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Category: social media


The Radcomms network has issued a useful brief on how to build good calls to action.


Powerful stories move people to action. Here’s how to create calls to action that work.

Great calls to action are:

1 Specific: Are you asking people to take an action that is observable and that can support your metrics of evaluation? For example, instead of suggesting that people give to your cause, provide a link and suggested amounts, or a way to give a small amount every month. Instead of suggesting that people “educate” themselves, provide a reading list; links to discussion forums; and links to where they can purchase, borrow, or rent resources.

2 Meaningful toward the issue: Will the thing you are asking people to do actually move the needle on the problem you’ve set out to address? Will they feel that, too? When people feel their actions make a difference, they’re more likely to stay engaged and keep taking action. For example, a call to action like “Stand up to racism” might inspire someone, but it could also leave them feeling like they are acting alone, and their action might seem to them like a drop in the bucket in the face of a large and complex problem. It may be more meaningful for people to share their story of how a policy harms them with an elected official, either through a meeting or a letter.

3 Achievable: Is the thing you’re asking someone to do actually possible? Sometimes, we use the goals of our efforts in place of calls to action. This can leave people feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about what action they can take, and lead them to do nothing at all. Instead of offering a call to action like “End structural racism,” which might leave even the most committed and well-meaning activist at a loss, identify the specific conditions you’re trying to change. How might the community you’re inspiring to act create pressure on those who can change the conditions?

4 Easy: As much as possible, make it easy for people to act. Link to sign-ups for events or rallies, create donation pages that make it easy to give, and provide clear instructions about what you want them to do and why it’s important.

5 Participatory: Create space and opportunities for people to bring their own voices and personalities to accepting your call to action.

6 Something it feels like everyone is doing: Our behaviors as individuals are heavily influenced by our perceptions of what people we see as similar to us are doing. So, your call to action might include language like, “People who care about ending economic injustice are [taking XYZ action].”

7 Activate emotions that keep people engaged: Such emotions might include pride, hope, awe, parental love, and sometimes anger.

Memes as a campaigning tool

If you spend more than a few hours a day on the Internet (which, you must admit, is the case for nearly all of us), there are certain things you will come across wherever you are. On Twitter, it’s a food ordering site, on Instagram, some parody account. You can even find them on the hook-up apps. A smiling grandpa with gleaming teeth wearing  doctor’s clothes a guy watching a girl pass by while another girl next to him labels him, as an evil Kermit … They’re everywhere. Literally everywhere.

What they are?

They are memes.


Defining ‘memes

This word seems to have crept into almost all languages. We communicate with memes more and more often. Whether it’s pointing out serious problems or just as a joke.

All righty! We will start, in an academic, nerdy manner, to first define what memes are, by consulting serious researchers and sources.

According to MW Dictionary, this word dates back to evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In Dawkins’ conception of the term, it is “a unit of cultural transmission”—the cultural equivalent of a gene.

Meme found its place in dictionaries, from 2015, which define it as an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or type of item that is spreads widely online especially through social media.

Okay, great, but not every digital content that gains popularity is a meme, right? There is a whole lot of fun contents on the internet, but not all of them are meme.s

So, another question arises – what are essential elements of a meme?

It is an extremely challenging to try to determine the anatomy of such an elastic and evolving concept as a meme.

There are several features.

  • Reproducibility: digitally produced pieces of content must be infinitely reproducible and exploitable across a wide breadth of platforms.
  • Searchability: finished versions of memes, as well as raw templates, should be easy to find.
  • Scalability: digital material is created for a specific audience, but with the knowledge that it can be shared with a much wider audience, wherever the internet reaches.
  • Persistence: although digital items may not last as long as physical objects, they are infinitely transferable and storable in many locations.
  • Adaptable model: memes should have recognisable structures, with spaces for new content.

