Online Organizing and New Media for CHANGE


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Presentation for Oxfam America's CHANGE Leaders, Summer 2010. Made by Clara and Victoria at Oxfam America.

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  • - What is online organizing?
  • - Organizing by definition is the process of bringing people together around an issue.
  • When we talk about online organizing we are talking about bringing people together around an issue through the internet.
  • Quick examples of the power of online organizing How many of you have heard of is an international campaign to support a clear and bold solution to the climate crisis: reducing the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to 350 parts per million. On October 24, 2009 over 5,200 events were planned in more than 180 countries for the 350 International Day of Action Largest climate action the world had ever seen   CNN called it “the most widespread day of political action in history“ the coordination happened all online! 
  • - On September 20, 2009 Oxfam along with the Tck Tck Tck also coordinated a mass mobilization of 1300 people
  • In this day in age there are countless tools online to use for organizing. Most of these are tools are free, the cost is the time that you put into developing them, using them and making them work for your organizing efforts.
  • - Tons of tools out there to do this and it can be a bit overwhelming
  • - The big advantage!
  • - Email is the hammer of the online toolbox –versatile, reliable, and powerful when used intentionally and correctly
  • Following on the hammer email imagery When you start your club or for those of you who have already started it how do you keep track of your members? - It’s so important to continue to grow your club membership list Discuss other reasons of email importance
  • - Google provides tons of tools to help you keep your club membership list and stay organizined
  • - Going back to the importance of emails
  • Not only are emails important to use to grow your club membership but they are important for Oxfam too. For different campaigns we have petitions that we’ll ask you to collect signatures on and deliver to the Oxfam office We add the emails to our eCommunity and then deliver the actual petitions to members of Congress or in this example Obama - Have Victoria explain the eCommunity and eActions
  • Have CLs look at hard copies of the petition and the volunteer coversheet Possibly walk through how to fill out a volunteer coversheet
  • How can you use these tools to make a difference? How we share information, find community, and both connect and disconnect will give us unprecedented influence over our place in the world. (Share This! Deanna Zandt) My title is “new media specialist” – although I don’t consider these channels that new, they're new in the field of communication and advocacy.
  • Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist , who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Her ideas may be 40 – 50 years old, but they still hold true and are more easily achieved through new technology.
  • In order to get your message out to the world, you’ve got to diversify and reach out. Check other online communities (Ning sites), message boards (, Blogs, industry or issue websites. Be transparent, be clear. (talk about this more later) *Cheryl’s story of making the right connections (advisor, email entire campus)
  • *Cheryl
  • It’s important to do your research when it comes to online chatter. Set up Google Alerts for certain words or phrases,, search on Facebook, Message boards:, etc.
  • Reach out to people through social media. There are lurkers and creators – don’t be a lurker all the time. Reach out, message people, get involved.
  • - Which people care about which issue? It’s important to keep these straight – you can organize separately if you want (in a spreadsheet, twitter list, etc)
  • Remember, You don’t have a Facebook strategy or a Twitter strategy. Social media is there to help you achieve your goals, but it should not define your goals.
  • How many people are fans of Oxfam America on Facebook? Tell students the best avenue is to have a GROUP (messaging reasons, events, invites, etc)
  • You have to opt-in to get text updates, but when you do they are really useful. We recently used a text to Thank people who took action for the Extractives Industries Transparency Bill after it was passed in the Senate a few weeks ago.
  • Ask the students – who has heard of any of these websites???
  • - Oxfam’s Extractives Industries team was campaigning to pass an important amendment that would guarantee transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industries, ultimately allowing poor communities to benefit from their natural resources. - We used to create a petition targeting @SenChrisDodd
  • We started a petition on targeting Senator Dodd (@senchrisdodd) is free and available to anyone with a twitter account
  • Senator Cardin (one of the sponsors of the amendment) caught wind of the Twitter petition and retweeted to his followers (1,000+ followers)
  • Unfortunately, the house didn’t end up voting on this specific amendment (for relevancy issues, I think). However, it increased visibility of the issue and the amendment was later a part of another banking/transparency bill that was recently voted on and passed!
  • We’re always looking for new, fresh content! Use these as a resource and also as an outlet! If you have interesting stories, photos, or articles, let us know and we can send a message out to our fans and followers (21,000 on Facebook and 18,000 on Twitter)
  • Pictures from the Economic Justice table at the CHANGE BBQ
  • This is the last slide, do a quick brainstorm on CHANGE eNews
  • Online Organizing and New Media for CHANGE

