PSAC Mobilizing Members

These reference notes are for the participants of the November 22nd PSAC Workshop. Enjoy!

The menu of methods

Models of communication

  • One to one: Email, SMS, Phone call, Skype, webcams
  • One to many: Youtube, Mailing lists, Blogs, Voice Broadcasts, streaming video
  • Many to many: Facebook, forums, Conference calls, twitter, Chat rooms

Flavour of communication

  • Instant (synchronous) or Delayed (asynchronous)
  • Text or Multimedia

Management of communication

  • Unmoderated or Moderated (PR problem)
  • Public or Private (Security problem)

Key sites and their uses

flickr.com — Online photo gallery
use: A place to share images with others, as well as find creative commons images for your own use. Also can be a good outreach tool, through the use of tagging and participating in groups.

twitter.com / SMS broadcast — Short bursts of information (usually about 140 characters)
use: Quick broadcasts that can be done with cell phones, to keep members informed or remind them to take action

blogspot.com/ wordpress.com / livejournal.com — Blog hosting sites
use: Longer pieces of information, suited also to editorializing and reflecting. Provides updates or context for members, while getting a chance to hear — and address — their reactions

facebook.com / ning.com / Myspace.com (don’t bother) — Social networking sites
use: To increase visibility for politicians, to organize and promote events, to create groups that can help facilitate the broadcast of information. Benefit from built in audience, and newsfeed feature.

youtube.com — Videos online
use: Hosting and sharing of Public Service Announcements, good source of content, good tool for outreach to members and media (inspiration and counterspin).

del.icio.us / Ma.gnolia.com — shared bookmarks
use: collaborative research projects

digg.com / stumbleupon.com — shared content through social networks
use: content promotion

meetup.com – event coordination
use: planning events / meetings / actions

Basecamp / Backpack — project planning
use: planning event and coordinating remotely

Wikipedia.org — free online encyclopedia
use: tracking public knowledge and discourse (wikipedia is many people’s first stop for information about an organization)

Skype.comVOIP online telephone
use: everything a phone does (regular calls, conference calls) but free

Case studies

The most successful initiatives do the following:

Inform:

Provide information to those who need it

Advise:

Once they have it, helping them make sense of it

Act:

Once they understand it, providing the tools to help them act on it

Internal audience - one to many - SMS messaging

  • Patients receiving text message reminders to take their medicine, so they no longer waste time and money travelling to their nearest clinic.
  • Farmers finding out the current market price before deciding whether to take their produce to market that day.
  • National parks communicating details about dangerous animals, providing an early warning system to mitigate against human-wildlife conflict.
  • Union members in the Asia getting private (invisible) reminders to attend certification votes
  • Amnesty International sending thousands of text “signatures” in support of prisoners

Internal audience - many to many - bargaining blog

http://www.cupe391.ca/blog2/CUPE Local 391 Bargaining blog kept members up-to-date on every step of the bargaining process.

External audience - one to many - strike support website

http://www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca/ — solicited and was home to shows of public support, provided public and media with counterspin

External audience - many to many - SPP protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St1-WTc1kow
http://flickr.com/photos/emiliep/1206638928/
result: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/08/23/police-montebello.html

External audience - many to many - Ushahidi

http://www.ushahidi.com — a platform that crowdsources crisis information by allowing anyone to submit using a mobile phone, email or web form.

External audience - one to many / many to many - Barack Obama

http://www.barackobama.com — only one man was running for president but everyone took ownership of the campaign

Iran Elections- many to many

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1905125,00.html — Worldwide excitement that didn’t really turn into massive change as hoped.

G20 Protests

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2009/10/use-twitter-to-wiretap-yourself-and-megaphone-it-to-the-police/ There are downsides to using public forums for communication.

Glossary

Is located here.