Sifting Through Digital Noise to Make Your Campaign Heard

May 14, 2015


FleishmanHillard/Digital Diplomacy Coalition Event Lays Out Rules for Engagement, Measurement and Action

Last week, The Embassy of Sweden (@SwedeninUSA) (or House of Sweden, as it’s officially branded – complete with an IKEA green room) was abuzz with some of the Washington diplomatic community’s most prolific digital strategists for the latest Digital Diplomacy Coalition event (@digidiplomats).

Focused on building campaigns that both garner public attention and translate into action with measurable results, the event – “Digital Campaign for Social Change” – brought together a diverse audience and panel of speakers to address the question of the night: how to build a campaign that both garners attention and translates into action with measurable results.

Moderated by MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, the discussion focused on the evolution of technology’s role in promoting global action and thought, and the data that drives and measures successful social media campaigns. FleishmanHillard’s own Sam Huxley spoke on the event panel alongside Maggie Schmitz from the UN’s HeForShe (@HeforShe) campaign; Dayna Geldwert from UN Foundation’s Girl Up (@GirlUp) campaign; and Erik Wirkensjö, the Swedish Embassy’s Midwives4All (@midwives4all) digital campaign project manager.

Digital Diplomacy 2Some key takeaways from the evening:

  • Generating social change from a digital campaign is more feasible if strategists know how to navigate through the fray of today’s internet initiatives. Instead of trying to catch lightning in a bottle with every post, there are predictable steps in the life cycle of a campaign.
  • With nearly 650 million people coming online this year alone, digital campaign strategists are finding creative ways to leverage social “clicktivism” into real action both small and large. Just look at the UN’s #HeforShe campaign in which men all over the world are talking selfies with the hashtag #HeforShe to show their support for gender equality.
  • Girl Up’s Dayna Geldwert said her campaign is using social media to engage young people who want to bring gender equality to every corner of the globe. Girl Up has had particular success with the group known as “philanthropteens,” a term for teens with a passion for working towards social change.
  • Through its @Midwives4All social media campaign, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is employing digital technology as a means to improve maternal health and spread critical knowledge to thousands of people about the medical benefits of midwifery.
  • My key takeaway was that it is still possible to help your brand – whether it’s a global NGO or large corporation – sift through the noise of the Internet and make a splash. It’s all about crafting meaningful, long-term messaging and focusing on measurable, actionable results.

Before the evening was over, the panelists joined the crowd for a call to action. Consistent with our theme of digital campaigns yielding social change the entire group posed for a #HeforShe and #SheforShe selfie! I know I speak for all of FH when I say we look forward to participating in more DDC events soon.

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