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Furthering your cause: Getting politically active through social media

July 27th, 2014 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Work

This year at Ottawa’s Social Capital Conference I got the chance to host a roundtable discussion. It was a topic I pitched and something I’m very interested in, and will be more interested in as we approach the 2015 election – how advocates for a cause can get their voices heard by our political representatives and the media.

I made a quick bullet list of things that I consider the basics of a social media campaign for a cause:

  • Be specific, make it simple – Have an ask
  • Build a community and use it – You need more than just ‘likes’ you need activists
  • Target your message and hammer away – Know who to talk to and why they should be interested
  • Follow media and talk to them regularly – Be a resource when you’re not selling anything
  • Have a good hashtag – Great examples are #IdleNoMore, #UnfairElectionsAct and #TellVicEverything

The most important thing social media has done for any political movement is the wider access it has granted to both journalists and politicians. With social media we can level the playing field between large lobbying efforts and grassroots campaigns.

At the conference I also got the change to hear Kristen Scheel talk about the Royal Canadian Mint’s social media campaign around the phasing out of the penny and here are a few take-aways from that session:

  • Take some risks, try different things and then go with what works
  • Share related content created by others
  • Simple is better

All great rules.

Some great related content:

Andrew MacDougall: How the internet hurts political reporting and breeds spin

Wired.co.uk: Only social media can fix the crisis of modern politics

: Likes, Retweets and Follows: Politics in the Age of Social Media  

The Insiders: Twitter’s Influence on Canadian Politics Y

You can also visit my blog at Absolute Equality, where I talk about political issues that are important to me.

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