Maybe it isn’t very appropriate to say, given the times we are living in, but internet memes are probably quite comparable to viruses. They are dependent on living hosts, have the capacity to infect anything and everything, the ability to evolve, to mutate, to grow and, most importantly, to spread.

Because they are ubiquitous and very popular, everyone starts to use them. Just everyone. Businesses, politicians, celebrities … Even activists. Particularly activists! Quite simple to make and even simpler to distribute and disseminate; they can communicate a stance or message at a glance, revealing an issue in such a plain, yet appealing way.

As they have the tendency to spread quickly, constantly evolve and transform, it makes them hard to eliminate in the way that other forms of communicative protest can be silenced.


A wide breadth of international human rights organizations have recognized the importance and capacity of memes in combatting various types of discrimination such as racism, homophobia and transphobia.


Let’s take a look at examples of how memes have been used in LGBTQI+ activism

Political Satire

Do you recall “gay Putin” meme, that became viral in 2013?


As this altered image with lipstick and makeup gained popularity and mobilized the queer movement across Russia, it seems that the Head of State, either out of fear of massive, nationwide mobilization, or dissatisfaction that an internet meme which depicted him with mascara and rainbow colours disrupting his masculine image, started to crack down on both sexual liberties and online speech.

In the very same year, 2013, Russia passed its first “Internet extremism” laws. A year later, President Putin signed a law imposing prison sentences on people supporting banned online posts. In 2015, Russian law enforcement began shutting down websites of Putin critics, restricting virtually all anonymous blogs.

Eventually, in 2017, the Russian Justice Ministry included the “Gay Putin meme” in a registry of “extremist materials,” together with others such as anti-semitic and racist pictures and slogans. It became illegal to distribute the image of a Russian president wearing makeup.

The fierceness of the repression is a clear indicator of how powerful the Russian authorities see this new form of political satire.


Collaborative campaigning

Another example is the “Gay culture is…” meme.

Queerty traced the meme’s origins to early September 2017, when one man’s tweet about his wasted teenage years went viral.



Immediately, Twitter users started producing content in the same format, expressing their own vision of what “Gay Culture” means to them.

The format here is different as the meme invites users not only to share a set content but to collaborate with personal inputs. This format is clearly the expression of the present age of activism that focuses more on active participation than passive sharing.

The final question that remains to be asked is whether memes be considered a ‘slacktivist’ tool, and if so – how strong are they really? In practice so far, it can be said that memes are possibly responsible for helping fuel ongoing discourse on many issues.

Current research suggests that internet memes play an important role in civic expression and citizen empowerment. Queer activists and campaigners have already leveraged this, and with certainty will continue to do so.

Creating your memes

And yeah, I’ve left the best news to the end – memes are very easy to make!

You don’t need  knowledge about design, or be skilled in Photoshop. Just visit THIS website and generate your own meme. You can use some that are already popular or you can popularize your template – simply by uploading the desired photo.

If you want to make a meme out of a gif – just visit this website.


Good luck!


Engaging with supporters outside of campaigns

These precious insights were shared by the UK agency More Onion. More onion works with progressive non-profits to deliver high-impact digital campaigns and fundraising.

One of the biggest challenges of non-profits is how to keep their email audience engaged when there’s no campaigning action to take. Relationships with supporters shouldn’t stop just because you don’t want something from them right now, engaging communications are vital for year-round relationship development and growth. We have been especially impressed at AgeUK’s work in this area and wanted to share one example with you below.

What we love about their emails:

  • The tone and content are clearly developed with a strong understanding of their audience.
  • They clearly value the expertise and experience of their supporters and ask for their input as equals, not just using supporters to amplify the organisation’s own voice.
  • Their communications are brilliantly joined up with other parts of their work, including fundraising. In our experience, this pays off in terms of engagement and income.
  • They take the time to craft thoughtful loyalty emails showing the impact that your past actions and donations are having, not just in numbers, but through personal storytelling and photographs.

