Building Movements: Beyond Emails, Campaigns, and Organizations


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Experiences gleaned from the Upwell pilot: thinking of issues as brands, going beyond orgs and campaigns, big listening, giving permission to evangelists, raising attention baselines.

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  • Thank you for inviting me here to share some of our work.
  • The ocean is our client.Upwell is a social media PR agency, forging new models in a pilot phase that concludes in March.It’s a big idea, one that really resonated with me in initial conversations with Vikki Spruill. The ocean faces complex issues that need big new ideas to break through. This idea is huge.
  • Who is on your big team? How can you listen big to the conversation you care about?
  • Upwell is charged with conditioning the climate for changeLay a foundation so ocean orgs can go faster.To do that, we’ve had to invent a kind of meteorology of issue conversations online. With big data tools available, we can actually peer into the swirling currents of online conversation by monitoring social mentions, or posted social items like Tweets, blog posts and facebook shares. This data is out there, and having it as context levels you up above competitive campaigning to a bigger issue-wide perspective. Peers start to look a lot more like really awesome help for overfishing gaining more attention.
  • In Dec 2011,I shared this conceptual drawing. We were in the early stages of Keyword-based social data scrapingI told you we’d map the conversation online, build keyword sets to capture the conversation, and use a dashboard to monitor it daily.This year, I can share that we’ve done that. We know the shape of these conversations, we know their relative volumes, and we use that insight to run successful attention campaigns.Big listening is possible, and we’ve published a guest post Beth Kanter’s blog about it. Bethkanter,com/biglistener
  • Why does the ocean need an organization like Upwell. My colleagues are well aware of the crisis the ocean faces, but we have major work to do with the American public.Why else?Because the corporate world is full of rooms social media war room. They use the same monitoring tool, Radian6, that we do.Nestle uses this war room to monitor their brand. We use our war room to monitor the brand of the ocean.We believe we can create brand ambassadors for the ocean. We’re stealing their model, and evolving it to be more durable. The ocean is our client, and we’re watching out for our clients online brand. (Source: Photo credit : credit :
  • We make spikes. That’s what we do at Upwell in this phase.This drawing is a quick, dirty primer if you’ve never worked on shaping online conversations. When I say shaping conversations now, I’m referring to literal shapes.That black line is what would have happened without intervention. Ultimately, Upwell hopes to shape the conversation four ways:More echoHigher baselineLonger spikeBigger spike: at this stage, we’re focused on understanding how to create as many as possible. I’ll show you how in a minute.
  • We work in a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment. And we finally can KNOW the shape of it. This is what 2012 has looked like so far. Each line represents the social mention volume in one of our issue keyword sets.We suspected that the ocean conversation was pretty big, and that jagged blue line often hangs out at 140000 unique social mentions a day. That pair of pink lines is sharks and cetaceans. Shark week makes big spikes, but cetaceans get more social mentions a day. Hanging out on the bottom of the graph are tuna, overfishing, the Gulf of mexico, ocean acidification, sustainable seafood and tiny tiny MPAs. The relative scale of these conversations is really different.
  • Shark Week is the biggest attention spike within the eight ocean issues we monitor. Off the chart big. We saw it as an opportunity to expand audiences, and to grow our distributed network. Its like a forecast for big wave surfing, we could predict this one, watch it roll in, and really surf it.Ambassadors for the ‘shark’ brand, drawing on the power of the broad grassroots to create aggregate impact.Many of your organizations have staff subscribed to our Tide Report email alerts. If you’re active in online communications, you should sign up too. Projection is an intriguing service.Can we set an ambitious goal to spike a conversation?This work identifying opportunity points in a conversation is what we’ve been approached about by several other foundations.
  • Safeway Tuna shows how a massive grassroots success can help create echoes on blogs and in traditional media. We combine Mainstream Pitches with the grassroots reach of our distributed network for big aggregate results.At their request, we advised Greenpeace on their social media launch of a FAD-free Safeway tuna win, with a nice hunk for Facebook shares resulting. We used a growing relationship with Fast company to place a CSR article there. Then it was covered by Mark Bittman in the NYT, we produced that tuna can graphic in the article.Total Social Mentions: 2,560 (Greenpeace)1103(Fast Company) 537(Bittman) 920Going outside the choirTake editorial out of editorial pages, meet people where they are
  • This is a graph of Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes for Overfishing and Sustainable Seafood Conversations Aug 10-Nov 12, 2012. All of those radio dots are successful campaign moments since August this year, bumping well above the orange baseline metrics we’ve calculated. This is essentially a detail graph of the black graph I shared three slides ago.
  • So sharks aren’t really our focus. We work mostly on sustainable seafood and overfishing.But Ray reaaaaaaly loves sharks. This could be a big problem.
  • Do you have some really big fans on your staff?
  • Have you ever wondered how an Upwell campaign works? What is the process by which we identify, clarify and amplify an issue? How do we devise a campaign plan, whether it’s a campaign that lasts only an hour or one that is spread over several days? There’s more to it than posting a tweet with a link and then move on.   The graphic above illustrates our creative process from beginning to end.
  • Big Listening is the art of gaining insight by tracking topical online conversations over time. Big Listening is distinguished from traditional social media monitoring by its scale, fluidity, focus on issue or cause monitoring, and expanded access to historical data. Using monitoring and measurement tools such as Radian6, Topsy Pro, Google Alerts and Tweetdeck, Upwell builds a meteorology of ocean conversations, pinpointing opportunities for intervention. Matt Fitzgerald has detailed some of our Big Listening insights on our blog.
  • We identify opportunities for our distributed online campaigning network through our daily Big Listening. We find out what is spiking, and join the conversation. We choose opportunities based on the ever-changing tides of the internet. We find hooks in mainstream news and cherrypick the most shareable content.
  • We look for news and content that we think has been egregiously under-amplified. Sometimes a hot piece of news just wasn’t packaged in the right way. We mine our network and find the awesome stuff that few have seen, and we repackage it to go farther. We write the great tweet to go with that video. We pair actions with news. We make tweetable summaries for wonky reports. Saray Dugas, our designer extraordinaire, gives boring content flair.
  • Upwell’s network is key to our success. Our attention campaigns are primarily amplified not by our organization alone, or by a dedicated base of supporters we’ve built over many years, but rather by the network of ocean communicators that we regularly contact through the Tide Report, our social media channels, and our blog. It’s more of a syndication model than a direct-to-consumer model. We call these fellow conservation comrades our “distributed network.” They take the curated content we share with them and translate it out to their audiences through the communications channels they maintain.
  • We measure the impact of our campaigns by counting social mentions. Social mentions are online acts of self-expression in which individuals, organizations and other entities invest (at least) a small amount of social capital. We do that with our Big Listening tools (Radian6, Topsy Pro, etc.), and we also hand count social mentions that don’t have our monitored keywords (like shares of images). Sharedcount is one of our favorite tools for doing this. We don’t just count social mentions, we also look for trends to try to understand what types of content generate conversation about the ocean.
  • We strive to not just collect data on the online ocean conservation, but also to improve our practices and share what we’ve learned with the sector. On a monthly, quarterly or to-order basis, we export and graph Big Listening data based on the most current keyword groups. With this data, we create reports, blog posts and other types of synthesis for external audiences. We gather feedback and process what we’ve discovered in order to improve our methodology. (For more on our sharing practices, read Rachel Weidinger’s post about how we were born to share.)
  • Building Movements: Beyond Emails, Campaigns, and Organizations

