achievements updates on campaign developments
  • Petitions with direct delivery to your target(s) Petitions that you can print and deliver to your target Petitions designed to grab a policy makers/media attention Sometimes your engagement hub might be your targets’ website, social networking profile page, etc. sometimes its your targets
  • Content –aka your information offer information that people can’t get elsewhere or present it in a more accessible format solve a “problem” for your target audience (information access, engagement opportunities, etc.) Use language that your audiences uses Consider your site users experience in the layout Homepage should be fairly simple and offer only the info most critical to your user Homepage should feature obvious ways to engage deeper into information – interaction! You’ve got 10 seconds to capture your site visitors Write for scanners, no one is reading your content word for word Think of organizing information on your “site” like a layered cake -- with the most detailed info located in the deepest layer Speaking of cake -- Keep it fresh! Sometimes the hub is your targets website/facebook/page
  • Aka “mobilization tactics”
  • Audience should drive the where and how there are a billion sites where you could potentially be “advertising your cause” you have to prioritize focus your priorities around where your audience spends their time (Facebook, certain websites, etc.) Repetition/consistency is a great thing: say the same thing everywhere it takes an average of 7 impressions before you can get someone to click through Keep consistency with messages in your offline marketing channels (people are people, online and off-) Stay up with how the audience, language evolves around your cause - Monitor media, blogs, etc Facebook, Twitter are 2-WAY communication channels They’re compatible for listening just as much as they are for broadcasting User generated content is popular—market those who are marketing your cause (Facebook Likes, Retweets, Comments on Blogs/forums Promoting online news articles that inform of or champion your cause (digg, delicious, stumbleupon)
  • Don’t disappear! Don’t over-talk
  • Online Tools for Effective Organizing

    1. 1. Utilizing Online Tools for Effective Organizing Presented by Danielle Brigida and Dominique Burgunder-Johnson January 31, 2011
    3. 3. WHY I LOVE IT. Image:
    4. 4. BEST PRACTICES <ul><li>Deliver Focused and Goal Driven Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate Community </li></ul>Image: Flickr / Grant Neufeld
    5. 5. IT ALL BEGINS WITH A MEASURABLE GOAL! <ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdbuilding </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation </li></ul>Image: Flickr / Nathan Forget
    6. 6. DEVELOPING A STRATEGY <ul><li>Identify audience </li></ul><ul><li>Specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>Time investment </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach plan </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term plan </li></ul>Image: Flickr / Iowa Red Bulls
    7. 7. RESEARCH TOOLS <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reader (RSS feed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms (survey, polls) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Survey/Polls </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. RESEARCH TOOLS (FOR LISTENING) <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogpulse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Icerocket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Blog Search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facebook/Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search.twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Mention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kurrently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boardreader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addictomatic </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. INFORMATION “HUBS” <ul><li>Website </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Online Community Site </li></ul>
    10. 10. INFORMATION “HUBS” <ul><li>Facebook Fan Page </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Group </li></ul><ul><li>Causes </li></ul><ul><li>Myspace Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Care2 Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Linkedin </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia Page </li></ul>
    11. 11. INFORMATION “HUBS” – BLOGGING TOOLS <ul><li>Word Press </li></ul><ul><li>Typepad </li></ul><ul><li>Blogspot </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Posterous </li></ul><ul><li>Tumblr </li></ul>
    12. 12. AUDIO-VISUAL ASSETS <ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Google Maps </li></ul>
    13. 13. ACTIVATION “HUBS” <ul><li>Online Petition </li></ul><ul><li>Call page </li></ul><ul><li>LTE page </li></ul><ul><li>Event page </li></ul>
    14. 14. ACTIVATION “HUBS” - ONLINE PETITIONS <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Care2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Care2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democracy in Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convio </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. ACTIVATION “HUBS” – EVENTS <ul><li>Facebook Events </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Plancast </li></ul><ul><li>Yelp </li></ul><ul><li>Meetup </li></ul><ul><li>Craigslist </li></ul>
    16. 16. THE “HUB” – BEST PRACTICES <ul><li>Audience-centric </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>The layered cake </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it fresh! </li></ul>
    17. 17. MARKETING YOUR “HUB(S)” <ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bcc’ing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listserves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CRM Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile applications </li></ul>
    18. 18. MARKETING TOOLS - FREE <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Texting </li></ul><ul><li>Blog comments </li></ul><ul><li>StumbleUpon </li></ul><ul><li>Digg </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious </li></ul><ul><li>Linkedin </li></ul>
    19. 19. MARKETING TOOLS - COST <ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democracy in Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile Commons </li></ul><ul><li>Web ads </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>facebook </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. MARKETING YOUR “HUB(S)” <ul><li>Audience-centric </li></ul><ul><li>Repetition </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Market the marketers </li></ul>
    21. 21. COMMUNITY CULTIVATION TOOLS <ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Myspace </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Care2 </li></ul><ul><li>Causes </li></ul>
    22. 22. CULTIVATING COMMUNITY <ul><li>Inform </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire </li></ul>
    23. 23. CULTIVATING COMMUNITY <ul><li>Be personable </li></ul><ul><li>Meet your audience where they’re already at </li></ul><ul><li>Listen Twice as much as you TALK </li></ul><ul><li>Promote user-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>To censor or not to censor??? </li></ul>
    24. 24. INTERNAL COLLABORATION TOOLS <ul><li>Google Docs </li></ul><ul><li>Google Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Google Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Google Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Skype </li></ul><ul><li>Yammer </li></ul><ul><li>Meebo </li></ul><ul><li>SocialCast </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>