4 SMS Best Practices for Your Next Campaign

Tnis article was curated from New Mode

By Rachel Phan, Community Engagement Specialist @ New/Mode

Online course “Communications for Advocacy” in 6 languages

Sogicampaigns and the PITCH program (Aidsfonds/Frontline Aids/Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) are launching a free 10-lesson online course on Communications for Advocacy. 

This course s based on insights of hundreds of campaigners worldwide and aims to help activists and advocates to truly engage, rally and influence people to their advocacy cause. 

The course contains many examples of successful campaigns, many exciting and inspiring videos, interactive exercises, quizzes, and concludes with a 10-step plan to build your communications for advocacy strategy.


We encourage all creative campaigners to check it out: If you think your communication can be improved, it will give you many ideas and examples and will guide you in becoming more strategic about your communication. If you think your communication is already ahead of the curve, this course will help you test your assumptions, and maybe challenge you on some aspects.

Access the online course in EnglishRussianPortugueseBahasa IndonesiaVietnameseBurmese



Reaching your target audience through personalisation engines

Reaching your target audience is often a big challenge for campaigners who want to take their messages beyond the “choir” of existing supporters. So how can you locate your potential supporters, and how can you engage with them?


Targeted advertisement on Facebook/Instagram via  Facebook Business Manager is a solution that a lot of organisations go with, even if many will be very conflicted about funding a social network that is all but politically accountable.

But targeted ads are not necessarily “personal”. Even if the target group is very specific and organisations tailor the message exactly to this segment, it will be a generic message. Even “Hey, young British Trans person!” will read to Gen Z as a “random” message, and might be dismissed accordingly.

The Serbian organisation Da Se Zna offers psychological counselling via a free helpline. To get the information across particularly to people outside of the capital, they practise “classic” FB/IG advertising based on the demographic of FB/IG users. But DSZ also realised that many of the visitors of their website did not get the information about the helpline, or did not use the service. In order to engage with this particular group of people (people who had visited their site but had not called the helpline), they set the Facebook Pixel plugin on their website.

The app identifies the FB/IG profile of the visitors of the website and creates “target groups”. In this case, visitors of the website were getting FB/IG ads that related to their website visit, such as “You were on our site. Do you need additional support, or do you want to talk to someone a little more? We remind you that we hold online consultations every day and that you are always welcome again.”

The plugin lets you further segment sub-groups, in this case a sub-group was created of people who had visited the website and were living outside of the capital city, who got more specific messages such as “It doesn’t matter that you don’t have an organisation to contact! Come back to our site, and feel free to speak with our activists if you feel comfortable enough.”

The drawback of this technique is that people will know that they are being traced. For environments where being traced as LGBTQI+ can cost one’s job, social life, family support, or even life, this can make people very nervous and actually have the opposite effect of having people refrain from searching for help. For FB/IG users, this is mitigated by the fact that most people are rather “open” on social media, but tracking user behavior outside of FB/IG poses many ethical and legal challenges.

As a matter of fact, concerns over privacy and data usage are increasing, and in some countries, this is reflected in new legislation — such as GDPR in the European Union. A facet of GDPR is that data can no longer be captured without getting explicit permission from users, and these guidelines are applicable worldwide. Don’t consider personalization without involving the compliance and regulatory teams in your organization.


Organisations which are confident that they want and can go down the route of personalised targeting will need to travel the complex field of Personalisation Engines.

Personalisation engines function much like Facebook Pixel but work beyond FB/IG. Their application includes placing an organisation’s ads when the targeted user browses the net, or customising their user experience on the organisation’s website: For example, if a college student visits a website, they may see more video options than a senior citizen who wants to read large print.

Integrating a personalization engine into a content management system (WordPress, for example) is not hugely complicated but is better dealt with by professionals. 

This article gives you the basics you need to know in order to stay in the driving seat.

And to help you through the swamp of products, Gartner recently identified 18 in its Magic Quadrant for Personalization Enginesreport.