    1. 1. Big Team OceanBig ListeningRachel Weidinger@rachelannyesApril 11, 2013
    2. 2. 140,000120,000100,00080,00060,00040,00020,000
    3. 3. 140,000120,000100,00080,00060,00040,00020,000
    4. 4. #sharkinar Follow and Tweet!
    5. 5. 1,800,000 1,683,6701,600,0001,400,0001,200,0001,000,000 800,000 745,030 600,000 400,000 200,000 133,167 0 Shark Week 2010 Shark Week 2011 Shark Week 2012
    6. 6. Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes for Overfishing and Sustainable Seafood Conversations Aug 10-Nov 12, 20126000 OF1: OF 17: Shark Week I Oyster NY OF9: (off the page. 8,701 OF2: Cathay Jaws social mentions) OF6:5000 Vote4theOcean OF18: OF19: OF3: Livestrong Antarctic Great White OF8: OF5: Costa Rica OF20: How4000 Prop37 Social OF21: OF4: Livestrong Political OF7: Whitetip3000 OF22: Listener OF 10 -16: Antarctic2000 (OF13: off the chart. 6,922 social mentions)1000 0 8/10 8/12 8/14 8/16 8/18 8/20 8/22 8/24 8/26 8/28 8/30 9/11 9/13 9/15 9/17 9/19 9/21 9/23 9/25 9/27 9/29 10/1 10/3 10/5 10/7 10/9 10/11 10/13 10/15 10/17 10/19 10/21 10/23 10/25 10/27 10/29 10/31 11/2 11/4 11/6 11/8 11/10 11/12 9/1 9/3 9/5 9/7 9/9
    7. 7. Forever Alone?Not going toget muchmission done
    8. 8. 1. @rdearborn worksfor me.She rather likessharks.
    9. 9. Slide 3: Example 2 of situation illustrating ugly with humor 2.
    10. 10. Tip:Use abundance as your frame.
    11. 11. Slide 6: How To Solve 3 Tips: #2 Tip: Make a basket for passion.
    12. 12. Slide 7: How To Solve 3 Tips: #3Tip:Catch team interestUse it as mission fuel.
    13. 13. Big Listening
    14. 14. Identify Opportunities
    15. 15. Package Content
    16. 16. Distributed Network
    17. 17. Measure Impact
    18. 18. Improve Practice& Share
    19. 19.
    20. 20. The Overfishing Conversation Winter 2011Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011- Jan 2012140001200010000 8000 NU-1 6000 NU-2 4000 2000 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Baseline Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV OF verfishing O
    21. 21. The Overfishing Conversation Spring 2012Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Feb 2012- May 2012 14000 12000 NU-3 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Baseline Mean +1 STDEV Spike Threshold OF verfishing O
    22. 22. The Overfishing ConversationUpwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Jun 2012- Sep 2012 Summer 2012140001200010000 China Shark Fin Soup Ban 8000 Cathay Pacific 6000 Shark Week NU-4 Livestrong 4000 2000 0 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Baseline Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV Overfishing OF
    23. 23. The Overfishing Conversation Winter 2012Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012- Jan 2013 Gangnam Style, CA MPAs, Fish Tornado 14000 12000 Antarctic Ocean (day 10) & I Oyster NY Pacific Bluefin the 96.4% 10000 NMS 40th & NYT Trawling NU-5 8000 Vote4the How to Kill Seamounts Cuomo Ocean JAWS vs a Great White Oysters NY & Rooftops Sinatra Costa Rica Big Blue 6000 Fin Ban Blogs 4000 2000 Antarctic Antartic (day 1 of 15) (day 15) 0 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Baseline Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV OFOverfishing
    24. 24. The Overfishing Conversation Winter 2011Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011- Jan 2012140001200010000 8000 NU-1 6000 NU-2 4000 2000 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Baseline Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV OF verfishing O
    25. 25. How can you givepermissionfor an upwellingon *your* team? <3, @upwell_us