2 min Read
February 25, 2013

Create Social Change Anytime Everywhere

Big Duck Intern

This blog post was written by our Strategy Intern, Natasha Winegar. Natasha is a recent graduate of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School. You can follow her on Twitter @natashawinegar.

Many nonprofiteers are trying to figure out the best way to use online tactics and integrate them with offline tools to mobilize communities and create real social change. Amy Sample Ward from NTEN and Allyson Kapin from Rad Campaign provide great guidance on how to do this in their new book: Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community.

At this month’s 501 Tech NYC, Amy shared some insights on how to plan and carry-out effective online multichannel campaigns, generating a great conversation that a paddle of us Ducks are still quacking about.

Here is a recap of some of the information Amy shared from the book:

Your supporters are your superheroes! As champions of your cause, your supporters make change happen. You can enable them to be superheroes by reaching them wherever they are and helping them to take action.

People are increasingly going mobile! 

  • There are 5.2 billion mobile accounts worldwide.
  • 1 in 2 mobile subscribers in the U.S. has a smartphone.

So you need to reach your supporters wherever and whenever they are open to it. It could be that they are reading email on their desktop, checking Facebook on their phone while in line to buy coffee, and/or using their laptop to tweet on an airplane thanks to that new 35,000 feet-up wifi. Yup, your supporters fly and tweet – that’s superhero stuff. If you are not sure where to reach your supporters, ask them.

Not everything is a campaign. Your mission and all of your work are not a campaign. Figure out what your community cares about in relationship to what you care about – make your campaign about that.

Focus in on your shared goals. Identify the issues, services, and programs you work on that your supporters care the most about – what are the hot topics? Identifying these will help you decide the framework of your campaign. Again, if you are not sure, ask your supporters.

Design for distribution. From the very beginning, plan for all of your content to be distributed across multiple channels and make everything shareable.

Cross channel promotion. Bring offline communications online to more deeply engage people.

Avoid campaign kryptonite. It is easy to “do it wrong, quickly.” To prevent this, focus on one objective, not ten and don’t try to please everyone – donors, all targets, staff, etc. Finally, don’t forget who your superheroes are…..

Once you have determined that you are in fact campaigning, here are a steps to do it successfully: 

8 Steps to Creating a Multichannel Campaign Plan

  1. Identify your short-term and long-term goals.

  2. Identify your targets – both supporters and advocacy targets.

  3. Craft your message & define the message hook.

  4. Figure out what actions you want people to take.

  5. Understand how your supporters think.

  6. Understand how they want to be involved.

  7. Set up a campaign calendar and follow it.

  8. Figure out how to reach people in all online communities.

As a last note:

For more great info, check out the book! Join the conversation online and offline at the authors’ other speaking engagements….that would be very multichannel of you.