A screen shot from a DC based Gun Violence Prevention activist of a tweet that was picked up by national media.
January 20th was the anniversary of the first Women’s March. No one knew what to expect. Personally, I was blown away by the turnout. The weather was perfect (at least in Washington, DC), so that helped. The #MeToo movement is also growing and evolving. And Trump is still in power and still tweeting. He is not going away. So, who seemed to have a good strategy to get seen and heard during the 100’s of marches with the hundreds of thousands of people?
As a digital strategist, I look at these types of events as a chance to get my clients message into the “mainstream” of news and images coming from these types of global events.
How can your organization “news jack” an event to insert your messaging (appropriately, of course)?
Who seemed to have a good plan in place? I could be biased, but the savvy folks at Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA) appeared to have a plan in place that was executed very well. While I am not on staff at MDA, I have been paying close attention to what they do and know some of their lead volunteers in the Virginia and DC areas.
Here are some of the things that I’ve observed MDA (and others) do over the years to dominate social media and therefore “mainstream” media coverage.
Provide AWESOME Signs to volunteers with clear organization branding and messaging. Encourage volunteers to bring those signs to every single event that they participate in and ask that they take photos with those signs clearly displayed. See the MDA #ExpectUs sign in the image above.
Provide social media guidance in advance. Ensure that your volunteers understand what the event is about and provide BOTH event hashtags for social media (think #WomensMarch) as well as your organization’s hashtags (#ExpectUs). Click here to see the live #ExpectUS twitter feed. Encourage your volunteers to tag themselves with your organization’s twitter handle as well (@MomsDemand).
Monitor and amplify your volunteer social media posts during and after the event. Make sure that your social media team and social media volunteers are monitoring your hashtags and @ mentions so that your national and state accounts can amplify (retweet and share) what they are doing on the ground.
HAVE FUN: These volunteers always look like they are having FUN! This is important. Non volunteers can see these images, both in the media and in their friends social feeds, and can see themselves having fun as well!
What did you notice from the Women’s March that worked?