TikTok – leading LGBTQ youth platform!

TikTok, the app famous for launching newly out rapper Lil Nas X, is a space where many LGBTQ teens feel safe to come out and connect. The best part? Their parents aren’t on it

This Peter may not be Peter Parker, but he is St. Louis, Missouri’s very own Amazing Spider-Man. The 17-year-old recent high school graduate is a member of the Spider-Gang, a cohort of devotees to the comic book character. He’s amassed nearly 21,000 followers on TikTok, the popular new social app whose young users have built massive followings by creating and remixing funny short-form videos.

Peter, who posts under the handle @crashlovesyou, has found his niche slinging webs in a Spidey suit at conventions around the country. He could be a stand-in for Spider-Man: Far From Home actor Tom Holland: He looks, talks and even shares the same name as the fictional webbed warrior. But at the end of Pride Month, Peter cautiously announced one major difference to his TikTok followers.

“TikTok allows us teens to express ourselves more openly, because the majority of our parents don’t know about it,” says Karol, a 17-year-old from Connecticut.


Karol is an up-and-coming TikTok creator with 33,000 followers. But offline, her friends and family don’t know she’s posting satirical videos about being the “disappointing” lesbian daughter of straight Catholic parents. “Parents are on Instagram a lot now,” Karol says. “So in a way, TikTok is definitely ‘gayer’ than Instagram.”

For some LGBTQ teens, the appeal of TikTok is how easy it is to go viral on it. The app functions around a default, algorithmic feed, known as the For You page, which features trending videos curated for each user based on who they follow and what videos they’ve previously liked. Unlike Instagram, TikTok’s default feed is centered on discovery; it’s not filled solely by accounts you follow. As a result, hot new content tends to bubble up quickly. Most teens I spoke with said they had a video go viral within months of creating their account.

While for some users, the intention isn’t always to create “gay” content, TikTok communities form naturally when liking videos with LGBT-inspired hashtags or TikTok’s curated video playlists around themes like “Show Your Pride.” Engaging with LGBT content prompts more LGBT content to surface on your For You page. TikTok is, at its core, a feedback loop. It’s easy to find your people.

That’s why many users create queer content more intentionally. “I wanted to post videos of me being a lesbian so others can relate to my content and push themselves to feel confident with their own sexuality,” says Serenity, 15, a California high schooler with over 107,000 followers.

TikTok’s top queer posts are largely positive. Many are sincere coming-out videos scored to “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross; others involve witty commentary on all the various “types of gay guys.” But sometimes the flood of support can turn punitive.



TikTok may be working out its moderation issues, but it remains a leading platform for LGBTQ youth to connect. “Trans men are getting some representation,” Damien says of one of the communities most often left out of LGBT spaces. As for the haters in his comments, Damien couldn’t care less about what they think of his content. “If they can post their progress with bodybuilding, I can [do the same] with my voice. It’s just a screen.”

Whom to follow on TikTok? This list might be helpful


Source: MEL Magazine




Video content – campaigning trend on fire!

Although the videos have been used for campaign purposes for a long time, they have only recently gained in serious popularity.

Why is video content becoming so popular right now?

Video as a format is certainly and without any doubt more compelling and visually appealing.

But making a video today is easier than ever!

With the help of easily accessible apps like Tik-Tok, it is possible to create viral content without prior design knowledge, or investing large sums of money in the production of video animations.


As well as more brands and organisations tend to utilise videos, consumers are now watching more videos than ever before!

It is estimated that the average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021.

This is a 19% increase in comparison to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84min!


Even though it is not a brand new tactic, vlogging continues capturing social media attention in 2020. People want to feel connected to the organisation or campaigner they invest their resources in! 


Let’s check some useful tips to make your video an effective campaigning tool! 







