Why social organisations get more social change from social media. How traditional campaigning organisations will have to adapt, if they want to stay relevant in a world of distributed networks, collective expertise and open-source collaboration.
2. Where we’re coming from...
• There are 4 of us: Paul, Sally, Rosemary and Liam
• We have backgrounds in youth work, social
media, volunteering, local government, grant
funding, facilitation, campaigning, policy work,
user involvement, community development,
disability rights, training, The Compact...
• We have an approach, rather than a discipline:
“We help organisations to be more like people.”
4. Our greatest fears, debunked!
• People are talking about you anyway...
• If criticism is happening on your site, you can
not only debunk it, but make it a positive!
• ‘Professionalism’ can still be informal
• Ignoring people is the worst thing you can do
for your image/perception
5. “Most customers that complain
online do NOT want to ‘hurt’ your
company. They just want you to
listen to them, and help them with
their problem. If you’ll do that,
you’ll often flip a detractor into an
- Mack Collier, ‘Think Negative Comments/Reviews
Online Hurt Your Company? Guess Again’
6. Our greatest fears, debunked!
2. Control of message
• ‘If a bank robber was caught wearing your t-
shirt, would you blame the t-shirt?’
• MyBarackObama.com – 95%-98% of user
commentary was positive... other 2%-5% was
‘policed’ by the online community
• You often have more control online, than if
you put hard copies of a letter/statement into
the public domain (via admin controls)
7. Our greatest fears, debunked!
3. Audience appropriateness
• 85% of the UK is online
• 64% have a social network profile
• There are over 500 million Facebook users
• Avg. monthly social network time: 6h7m54s
• 37% of all Facebook users are 35+ (19% 45+)
...It’s not universal, but it’s changing VERY fast!
8. Our greatest fears, debunked!
4. Return On Investment
• This is still very hard to track (beyond technical
• Greenpeace’ GreenMyApple:
– 50,000 letters to Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
– 10,000 newsletter sign-ups
– 4000+ blogs about the campaign
– Apple corporate policy change
• Social networking is networking, but online...
• If you wait for proven ROI to use social media,
others may assume the worst while you’re not…
‘Twenty Pound Notes’ Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
10. Do you have a GOOD experience
of social media?
• Kept you in touch with an old mate?
• Learned something new?
• Shared something valuable with others?
• Made new connections?
11. Is yours a ‘social organisation’?
• Conversational communications
• Trust in individual autonomy
• Collective expertise
• Risk embrace
You Me Us
12. How is a ‘social organisation’ different from a traditional organisation?
Broadcast vs Conversation
• Single perspective
• Many perspectives
‘Tin can phone’ Image Creative Commons Kit Cowan (K!T on Flickr)
13. How is a ‘social organisation’ different from a traditional organisation?
Control vs Autonomy
• ‘Father knows best’
• Strict hierarchy
• We are all leaders
• Loose network
14. How is a ‘social organisation’ different from a traditional organisation?
Individual experts vs Collective expertise
• Costs varied
15. How is a ‘social organisation’ different from a traditional organisation?
Risk management vs Risk embrace
16. How social is your organisation?
1. Practices two-way, conversational
communications, inside and outside its walls?
2. Supports autonomous leadership to emerge
from all levels?
3. Encourages broad, open, equal involvement in
4. Trusts staff to take risks and try new ways of
campaigning (without reprisal)?
17. Q: What does
this have to
A: Social media does this stuff
already – our organisations
can learn from it!
19. ...Or put another way...
Image can be found at: http://socialreporter.com/?p=1037
David Wilcox’s models...
20. why are campaigners using new
• to reach greater numbers
• e.g. – MySociety, MPs expenses vote
• to involve your supporters
• e.g. – Greenpeace, GreenMyApple
• to engage a younger audience
• e.g. – The Scouts Association, Rain Tax Campaign
• to save money
• e.g. – BullyingUK
• to increase speed of communication
•e.g. – Avaaz.org / MoveOn.org / 38Degrees.org.uk
21. • The ‘If you build it, they will come’
• Using tools as an ‘add-on’, not as part of a
• Not understanding supporters’ or targets’
relationship with technology
• Disconnect from other campaign activities
• Treating social media like a megaphone
common pitfalls of online campaigns
22. • Build a strong database
• Brief, focussed communication
• Make it personal
• Coordinate online and ‘offline’ activism
• Don’t obsess over the numbers!
• Treat it like a good conversation
tips for new ‘e-campaigners’
Image Creative Commons used courtesy of thoth92 on Flickr
23. What makes a good conversation?
...And talking a fair share of bollocks!
• It’s okay to make mistakes
• You’ve been hired/you hired them to do a job
• Things are too fast for traditional sign-offs
Photo by Joe Nangle via Flickr
25. Good relationships are good for
The Networking Principle:
‘We may not know exactly how or
when our new connections will be
useful, but we understand and cherish
the value they provide to our work.’
Q: ...Should this be exclusive to senior management, or
should the connections, like the skills and experiences
generally, of all staff be seen this way?
31. Case Study:
An organic culture shift...
Step 1: A few staff Tweet, managers clamp-
down, punishments doled-out.
Step 2: Tweeting continues – underground – and
gradually expands amongst staff.
Step 3: A more influential (w/ CEO) staff inc.
Twitter @ big event. Press coverage ensues.
Step 4: CEO tells EVERYONE to Tweet! Most
ignore. Some set-up accounts, then ignore.
Step 5: A healthier balance is struck...
How can we share these ideas within
• What’s the role of the ‘top’ in a structure
without a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’?
• Do you need the technology to initiate
the culture shift?
• What can you personally change?
• What would get your boss on Twitter?
• Every block is a block to your campaign utilising
social media better
• Before you remove it, you have to identify the
block and suggest an alternative approach
• You can’t remove blocks from the top
• You want a slimmer tower, not a collapsed one!
34. Your homework!
1. Join Twitter (if you haven’t already)
2. Find everyone else from the workshop
3. Share what you’ve learned via Twitter
4. Use the ‘hashtag’ #ConcreteSolutions
Image Creative Commons used courtesy of apdk on Flickr
35. Feedback: Your 3 ‘Somethings’ for us
1. Something I liked
2. Something I would change
3. Something I’ll do differently as a result
36. Thanks for
mobile: +44 (0) 7775732383
Reference last event
Have participants give their organisation a mark out of 10 for its performance on each. They can keep this to themselves and don’t have to share it.Will return to this later in the workshop.
The major shift characterised by ‘new media’ (versus ‘old media’ – print, TV, radio, etc.) – sometimes described as ‘web 2.0’ – is in the interactive and two-way nature of the experience. As this shift has taken place, users have quickly come to expect an opportunity for dialogue, rather than a straight presentation of information. Increasingly, organisations in all sectors have left-behind the old website, which served primarily as an ‘e-brochure’ for their work, in exchange for something closer to ‘an online focus group’, allowing them to receive, as well as share and create information. Advocates of new media have pointed to the ‘democratising’ aspects this shift has brought to communications, allowing anyone to disseminate their ideas on a scale previously available only to commercial media providers. Others have argued it has initiated an over-saturation of information available. These arguments have been increasingly trumped by recent changes in searching, filtering, rating and self-policing of web content.It includes: social networking podcasting blogging wikis mobile phones/internet