Networked Campaigning in the Third Sector


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Lecture and additional material delivered at Southampton Solent University, November 2012

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  • Teach this stuff- used to do it professionally but doing phd in political comms and theory…. So expect bits of theory 
  • Obama 2008 example got it right….. (but email played an important part)Challenge is what happens next? What do you do with your networks once you’ve built it?In Obama’s case they maintained their network platform and converted supporters into policy-making body….. Continued to mobilise the empowered potential of the network
  • But getting this balance right means adopting new practices…DNRs enableorganisations to get balance right
  • Different organisations adopt different repertoires depending upon their position and goals within a political system, e.g. political parties use repertoires associated with the goals of national government formation. Their mainstream respectability derives from their broad adherence to electoral and parliamentary rules, established norms of hierarchical organisation, election campaigning, and conduct in office. Whereas social movements typically eschew hierarchy, and depend upon mass mobilization to achieve their aims because they have usually been excluded from participation in mainstream channels or because they have deliberately sought to work outside the system to avoid cooption. Typically, participants in social movements have encouraged methods of organization and decision making that are self-consciously nonhierarchical, consensual, and participatory.
  • Building trusted communities through social media enables organisations to mobilise supporters more effectively – have them act on your behalf…
  • Works well across single issues… unless you’re a charity ‘mega brand’ (Oxfam, Amnesty, Unicef, etc) Even then Greenpeace’s of this world are creating IRL ‘communities’
  • Crucially….. The community self-manages debate; challenges critics and is willing to take on short-notice actions
  • Good example of creating multiple, niche (in this instance localised) communities to raise funds and deliver services
  • Great emergent campaign that grew out of a blog about Shell’s activities in the Niger DeltaSuggested supporters to tweet Shell’s official Twitter account to request discussion of its activitiesAfter 13 days and 300 tweets Shell relentedQuestions submitted in advance and parallel web chat run by Amnesty to counter and PR or misinformation 445 participants, including Shell execs, human rights/oil experts and local community members from Niger DeltaTo sustian action:Google Map art activism prohect ‘(s)Hell’Fundraising for Newspaper Ad with 2,500 donations32% of donors had never given to Amnesty before!
  • The WWF’s Waterside Challenge app used mobile technology to bring some of London’s hidden waterside treasures to life through simulations of local wildlife, interactive quizzes, videos and more digital surprises. People could also take part in challenges to win Panda Points, which could be exchanged for prizes.People could pledge to choose good wood: choosing FSC-certified wood and paper products is good for forests, wildlife and people. It's a simple way to influence what your retailer buys and sells.Visitors to the site could also enter the Ecover Blue Mile: swim, kayak, paddle or just walk a mile on, or around, water to get the nation caring about our blue environment.Earth Book : the story of our world told through the eyes of its best storytellers - us. Our world needs your voice. Say why you love it.T-shirt love story: we encouraged people to watch and share our new video, which shows the lengths some people will go to, to get one of our exclusive t-shirts. They’re only available to people who can really say “The panda made me do it”.See: for more info
  • 07928 265615
  • But doing this requires thinking again about org structure….Need to loosen up (see Martin Thomas (2011) Loose) and become a ‘join in’ / hybrid org
  • Networked Campaigning in the Third Sector

    1. 1. Networked Campaigning in the Third Sector simon collister Senior lecturer @ University of the Arts, LondonPhD candidate @ Royal Holloway, University of London
    2. 2. > Who Am I?Bio in a tweet-worthy 140 characters:> Snr lecturer University of the Arts, London> Phd student @ RHUL, University of London> Ex-(and occasional) we are social consultant
    3. 3. > What we’ll cover today• Set out some context around social media and the third sector• Map out a conceptual framework to (hopefully) help us make sense of our increasingly networked environment• Bring the framework to life with pertinent examples of campaigns
    4. 4. Social Media & The ThirdSector: some context
    5. 5. > Social media is mainstreamUniversal McCann SocialMedia Tracker Wave 5October 2010
    6. 6. > No longer ad hoc
    7. 7. > Professionalised “How do you consider your organisation’s use of social media?”• Organisational adoption of social media becoming increasingly professionalised (and commercialised) Source: Alimeter Social Readiness Report 2010
    8. 8. > What does this mean forthe not-for-profit sector?
