EYHC 2011: Social Media in Social Justice Advocacy


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(Connections) This session was facilitated by Eamon Waterford and Heather Marano from UnitingCare Children, Young People & Families.

Over 2011, UnitingCare Burnside has been using social media to build a community for policy and advocacy work. This session covers a case study on the "...because children matter" campaign and how services can engage with social media to forward social justice.

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EYHC 2011: Social Media in Social Justice Advocacy

  1. 1. Social media in social justice …because children matter Heather Marano and Eamon Waterford Ending Youth Homelessness Conference 24 th November
  2. 2. Jayden
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Purpose of the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Running the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Key learnings </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  4. 4. About UnitingCare Burnside <ul><li>Founded in 1911 </li></ul><ul><li>Part of UnitingCare Children, Young People and Families </li></ul><ul><li>700 Staff, across NSW </li></ul><ul><li>Runs a diverse range of services in city, regional, rural and remote locations </li></ul><ul><li>Spectrum of care: Prevention and Early Intervention to Child Protection – OOHC, youth services </li></ul>
  5. 5. Goals of the Campaign <ul><li>Key goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To commemorate the UnitingCare Burnside Centenary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To advocate on the issues experienced by vulnerable children and young people </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Objectives of the Campaign <ul><li>How we wanted to achieve these goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish our Social Media presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a long-term supporter base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell stories to put a human face on the stats. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain what makes a difference in transforming people ’s lives </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Target Audience <ul><li>Internal Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Uniting Church Congregations </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion Makers/ Policy Influencers </li></ul><ul><li>Other progressive advocacy organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Other progressive individuals </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Campaign <ul><li>10 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>1 story per day </li></ul><ul><li>5 issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Young family homelessness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable children and young people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Juvenile justice </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Campaign elements
  10. 13. Preparation
  11. 14. Social Media Policy <ul><li>Create guidelines of acceptable usage and behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a problem you then have recourse to resolve </li></ul><ul><li>Policies must be for both usage of organisational and private accounts </li></ul>
  12. 15. Risk Management <ul><li>Identify possible risks </li></ul><ul><li>Create an action / escalation plan if risks occur </li></ul><ul><li>Important to keep risks in mind – but not to let it deter you from venturing into social media </li></ul>
  13. 17. Tone & Voice on Social Media <ul><li>What is your tone? </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated with all your advocacy and communication channels </li></ul><ul><li>Social media permits a more informal tone, within limits </li></ul>
  14. 18. What are you going to say? <ul><li>Key Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Positions on issues </li></ul><ul><li>Know your boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Old content </li></ul><ul><li>Have enough things to say! </li></ul>
  15. 19. Running the Campaign
  16. 20. Social media day-to-day <ul><li>Monitor your channels daily </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegated SM monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constantly evaluate what is working </li></ul>
  17. 21. Engage in a conversation <ul><li>Social Media is a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Provide space for comments and responses </li></ul><ul><li>Join in other people ’s conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Don ’t just push out content </li></ul>
  18. 23. How to maximise exposure <ul><li>Tap into existing resources and events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Homeless Person ’s Week </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tap into opinion leaders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greg Smith – Attorney General </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities for people to share your content </li></ul>
  19. 24. Challenges <ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Handling the odd negative comment </li></ul><ul><li>Too much disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>No comments </li></ul><ul><li>Momentum </li></ul>
  20. 25. Successes <ul><li>Established social media channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceeded targets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Told important stories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value for the organisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value for the individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built networks with other organisations – not just usual suspects </li></ul><ul><li>Took action </li></ul>
  21. 26. Key Learnings
  22. 27. Collaborate in Social Media <ul><li>Territory and silos in the NGO sector </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility comes from community </li></ul><ul><li>Generosity </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Praise work, regardless of origin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ReTweeting/link to work done by others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Everyone ’s learning </li></ul>
  23. 28. Content Matters <ul><li>We had the best response when content was: </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia – video, photos, graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-layered – both stories and stats </li></ul><ul><li>Honest </li></ul><ul><li>The start of a conversation </li></ul>
  24. 29. Content
  25. 30. Growth takes time and resources <ul><li>Not linear – exponential </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent on momentum </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations that do it well are engaged daily. </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate time for using social media </li></ul>
  26. 31. Evaluation <ul><li>An ongoing process – not just at the end </li></ul><ul><li>Look for what works, what isn ’t getting interest </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt </li></ul>
  27. 32. Young Family Homelessness
  28. 33. Questions? <ul><li>www.becausechildrenmatter.org.au </li></ul>