Social Media and other Tools for Advocacy


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Cindy Leonard, Social Media and other Tools for Advocacy

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  • Advocacy should be part of every nonprofit’s mission. Includes activities like: Non partisan analysis, study or research Discussion of broad social issuesTechnical assistance(These activities aren’t consider to be lobbying.)
  • All lobbying is advocacy, but not all advocacy is lobbying.Contrary to popular belief, nonprofits are permitted to do a small amount of lobbying as part of their work. You have information that legislators need to make informed decisions.The IRS permits an “insubstantial” amount of lobbying based on expenditures.Social media is one way to do advocacy and some lobbying while keeping costs down.What you may not do is support a particular political candidate or party – political campaign-related activity is forbidden for 501 c 3 orgs.
  • Goals – identify the cause you want to promote, think about your desired outcomes, create measureable goalsAudience – who do you want to target with your messaging? Legislators or a particular stakeholder group?Tools – once you know who your audience is, where do you go to find them? What social media platforms are they already using?Content – what do you want to say? (More about this in a few minutes.)Measuring – how will you know if you are successful?
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  • Conversational toneInclude a photo whenever possibleTell a story
  • Provide useful informationInspire and encourage stakeholders to share their own storiesKeep them connected and informed on issuesInitiate calls to action (if lobbying)Share interesting links to related information on your website or other social media channels (a tweet might link to a YouTube video, for example)Ask a question / poll stakeholders
  • People read 20% of what’s on a web page.Social media channels have a lot of “noise” so you want to make content easy to scan.Posts should be short and to the point. You can direct people to your website or a blog if you need to convey more information than social media allows.
  • Up-to-date content so people can:VisitLearntake action
  • Respond to (or delete) partisan comments. You can respond easily by adding a comment that repeats your disclaimer.Be careful about “friending” or linking to legislators – might be construed as an endorsement.(If they “follow” you, that’s different.)
  • Practice:Ask someone to name a hot issue surrounding AMR (anyone from audience can volunteer a topic)Break into groups of 5Give 11 x 17 sheets of paper and sharpies outTask: Write one social media post for Facebook OR one post for Twitter advocating around the hot issueHang on wall with scotch tape after and review/discussNeed:11 x 17” sheets of paperSharpie MarkersScotch tape
  • Social Media and other Tools for Advocacy

    1. 1. Advocacy & Social Media 2013 PA AMR Pre-Conference Cindy Leonard Consulting Team Leader Bayer Center for Nonprofit Mgmt. at Robert Morris University December 2012
    2. 2. Agenda • Advocacy and Lobbying • Social Media Strategy • Managing Social Media Efforts • On the Back End • PracticePhoto Source:
    3. 3. Review: Advocacy and Lobbying
    4. 4. • General promotion of an idea • Identifying, embracing and promoting a cause Advocacy • Advocacy on a particular piece of legislation Lobbying
    5. 5. Lobbying Direct Grassroots
    6. 6. Social Media Strategy
    7. 7. Social Media Strategy Measuring Tools Audience Goals Strategy Content
    8. 8. Content Strategy Source: Create Curate
    9. 9. Content Strategy Source: Create • In-house? • Time • Talent • Resources • Who? What? When? • Guests? • Who? What? When?
    10. 10. Content Strategy Source: Curate • Finding the Gems? • Where? • Who? • Format? • Repurpose • Recycle • Remix
    11. 11. Managing Your Social Media Efforts
    12. 12. Editorial Calendar Creator: Bob Hazlett,
    13. 13. ImageSource: HootSuite
    14. 14. Tweetdeck
    15. 15. Crafting Social Media Messages
    16. 16. Make it Personal
    17. 17. Be Creative
    18. 18. Be Brief
    19. 19. Source: Ongoing vs. Campaign?
    20. 20. On the Back End
    21. 21. Your website is your home base
    22. 22. Fill out your social media profile(s) completely.
    23. 23. Make it easy for people to find your social media channels
    24. 24. • Sample: Views expressed by commenters are those of the person making the comment and not necessarily those of the organization. The organization does not endorse any political candidates. Commentaries are provided as a public service in the interest of informing the public. Consider adding a disclaimer to social media profiles
    25. 25. Questions? Let’s practice!