Guide to Digital Media

The #1 communication tool in an organizing campaign is a face-to-face conversation where we can listen to people and talk to them where they live.    

Today, people “live” online, too. Whether it’s checking email or hopping on a Facebook app on their phone, people are spending more time on smartphones and computers than ever before. Remember, for every cool new trick, there is at least one downside. User beware!

 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Communication by email, Facebook, Twitter and texting is fast but whether it's an effective tool for organizing will depend on what you want to accomplish, the people you want to reach and the time you have to invest. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is this an internal campaign where you are only communicating among co-workers?
  • Do you need to keep communication private?
  • What platforms are people using already?
  • How do people communicate with each other now? At work and outside of work? How is this related to the types of jobs they have?
  • Are you sharing information, connecting people or trying to get people to do something?
  • Does your campaign involve communicating to the employer or community and does it have a “public” message?
  • How much time do you have to devote to a digital program?
  • Do you have a budget for communications?

 PICKING THE RIGHT TOOLS

Like other written communication (mail, leaflets), a digital communications plan should complement the overall one-on-one outreach and committee program that is central to the organizing campaign. For every cool new trick, there is at least one downside. Here’s a quick guide to choosing.

Tool

Good Tool for…  

Not So Good for…

Email

Asking people to take action online, sharing information (personal, not activist emails).

Messages that require a quick response.

Text Messaging/ SMS

One-on-one or small group communication, fast messages that require a quick response.

People who aren’t texters or don’t have their phones handy at certain times of the day because of work schedules.

Facebook

Creating a public Facebook page for your campaign, closed groups for people to privately talk to each other.

Posting updates that are urgent or messages that need to be seen. Email and text messaging are better in those circumstances.

Twitter

Live-tweeting events, putting public pressure on a campaign target.

Asking people to take action, sharing longer pieces of info unless you are tweeting links, but people are less likely to read those.

Webpage/

Microsites

Giving your campaign a professional and legitimate look. Creating a place for workers and the community to find information.

Communication and information that should be kept private or for certain eyes only.

YouTube

Video curation if you plan on creating a lot of videos you want to share and embed on websites and blogs.

Sharing detailed info (people have short attention spans).

Instagram

Pictures and videos of workers.

Disseminating information. You cannot share links in Instagram posts to outside websites.