    9. 9. > Period of intense change“If the late 19th century was the „golden age‟ of mutual institutions, clubs and societies, the early 21st century is a new golden age of networks and online communities” (Griffiths 2007)
    10. 10. > Helped by the social web • Early Internet built by corporations and Government • Emerging social web being built by networks of individuals
    11. 11. > Causing power shift“Organisations areincreasingly being by-passed and power isshifting away from top-down hierarchies andtowards more fluid andparticipative networks” (Griffiths 2007) Image via Dave Gray
    12. 12. > And internal challenges Image via Dave Gray
    13. 13. Source: Visceral Business Social Index 2012
    14. 14. > The challenges1. Maintain abalance > 2. Identify and adopt new > 3. Develop new organisationalbetween repertoires of structures andtraditional and networked culturesnetworked campaigningcampaigning
    15. 15. 1. Networked campaigning
    16. 16. > Networked campaigning“Networks and campaigns can beallies, but they ultimately have cross-purposes. Campaigns share tasks but notauthority with their supporters.” (Sifry 2008)
    17. 17. > Think about UKUncut> Networked campaigning > Traditional campaigning> Shared authority > Shared tasks> Hard to control > Centrally controlled> Scales and spreads rapidly > Capacity building takes time and resources
    18. 18. > New strategic drivers• These emerging networked campaigns characterized by two key drivers – social and technological: 1. Social capital > Networks motivated by rewards from social cooperation to achieve shared goals 2. Self-organisation > Advocacy networks being created by self-organised groups enabled by the Internet
    19. 19. > Obligatory Obama reference• My.BarackObama balances networks and campaign tactics
    20. 20. • 2008 campaign was primarily powered by email to mobilise supporters• 2012 campaign made greater use of social…
    21. 21. 2. New network repertoires
    22. 22. > Reper-what?• Charles Tilly developed notion of ‘collective action repertoires’ which identify: “a limited set of routines that are learned, shared and acted out through a relatively deliberate process of choice. Repertoires are learned cultural creations” (Tilly 1995)
    23. 23. > New campaigning approaches• Chadwick (2007) updated notion of repertoires to ‘digital network repertoires’• These: a. Build (distributed) communities of trust b. Create appealing (and convergent) forms of online action c. Fuse (sub-)cultural and political discourses d. Create and tap into online networks
    24. 24. a. Communities of Trust
    25. 25. > 38 Degrees• UK’s first community-led campaigning organisation?• Community determines campaign agenda• Mobilised rapidly across range of actions
    26. 26. > Robin Hood Tax• dsd
    27. 27. > Robin Hood Tax • dsd“Once the campaign launched it become clear thatpeople were keen to engage with the RHT coalitionbrand, and the place for those conversations becamesocial media, particularly Facebook. Within a weekof launch we had a community of 100,000plus. From there we invested approx 80% of digitalcapacity of the campaign to social media. This wasnot something we had planned to do but ithappened organically and we responded by shiftingresources.” (Interview with Anna Nolan, RHT)
    28. 28. > My.actionforchildren• sasa
    29. 29. b. Fun, convergent actions
    30. 30. > Amnesty and S-Hell• sasa
    31. 31. > Love Lewisham
    32. 32. > Panda Made Me Do It Waterside ChallengeChoose Ecover Good Blue Mile Wood Earth Book
    33. 33. c. Fuse cultural andpolitical discourses
    34. 34. > Fuse cultural/political discourse
    35. 35. > Not just big budget!
    36. 36. > Lots of scope with memes #firstworldproblems
    37. 37. d. Create and tap into networks
    38. 38. > MyDavidCameron• dsdsd
    39. 39. Lush’s #FoxyForce
    40. 40. 3. New organisational structures
    41. 41. > Internal challenges“This new stuff – let’s call itsocial media – is disruptive andtransformative inside theorganisation.” (Bridger 2010)But in what ways…?
