When Nobody Knows Your Name: Using Social to Get the Word Out
The Walk for America’s Children is a big undertaking. No one attempts to walk 1000 miles without engaging in some planning and organizing. As the Lead Coordinator, I choose to ask others lots of questions and formed a think tank group on Facebook. Activists love to give advice. Because I alternate between faith-inspired confidence and being overwhelmed, I usually welcome said advice.
Two pieces of advice were repeatedly given over and over again.
1) Use social media to get the word out.
By2015:AMERICA has Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube and, of course, this blog. Since I possess access to all six accounts, I manage the content too. (See the overwhelmed comment.)
I think this department is covered. After three years of near constant usage of socia’ media, I think I understand it and know how to use it.
2) Contact media beforehand to let them know you are coming.
Easier said than done. I was able to secure a list of Florida newspapers off the web. I made a few phone calls and learned that the list gave me a lot of West Coast newspapers. The Walk is up the East Coast. So, I changed plans and started picking up newspapers along the Walk.
Here is a sample email sent to a religious reporter. Her column was in the Boca Raton Forum. I am iit here so that if you get so inclined and want to help us out, you have a concrete example of what an email to a media person looks like.
Greeting: Peace be unto you, Sister. (John 20:19 and 21; Luke 24:36)
Introduction: “While recovering from a 18.2 mile launch of ‘The Walk for America’s Children’ in Boca Raton, I read your column inside the Boca Raton Forum. Thank you for your inspiring words. They gave me a lift, especially as my body reminded me that I am no longer a young man.
Included in this email is a message which closely resembles the one placed underneath a YouTube video shot during the first day of the Walk. It contains several “links” and a method to communicate with me. I pray that our mission resonates in your heart.
Body of the Email: At 10 pm on September 3, 2013 two Alaskan anti-hunger activists, Juneau’s Hari Dev Singh Khalsa and Anchorage’s Kokayi Nosakhere, launched the “Walk for America’s Children.”
The pair seek to raise the average American’s awareness that child hunger exists inside the Unites States by walking 1000 miles from Ft. Lauderdale to Washington D. C. Twenty-one million children access free and reduced breakfast and lunch according to the Food Research and Action Center or FRAC.
An August 27, 2013 article promoted by the national organization, Share Our Strength, quotes a Florida teacher explaining how hunger affects student performance in the classroom. It appears that school lunch is the one secure meal Florida children can count on.
Feeding America, which supports America’s 205 official food banks, counts 1 out of 4 children living in poverty-rate households. That’s 31 million, under the age of 18, or a quarter of an entire generation of children experiencing hunger against their will.
In a video, taken at 4 am on September 4, 2013, Kokayi Nosakhere explains that September is Hunger Awareness Month.
He outlines HOW you can assist in raising awareness to the child hunger crisis happening in America.
1) Use social media – Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Google Plus, Craigslist – to share the updates for The Walk for America’s Children.
2) Assist in getting our message to media along our suggested route. For more information please visit our blog:
Proposed: End Child Hunger Act (Small Government Version) |
3) Donate to our Indiegogo campaign. We estimate that we will need $5,000 and the generous help of local people to make this 1000 mile walk a success.
Thank you for choosing to contribute your time, talent and energy towards this noble cause. You can email the Lead Coordinator at email@example.com“
What do you think? Sounds good but, so far, she has not responded. We might have to come up with some additional ideas to get the word out. Until those ideas come, the goal is to keep being as creative as possible.
Please send any ideas or how you feel that you can help spread the word to: firstname.lastname@example.org