Reporting from Netroots Nation in Providence, RI
This afternoon there were a few great sessions that I went to, one of which was on Rapid Response in the digital age. Rapid response is all about seeing your window of opportunity within the conversations happening around your issues, getting in on a conversation, or creating a new conversation QUICKLY and IN TIME with whatever is going on. The present gave us a run down of the ABCs for rapid response for social media advocacy:
- A is for pay Attention
- Keep your eyes open and your ears perked for news that is about you or news that impacts you…in fact, all day, every day was the presenter’s moto.
- Check-in with your social media (Twitter, Facebook, news outlets, etc) often but stay on task
- A good tool for this is Google Alerts because you can tell google to send you a message every time “The Network for LGBT Health Equity” comes up in any online news or media source
- B is for Be ready
- Anticipate: don’t just wait for things to happen, try to stay ahead of the game by watching trends in your area and interest around you
- Know your narrative and your message: once something happens that requires a rapid response make sure you know what your response is. Part of rapid response in social media is NOT having to run to and from your EDs office to ask what to say next…Also, it is important to advance a positive narrative and to redirect if necessary so that your response is promoting your message and your issues.
- Save some ammunition: this means that if you have to respond to something unfriendly you have some tricks up your sleeve like pictures and written material ready to go. This doesn’t only go for unfriendly things and sometimes its ok to use some humor in tense places.
- C is for Close
- When trying to wind down from a rapid response situation take some time in closing off the conversation or situation…make sure you are saying what you need to say and aren’t typing nonsense.
- Be thoughtful…at the end of the day we’re (well all of us associated with The Network anyway) trying to do something good using all these mediums of social media, so don’t be a jerk.
Our work and campaigns are not hinged on social media, but social media can certainly enhance our work and campaigns, because it gives out platforms an audience. Even if our goal is to get the US Census to collect better data on LGBTQ people, social media is a tool for conversations and to interject into other conversations. It’s pretty cool.