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New media for organizational advocacy Audubon Dougherty Media in Cultural Context MIT Center for Future Civic Media Fall 2...
What USCB does <ul><li>OBJECTIVES: </li></ul><ul><li>To strengthen the position of the rightful leaders of Burma by cuttin...
Outreach activities <ul><li>USCB Campaigns Coordinator responsible for all outreach & organizing </li></ul><ul><li>update ...
Measuring success <ul><li>Effect of outreach measured by the number of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new members signing up + don...
Who I talked to THELMA YOUNG Former campaigns coordinator for USCB NICKIE SEKERA Northeast regional coordinator and board ...
What works <ul><li>Distributed content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging Hollywood support & media coverage </li></ul>...
Challenges <ul><li>Managing content created </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic marketing needed to promote media </li></ul><ul><l...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Distributed content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Activists create & share their own photos, videos, t-...
The (viral) video campaign 30 days for a million voices.  Burma: it can’t wait. <ul><li>30 videos in 30 days </li></ul><ul...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Leveraging Hollywood support </li></ul><ul><li>Fanista distribution/production partnership successfu...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Communication: online & off </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes simple tools work best (ex: Gchat) </li></ul...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Social networks: Facebook, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>P2P can be great for organizing quick actions ...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Digi media: can it mobilize people? </li></ul><ul><li>Allows NGOs to reach new audiences more easily...
(pros & cons) <ul><li>Being realistic about resources  & staff capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Be strategic about goals & what ...
Lessons <ul><li>Bottom-up organizing:  org provides resources to guide content creation & inspire leadership; grabs key us...
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New media outreach for NGOs: a case study on the US Campaign for Burma

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A case study on how USCB is using new media outreach. Made for MIT's Center for Future Civic Media.

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  • Transcript of "New media outreach for NGOs: a case study on the US Campaign for Burma"

    1. 1. New media for organizational advocacy Audubon Dougherty Media in Cultural Context MIT Center for Future Civic Media Fall 2008 Case study on the United States Campaign for Burma
    2. 2. What USCB does <ul><li>OBJECTIVES: </li></ul><ul><li>To strengthen the position of the rightful leaders of Burma by cutting the political and economic lifelines of the ruling military junta; </li></ul><ul><li>To organize and advocate for international intervention in Burma; </li></ul><ul><li>To inform grassroots citizens, international media and policymakers about Burma’s political, social and economic crisis. </li></ul>The mission of USCB is to build a broad based coalition of grassroots and institutional support for freedom in Burma.
    3. 3. Outreach activities <ul><li>USCB Campaigns Coordinator responsible for all outreach & organizing </li></ul><ul><li>update content on website (redesigned in 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>create e-newsletters, online petitions, listservs </li></ul><ul><li>manage social networking sites (6+) </li></ul><ul><li>produce web videos for USCB site, YouTube channel, WITNESS Hub </li></ul><ul><li>conference calls with activists </li></ul><ul><li>face-to-face meetings with regional coordinators and student groups </li></ul><ul><li>new initiatives: blog for lead activists; monthly webcast (Ustream) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Measuring success <ul><li>Effect of outreach measured by the number of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new members signing up + donations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people contacting USCB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>responses to action alerts and online petitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new student groups created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube/Fanista video hits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>friends on social networking sites </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Who I talked to THELMA YOUNG Former campaigns coordinator for USCB NICKIE SEKERA Northeast regional coordinator and board member SAM GREGORY USCB board member & WITNESS program coordinator
    6. 6. What works <ul><li>Distributed content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging Hollywood support & media coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Building grassroots activists through on- and offline communication </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing social networks for spontaneous actions </li></ul><ul><li>Using digital media to mobilize people to act </li></ul><ul><li>Being realistic: understanding staff capacity </li></ul>
    7. 7. Challenges <ul><li>Managing content created </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic marketing needed to promote media </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing can’t only happen online </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking sites serve particular purposes; fragmentation occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Limitations depending on audience, action, messaging </li></ul><ul><li>More staff is needed to continue outreach and organizing </li></ul>
    8. 8. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Distributed content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Activists create & share their own photos, videos, t-shirt designs, other resources </li></ul><ul><li>Message not controlled by organization </li></ul><ul><li>Self-replicating </li></ul><ul><li>Org picks & chooses what to use or promote </li></ul>
    9. 9. The (viral) video campaign 30 days for a million voices. Burma: it can’t wait. <ul><li>30 videos in 30 days </li></ul><ul><li>38 celebrities </li></ul><ul><li>funded by donor </li></ul><ul><li>launched in May 2007 </li></ul>http://www.youtube.com/user/uscampaignforburma
    10. 10. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Leveraging Hollywood support </li></ul><ul><li>Fanista distribution/production partnership successful </li></ul><ul><li>Cyclone Nargis hit simultaneously </li></ul><ul><li>Many hits, but mixed reviews & lacked sufficient marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Goal of PSAs: to get one million new members; got 30,000 (but still impressive, up from just a few hundred in 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Initial Jim Carrey video more popular because of media coverage </li></ul>
    11. 11. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Communication: online & off </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes simple tools work best (ex: Gchat) </li></ul><ul><li>Face-to-face organizing essential </li></ul><ul><li>Communication methods should depend on audience </li></ul><ul><li>Haven’t tried coordinated mobile messaging yet </li></ul>
    12. 12. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Social networks: Facebook, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>P2P can be great for organizing quick actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook not built to maintain long-term involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fragmentation of supporters impedes coordinated action but can inspire different conversations and ways to act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need someone to update social network sites frequently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does large number of “friends” mean large number of activists? </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Digi media: can it mobilize people? </li></ul><ul><li>Allows NGOs to reach new audiences more easily </li></ul><ul><li>Not everyone is tech savvy; utilize those who are to organize others </li></ul><ul><li>Can make the org look very active; but can staff respond when people do mobilize and want to act? </li></ul>
    14. 14. (pros & cons) <ul><li>Being realistic about resources & staff capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Be strategic about goals & what to prioritize; one person can’t do it all, esp. with tiny budget </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to nix what isn’t working (ex: web forum) </li></ul><ul><li>New video initiative: need more staff/volunteers to implement </li></ul>
    15. 15. Lessons <ul><li>Bottom-up organizing: org provides resources to guide content creation & inspire leadership; grabs key user content for targeted advocacy purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize “techie” activists in strategic ways </li></ul><ul><li>Use online communication in tandem with face-to-face communication , and as a means to facilitate local action </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks serve specific purposes: recognize their strengths for activism (spontaneous action, creating discussion) and exploit them </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize organizational goals , then allocate resources or make cutbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Public relations strategy should be integrated into all org initiatives, on- and offline </li></ul><ul><li>Stealing corporate, Hollywood or mainstream outreach strategies is OK! Do whatever inspires cause recognition, understanding & action. </li></ul>
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