  1. Have a SEO strategy – or precisely, add keywords, have a title to catch attention, use tags properly and create high-quality thumbnails! 
  2. Make it clear what the video is about! What is this supposed to mean? Add accurate synopsis, plot the main points, or try subscribing the entire video.
  3. Provide testimonials – case studies, likes, views, comments, any sort of social proof showcasing your content is valuable and informative. 
  4. CTAs – Call to actions are a must for your videos. Because once you have encouraged people to watch your video, you should get the most out of it! Incentives, direct links to your landing page, giveaways, presents, free courses, or simple direct message would be beneficial. 
  5. Try maximising the reach – engage with your audience, ask them for feedback, respond to all the comments and invoke a dialogue. Always try to have some budget for paid ads over social media outlets. 

What is a handraiser ? And how can it help you win more supporters?

Handraisers are forms of engagement which ask visitors to add their name in support of a values statement or policy, without an explicit target like a petition.

How can your organisation make the best use of handraisers? This interesting article from Forward Action UK share precious advice

Handraisers with an action daisy chain, promoted by Facebook ads

We find that petitions and handraisers (which ask visitors to add their name in support of a values statement or policy, without an explicit target like a petition – examples from some of our partner organisations here and here) are usually the most cost-effective way to rapidly recruit large numbers of supporters, who you can then re-mobilise via your email programme. Crucially, they can also be very effective at driving people to take a higher bar action (such as donating or messaging an advocacy target) on the thank you slide, straight after signing – provided you’re using technology with an optimised action daisy chain (example here). We’ve worked on projects where the organisation has recouped as much as 50-70% of their ad spend immediately through the daisy chain donate ask.

  • Start by developing a set of 3 – 4 different handraisers with a mix of framings, to be promoted via Facebook ads (also test other channels like Instagram if you have capacity, but Facebook typically drives the best results).
  • Draft a range of Facebook ad creative for each handraiser – at least 4 copy variants and 4 image variants per handraiser, but ideally more – and set your ad campaign up to automatically test and optimise between handraiser framing, ad creative, and a range of target audiences. A lot of the same tips on audiences and ad structure from direct-to-donate Facebook ads in the Tier 1 blog apply here too.
  • If you have (or are able to quickly launch) a telemarketing programme, integrate optional phone fields so people can opt in for calling (example here – organisations using this format of consent for calling typically find 20 – 30% of signups leaving their phone number, but we’ve seen as high as 60%).

If you’re also running direct-to-donate ads, the handraiser Facebook ads should be directly tested against them, as both sets of ads will be targeting similar cold audiences. If your primary goal for both sets of ads is fundraising, you should compare their lifetime return on ad spend (ROAS – i.e. the ratio between ad spend and lifetime income received) and use this to decide how to allocate your budget. You’ll need to give it a couple of weeks of equal spend to give time for people to get to the end of the welcome series (see below) before making your decision.

Unless the ROAS of the direct-to-donate ads is significantly higher, we’d typically suggest prioritising handraiser ads, because they have the big advantage of delivering much greater email list growth (which you can turn into many more high value actions down the line). If the goal of your handraiser ads is primarily advocacy, then you’ll need to manually balance spend against the direct-to-donate ads to ensure both ads sets are able to deliver their goals.

Welcome email series for new signups

Draft a four-to-six email automated welcome series to be sent to everyone who signs up via the handraisers. We find including a welcome survey in your first email, ending with a high value advocacy ask or donate ask, is a really effective way to both drive high levels of engagement (40-60% of email openers click through to take the survey) and generate high value actions. Including the first question in the email itself dramatically increases action rates – we’ve seen by as much as 100% in testing. Here’s an example from Dignity in Dying:

Dignity in Dying's welcome email


After this, each email in the series should contain a single high priority advocacy or fundraising ask. When it comes to planning emails, people often assume they “can’t ask too much too soon” or need to warm up the new supporter with some passive content before asking them to do anything else. However, the data we see suggests in fact the opposite is true: people are most engaged and motivated to take action soon after they’ve signed up, and it’s giving people things to do that feel valuable and impactful that keeps them engaged longer term. You can still tell a story about your organisation in these emails – just do it by bringing the supporter and the impact their action can have into the centre of the narrative.