    1. 1. Online Organizing & New Media CHANGE Training 2010
    2. 2. Online Organizing
    3. 3. Online Organizing Organizing by definition is the process of bringing people together around an issue.
    4. 4. Online Organizing Is the process of bringing people together around an issue online .
    5. 5. ► October 24, 2009 ► 5200 simultaneous rallies and demonstrations ► in 181 countries ► “ the most widespread day of political action in history” CNN
    6. 6. ► September 20, 2009 ► 1300 people gathered in Central park
    7. 7.
    8. 8. “ Here’s the single most important thing to know about using email, Facebook, YouTube, and other electronic tools: they are exactly that, tools, and you can use them to organize people. The end result of online organizing, just like ‘telephone organizing’ or ‘pad and pencil organizing’ is coordinating the power of your constituents to advance social change.” Midwest Academy
    9. 9. Advantage : helps increase the speed and effectiveness of communications with your audience
    10. 10. coordinating the power of your constituents
    11. 11. <ul><li>► Build up your club membership list </li></ul><ul><li>► Collect information from your activists and potential activists </li></ul><ul><li>► Gain supporters and increase your reach and Oxfam’s </li></ul><ul><li>► Provide information about local events, political action alerts, and announcements of important policy updates or victories </li></ul>Your Oxfam Club
    12. 12. The power of pastries!
    13. 15.
    14. 16. Footer: Document title [Menu > View > Header & Footer]
    15. 19.
    16. 20.
    17. 21. Collecting emails from Oxfam’s petitions
    18. 22. important
    19. 23. STEP 1 Add to your email list anyone that checked off “Contact me about local actions” STEP 2 Fill out a volunteer coversheet for each event you collected sign-ups at STEP 3 Mail, fax, or email your sign-ups to Nessa
    20. 24. Social Media >> Social Change
    21. 25. What are we talking about here? As CHANGE Leaders, you have the ability to connect, influence, and motivate many people to create lasting change to end poverty, hunger and social injustice. “ Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed that is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
    22. 26. <ul><li>Getting involved: </li></ul><ul><li>Online communities </li></ul><ul><li>Message boards </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail lists </li></ul><ul><li>Comments on blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Industry sites </li></ul>
    23. 27. Getting the word out!
    24. 28. Step 1: Listen <ul><li>Listening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are people saying about the issues you care about? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you identified who the influencers are? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are people talking about these issues? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can you make your voice heard? </li></ul></ul>
    25. 29. Step 2: Engage <ul><li>Engaging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are you engaging with your influencers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are you having conversations? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you asking questions? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be open and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid of negative feedback, it gives you an opportunity to explain </li></ul>
    26. 30. Step 3: Build Relationships <ul><li>Relationship Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your touch points? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you reward or recognize influencers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you saying thank you? </li></ul></ul>
    27. 31. How OA uses social media: <ul><li>Spread new educational content (blog posts, videos, interesting articles, material from partners, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Raise awareness through contests and giveaways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lilith Fair, The Low Anthem, and many other music-related opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engage in conversations about key issues </li></ul>
    28. 32. Consider this… <ul><li>What organizations or campus groups work in the same ecosystem? (Focused on poverty, hunger, social justice issues) </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want to achieve? Petition Signups? Increased visibility on campus? Media attention? </li></ul>
    29. 33. Facebook Page, Profile, or Group?
    30. 34. Texting How OA uses text messages: Alerts, Emergencies, Thanks!
    31. 35. Helpful iPhone Apps <ul><li>Real Time Congress </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Political GPS </li></ul><ul><li>My Congress </li></ul>
    32. 36. Some New Tools: <ul><li>M </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create events and invite members to join! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>F </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create places, check in, tell your friends! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find members of congress on Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ac </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create Twitter petitions, get friends to sign, target influencers </li></ul></ul>
    33. 37. Online Advocacy in Action Oxfam’s Extractives Industries team was campaigning to pass an important amendment for transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industries Who was the target? Senator Chris Dodd (CT) What did we do? Twitter petition!
    34. 39. Online Advocacy in Action
    35. 40. Online Advocacy in Action
    36. 41. Where is Oxfam Online? <ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Meetup </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Use these as resources!
    37. 44. CHANGE eNews Footer: Document title [Menu > View > Header & Footer] ► Campaign updates ► Important dates ► Job opportunities ► Volunteer opportunities ► What else???
    38. 45. Need help? Have a story? Let us know! <ul><li>Victoria Marzilli </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Clara Herrero </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>