    42. 42. > Organisational hybridity “New organisational forms are emerging that exist only in hybrid form and could not function in the ways they do without the Internet. These “hybrid mobilization movements” blend functions traditionally associated with political parties, internet groups and social movements. Fast “switches” between online and offline realms, and within and between campaigns, are emerging as characteristics of contemporary … mobilization.” (Chadwick 2007)
    43. 43. > Organisational responses • Digital network repertoires and organisational hybridity force charities to reconsider their structure and reorient activity around demands of new networked dynamics • What might this look like? • Oxfam case study follows…
    44. 44. > Reconfiguring a non-profitRe-configuring a UK-based charity’s strategy for anetworked world meant aligning three activity strands: 1) Movement building – e.g. long-term establishment of and engagement with core Oxfam supporters for fundraising, campaigning and service delivery 2) Advocacy and Influencer campaigns – e.g. short- term campaigns delivered through Oxfam and by co- opting strategically aligned networks 3) Strategy planning and innovation – e.g. Ongoing research, planning and co-ordination of Strands 1 & 2 to ensure all activities aligned with strategic vision
    45. 45. > Strands 1 & 2Movement buildingAdvocacy Advocacy Advocacy TIME
    46. 46. > Adding Strand 3Movement building Planning and innovationAdvocacy Advocacy Advocacy TIME
    47. 47. > Plotting Repertoires> Foster communities of distributed trust> Create appealing and convergent forms of online action> Fuse (sub-)cultural and political discourses . . .> Create and build on sedimentary online networks
    48. 48. > Creating a networked campaigning strategy
    49. 49. > Strategydevelopment
    50. 50. > Setting objectives• Top-line objectives need to be refined for movement building and advocacy: 1. Movement building • Longer-term; generic pro-poor change; emphasis on engagement and authority sharing 2. Advocacy • Short-term; linked to specific issues; emphasis on task sharing
    51. 51. > Networked campaigning strategy PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 PHASE 4 Research & Establish Movement building Advocacy benchmarking foundations • Planning & • Activate on and creating value • Identify relevant off-sit community frames audiences/network engagement s • Activate on and • Devise actions • Real-time off-site advocacy • Identify and community • Align with wider analyse relevant engaging • Execute proactive internal strategy conversations actions documents • Execute proactive • Campaign / issue actions • Execute reactive • Create internal benchmarking actions guidelines & • Execute reactive toolkits actions
    52. 52. > Mapping activities >Movement building - Ongoing engagement with core organisational networks/communities> Research - identify audiences, understand value frames & benchmark; ongoing tracking to feed-back into planning> Establish foundations - set-up operational toolkits/guidelines; devise frames; create actions . . . > Advocacy - Create, co-opt and activate advocacy networks/communities
    53. 53. > Phase 1: Research• Research needs to be completed to understand and plan both movement building and advocacy activity. It should: – Identify: volume and themes of conversations about organisation/key issues – Who’s having these conversations and where are they taking place? – Where are the points of influence within this space (bloggers, forums, forum members, etc)
    54. 54. > Phase 2: Create foundations • Foundations should be developed centrally to support both delivery strands, yet remain flexible to allow switches between activity • Foundations should include: – Using research insight to create specific online frames or to feed into broader strategic frame development – Using research insight and wider campaign strategy to devise appropriate actions – Establishing roles and responsibilities, e.g. community managers vs campaigners; national vs regional etc – Creating internal guidelines, frameworks and protocols for effective management and measurement
    55. 55. > Phases 3 & 4: Activation• Content planning – Specific content & action strategy should be created to meet objectives – Content could include: existing materials repurposed for social media; conversational content created in line with guidelines; original social media content where appropriate; relevant third-party content• Channel planning – Again, specific channel strategies should be created in line with agreed protocols, e.g. defining the roles and priorities of the organisation’s central platforms vs regional or campaign specific ones – It’s likely movement building activity will focus on the organisaiton’s current core platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter; blog(s); etc with advocacy being dovetailed or conducted across third-party networks/platforms
    56. 56. > What this might look like ESTABLISH FOUNDATIONS FRAMEWORK ORGANISATIONAL OPERATIONAL EXECUTIONAL• establish relevant social • Conversation • content creation media platforms management & distribution• define their roles guidelines • community management• agree national / regional • Tone of voice guidance • conversation management management structure • content strategy • social advertising• align campaign strategies • content sign-off • influencer engagement• integrate with wider process • internal launch campaign activity • social media training • Internal reporting and• monitoring and • internal comms comms measurement framework • crisis protocol • listening, responding and measuring Phases 1 & 2 Phases 3 & 4
    57. 57. > Questions? @simoncollister
    58. 58. > References• Bridger, S. (2010) Putting People at the Heart of your Social Media Strategy. Slideshare Presentation. [Online] Available at: your-social-media-strategy• Chadwick, A. (2007). Digital Network Repertoires and Organisational Hybridity. Political Communication, 24:283–301.• Griffiths, M. (2007) ICT Foresight: how online communities can make the internet work for the Voluntary and Community Sector. London: NCVO.• Shirky, C. (2009) Here Comes Everybody. London: Penguin.• Sifry, M. (2008) Keynote lecture at ‘Web 2.0 Politics‘ *Online+ Available at• Tilly, C. (1995). Contentious repertoires in Great Britain, 1758–1834. In M. Traugott (Ed.), Repertoires and cycles of contention (pp. 15–42). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.