Online campaigning


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A talk given at Melbourne Campaigner's Network, November 2011.

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  • What's the difference between an online and broader campaign?
  • Greenpeace campaign against the use of palm oil in products Palm oil production threatens orangutan habitats Nestle continued to use palm oil in their KitKat chocolate bars
  • Greenpeace release a shock video depicting a person having a break by crunching into a bloody orangutan finger wrapped up in a KitKat wrapper Nestle responded immediately, convincing YouTube to take the fake ad down on copyright infringement grounds
  • Greenpeace mobilised supporters with one specific ask – go to Nestle’s Facebook page and add a message asking them to drop the use of palm oil. Thousands of messages were posted, in a forum that Nestle could not easily moderate or control. Nestle recognise the groundswell against them and the PR damage caused, and commit to phasing our palm oil use.
  • An attempt to digitize and collect the wishes of the general public towards a world without poverty
  • Visitors can enter their wish for a world without poverty This ‘wish’ is then added to the collective virtual tree, which grows with each submission Given the option to share via their Facebook or Twitter account Also given option to type in their postcode and send a message to their local MP Over 1000 wishes with NO advertising – purely word of mouth and viral seeding on social media Physical tree to complement the digital – link online with offline
  • The Wishing Tree was supported by other ‘real-life’ activities, including a real tree set up in the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, and glass 3d etched versions were made to be sent to the PM and Opp. Leader.
  • Picture disseminated by the Greens head office so supporters could change it to their Facebook profile pic
  • Which spawned more versions
  • Some rather mean (but funny)
  • And the downright ridiculous. Point here is that the action was very simple for people to do, it enabled people to use their own creativity, be a part of a movement, while at the same time allowing organic spread of a message/logo/icon.
  • Greenpeace decided that BPs logo did not properly represent its recent actions in the Gulf, so they ran a competition to redesign the BP logo
  • Crowdsourced – send the call out to supporters Utilise existing systems – eg flickr Also broadcasts itself, by using a social network like flickr
  • As a result, they went from this
  • To this. Furthering the campaign, this logo was sent back out to the supporters, asking them to disseminate A photo exhibition of the best entries was held around the world, as well as on the pavement outside BP HQ using visuals is a powerful way to communicate a message - involving the public makes it even more powerful
  • Australia currently spends 0.29% of GNI on foreign aid. This is well short of the 0.7% that would be Australia’s ‘fair share’ We wanted to make aid spending an issue during the 2010 Federal election campaign
  • We put a simple Twitter action on the MPH site Hundreds of people took this action (hard to quantify exact numbers) Aid spending became an issue for the major parties – the Coalition committed to a specific Foreign Aid Ministry, and both the Coalition and the ALP raised their commitment to 0.5%
  • Quick and easy – one click activism Very visible – politicians cannot ignore, as they know others can see the action Personal – from individual account to politicians’ account Viral – friends of friends of friends will see message Circular – broadcast provides link back to initial action page Conversational – asking politicians a question is very different to demanding specific action
  • Campaigns don’t have to be complicated or well-funded. They just have to have impact where it counts Sarah Palin’s Facebook page – very controlled and not a likely place for an activism campaign
  • But where there’s a will, there’s a way Co-ordinated effort to put a message into the digital space of an opponent Transient (was taken down within an hour) but powerful in showing determination
  • Evaluation and reporting is one of the most important things you can do. With online campaigning, the figures are very accessible and data-mashing can produce amazingly accurate results. Learn from them. Here is an example of Oxfam’s monthly reporting mechanism.
  • Google Analytics reporting
  • Facebook page reporting
  • Twitter reporting (via Hootsuite)
  • Online campaigning

    1. 1. Taking a campaign online Tim Norton Digital Campaigns Co-ordinator Oxfam Australia [email_address] @norton_tim / @OxfamAustralia
    2. 2. Online campaigning vs traditional <ul><li>ONLINE </li></ul><ul><li>Transient/impermanent </li></ul><ul><li>Reactive </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-media enabled </li></ul><ul><li>Hub-based with linkages </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted to fit market </li></ul><ul><li>Communication based </li></ul><ul><li>TRADITIONAL </li></ul><ul><li>Real-life record/presence </li></ul><ul><li>Reactive and proactive </li></ul><ul><li>Selective media based </li></ul><ul><li>Centralised communications </li></ul><ul><li>Usually attempts to create own market </li></ul><ul><li>Community based </li></ul>Online campaigning is rarely stand-alone. It is a component within a wider campaign.
    3. 3. Nestle Palm Oil
    4. 4. Nestle Palm Oil
    5. 5. Nestle Palm Oil
    6. 6. The Wishing Tree
    7. 7. The Wishing Tree
    8. 8. The Wishing Tree
    9. 9. Greens Election
    10. 10. Greens Election
    11. 11. Greens Election
    12. 12. Greens Election
    13. 13. Behind the logo
    14. 14. Behind the logo
    15. 15. Behind the logo
    16. 16. Behind the logo
    17. 17. The Poverty Question
    18. 18. The Poverty Question @JuliaGillard - will you commit Australia's overseas aid spending to 0.7 percent of GNI this election? #ausvotes @TonyAbbotMHR - will you commit Australia's overseas aid spending to 0.7 percent of GNI this election? #ausvotes
    19. 19. The Poverty Question
    20. 20. Keep Fear Alive
    21. 21. Keep Fear Alive
    22. 22. Evaluation
    23. 23. Evaluation
    24. 24. Evaluation
    25. 25. Evaluation
    26. 26. Key points to remember Identify your audience Where do they interact or get their information? Is an online campaign the best way to get to them? Be committed Be prepared for things to take time. Be a part of the community you’re attempting to empower/engage with. Be realistic about workload Do you have the hours to commit to managing the campaign in an ongoing sense? How can you build your plans accordingly? Scheduling? Sharing workload? Identify your aim What is the aim of your overall campaign? How does digital campaigning fit into this? Tools Pick your tools according to your aims and learn them well from the outset. Evaluation Collect statistics and records on everything. Build in report-back mechanisms to your campaign.