Optimise your opt in ask format and copy

Getting your opt in ask working well is essential to running a cost-effective handraiser campaign. You should be aiming for a benchmark of 50 – 65% opt in rate; anything lower than that and you’ll start to substantially increase your cost per subscriber from your handraiser ads and reduce the number of high value actions and donations you’re driving through your email programme.

Setting up petition/handraiser technology optimised for driving post-sign up action

As with donation technology, having an optimised user experience for your handraisy action daisy chain has a massive impact on performance. For example, we’ve found adding a Yes/No ask between the signup and donate/share slides increases donation rates by as much as 50%, while adding a “Signed -> Shared -> Donated” progress bar increases people donating as well as sharing by 40%. So if you’re going to be driving increased traffic over the coming months, it’s worth investing in getting your handraiser tech in order now to make sure you’re not missing out on significant numbers of actions or income. If you think this is relevant for you, get in touch and we can discuss getting you set up on our Blueprint handraiser platform as soon as possible.


10 boxes your digital activism must tick

A good campaign is not about your audience passively receiving your message. It’s about interaction, engagement, connection. Here are 10 key success factors to make this happen.




1.Go where your target is. It can never be repeated often enough: engagement happens best where users already are, as opposed to where the campaign is. Hence, the golden rule is to spend 30% of the time on the campaigns’ media and 70% on the media/spaces that the audience already uses. For how this worked with using make-up influencers to increase engagement see this article

2. Make it relatable. People might care for your issue but not enough to take action, unless you frame it in a way that makes them realise the mobilisation is also towards their own interests and motivations. So talk to people’s interests before talking about yours. And it’s best to not assume you know what triggers your audience. A bit of research into this is always a good idea.

3. Make it as easy as possible while still making it meaningful (people are not naive enough to believe they will solve a big problem with a simple click, so infantilizing them is not recommended). Everybody has heard of “slacktivism” or “clicktivism”)

4. Make it innovative. There is lot of digital campaigning going on, so your audience beyond your faithful followers is unlikely to participate in your campaign unless you make it attractive enough, especially if you expect people to share.

5. Make people feel good about their actions. People need rewards. This can be gratitude, visibility of results, etc. For people who strongly focus on recognition, easy tools like leaderboards might be effective

6. Create a community of action. A great example was the “Home to Vote” campaign for the Irish referendum on marriage equality: people who flew back home just so they could vote on the referendum posted images of themselves travelling back and shared pics with #hometovote, which made them part of a small community of “hardcore” supporters. More info HERE

7. Follow up and build on people’s engagement: Keeping people informed of the results of their specific participation is better than sending them « standard » newsletter info. New calls for action should reference and pay tribute to past engagement: it is so annoying when you have participated in several actions and still receive messages as if you had just joined.

8. Make it real. A SMART objective is winnable, targeted, concrete.

9. Enable people. Audiences which are already regularly engaging with your cause don’t appreciate being commanded. They consider themselves committed enough to take a meaningful decision on their involvement. They might appreciate being consulted on new ideas, being invited to webinars, etc.

10. Give people control over what type of information they will receive. This  will make this information more impactful as users consider it as a response to their request and therefore take better ownership. This control can take easy forms such as pre-formatted questions (e.g. “what does my religion (really) say of same-sex relationships?)



Specific engagement strategies on INSTAGRAM 

How to find your audiences where they already are (instead of just hoping they will come to you): an example of how to talk to online gamers about toxic masculinity while they play

How to use unusual influencers to reach your target audience: make-up vloggers become activists

And some resources in general about digital campaigning:

For example this article about what makes people share your content (or not)