A major way in which students can create a noticeable impact at the global level is through social media. By utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and other digital platforms, students can contact, inform, and mobilize groups of advocates to create a digital surge – or “trend” – for a campaign. Once your campaign is launched and online attention has been generated, new supporters and advocates may contact you for more information on what they can do to help. You should actively cultivate contact information as well, in order to contact potential members.
In 2014, students at Ohio State University and Catholic University took action on their campuses for the #HeForShe solidarity movement in response to Emma Watson’s speech on gender equality at the UN General Assembly. #HeForShe aims to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls. As a public awareness campaign for the issue, Ohio State students spread the word by asking students to take photos with the #HeForShe moniker and posted the photos to social media platforms.
Do it Yourself:
- While planning your rally, consider using phrases or slogans that are easy to remember – something that both captures attention and explains its purpose.
- Schedule the rally for a day and time at which many students are likely to be online (i.e., evening as opposed to early morning).
- Publicize your digital rally at least a week in advance of your scheduled event date. You can do this in-person by handing out flyers and posting them to billboards, or online by sharing the event on your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Provide hashtags and links appropriately, and consider creating an event page.
- Recruit local organizations and student groups that could assist you in getting the word out. Since the rally is digital, you will not be confined to your specific location; your campaign can be nationwide, if not global.
- Consider documenting your event by taking photos of students holding posters or other materials relating to your campaign. You can post these to social media to create an even larger boost in popularity.