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Marriage Equality Day - King County, WA

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On the night of Dec. 6, 2012, one month after Washington State voters approved same-sex marriage, King County opened the Recorder's Office for a special midnight ceremony that ushered in a new era of civil rights. In doing so, King County became the first jurisdiction in the country to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on voter approval.

Happy couples young and old, many of whom had waited decades for this moment, braved the chilly night to become a part of American history. Learn how King County blended traditional and social media to connect with participants, drive news coverage, and emcee a once-in-lifetime event that reimagined how a community engages with local government.

  • We drove national media coverage in the New York Times, CNN and Huffington Post alongside nearly 30,000 interactions on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Storify. In three days of marriage equality events, we sparked 10X the online engagement than we see during a typical month. See the deck for more statistics, and I'd love to talk more about this event and our government's use of social media if anyone is interested. Please feel free to send me an email: socialmedia@kingcounty.gov. - Derek
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Marriage Equality Day - King County, WA

  1. 1. The Marriage Plot:Inside Washington State’s Epic Campaign for LGBT Equality Presented by Derek Belt Social Media Specialist, King County Follow me: @derekbelt Follow us: @kcnews WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 1
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  9. 9. Washington voters have narrowly approved same-sexmarriage, completing a four-state sweep of victories onElection Day by marriage-equality advocates. BeforeTuesday, gay marriage had never won a statewide voteanywhere in America. — SeattlePI.com, Nov. 8, 2012 WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 9
  10. 10. Referendum 74 – Washington StateYES 54% NO 46%Referendum 74 – King CountyYES 67% NO 33% WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 10
  11. 11. The dates are set – Dec. 6-8, 2012King County ExecutiveDow Constantineannounced on his monthlyradio spot that theRecorder’s Office wouldopen for a special midnightceremony Dec. 6, 2012at 12:01 a.m.Dec. 6 was declared “Marriage Equality Day” in King County. WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 11
  12. 12. Planning begins WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 12
  13. 13. Planning begins• Tents• Official queuing area• Media area• King County staff• Volunteers• Nearby coffee shops open all night WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 13
  14. 14. Traditional media• Logistics/schedule• Credentials• Site walkthrough• Interviews• Press releases• Public awareness & outreach WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 14
  15. 15. Social media• Twitter - @kcnews and @kcexec• Hashtag - #MEDayWA• Facebook page & events - NEW!• Instagram - NEW!• Storify - NEW!• YouTube - King County TV WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 15
  16. 16. Social mediaThe goal:• Cover the coverage/customer serviceThe strategy:• Support the media• Real-time updates to people waiting in line• Monitor for rumor controlThe results:• 30,000 interactions & No. 5 trending topic in U.S. WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 16
  17. 17. Social media Marriage equality vs. General election Tweets @kcnews People Followers Time frame Interactions Clicks sent mentions reached added Dec. 6-8 29,758 157 1,246 1.1 million 587 478 Entire month 2,638 110 346 422,676 1,905 387 of November** Nov. numbers are Twitter only. King County did not have Facebook, Instagram or Storify pages. WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 17
  18. 18. Social media• 6,639 mentions of #MEDayWA on Twitter• 1,246 mentions of @kcnews• 348 people registered for Facebook events• 5,712 people “talking about this” on Facebook• 400+ photos shared from participants• 8,375 pageviews on Storify• 2,725 video views on YouTube• 91 check-ins at Recorder’s Office WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 18
  19. 19. Twitter• Engage people in line• Brokered hashtag with local media #MEDayWA• 6,639 hashtag mentions• No. 5 trending topic in U.S.• 149 new followers WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 19
  20. 20. Twitter WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 20
  21. 21. Facebook events• Gauge interest in attending• Create a safe place to connect with participants• Update people directly on their smartphones• 348 people registered• 230 new fans WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 21
  22. 22. Facebook events WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 22
  23. 23. Facebook events WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 23
  24. 24. Instagram• Same hashtag as Twitter #MEDayWA• Inside access during special midnight ceremony• 186 photos shared• 311 likes, 16 comments• 86 new followers WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 24
  25. 25. Instagram WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 25
  26. 26. Storify• Bring social media conversations together• Real-time editing kept people coming back• Linked to from Storify.com home page• 8,375 pageviews WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 26
  27. 27. Media coverage WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 27
  28. 28. Success story• 489 marriage licenses issued on Dec. 6, and 623 issued in three days.• Typical day sees 50-100 licenses issued.• National mainstream media coverage.• Incredible visibility and goodwill locally with 30,000 interactions in social media. WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 28
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  30. 30. The Marriage Plot:Inside Washington State’s Epic Campaign for LGBT Equality Presented by Derek Belt Social Media Specialist, King County Follow me: @derekbelt Follow us: @kcnews WOMMfest 2013 Seattle, WA 30

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