[Recap] Social Media Journalism in DC
Posted by allison n
I’m back in LA as of late Tuesday and what a couple of days! I spent the last week in Washington D.C. for work and play. I did some sightseeing and frequented some of the Smithsonian museums. While that was fun, my main purpose for being in Washington D.C. was to do social media journalism for Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day. I view social media journalism as method of sharing information in real-time via updates, photos and video. It gives people the opportunity to participate virtually if they are unable to attend in person.
Back to Advocacy Day…the nonprofit I work at holds this event every year since 2006. It’s two days: One day of training 500+ volunteers for meeting with their Members of Congress and one day of actual meetings with Members of Congress (or their staff) on Capitol Hill to ask them to co-sponsor the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act, legislation that will advance pancreatic cancer research.
Last year was my first time experiencing Advocacy Day and I did the social media journalism during the two days, yet it wasn’t as viral as I expected. This year was different. It all came down to marketing the hashtag, event details and reaching out to influencers well in advance and during the event!
This year I was more aggressive in promoting the hashtag for the event: #AdvDay11. I cross-promoted #AdvDay11 and the event details on our other social media outlets about two months out from the event. I wanted the hashtag to resonate with people and promoting it well in advance helps accomplish that.
Here are some other ways I promoted #AdvDay11:
1. Weeks before the event, I contacted the social media savvy volunteers I knew were attending, to help me promote the hashtag and event details.
2. I made sure the hashtag and event details was promoted on the organization’s eNewsletters and website.
3. I worked with the Advocacy team to develop a flyer encouraging volunteers to Facebook and tweet during the event. The flyer was included in all 500+ volunteer Advocacy Day packets.
4. I had the web team embed the @Advocate4PanCAN (Twitter handle I used for this) Twitter stream onto the homepage of the Advocacy website. This allowed people without Twitter handles to interact with our Advocacy Twitter stream.
5. I contacted the staff members of some Members of Congress to inform them about the event and to use the hashtag if the Member of Congress would be tweeting about meeting with volunteers, or to just show support for Advocacy Day.
Event name: 5th Annual Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day
Dates: June 13-14, 2011
Location: Washington D.C.
Twitter reach: Over 18,800
The apps I used:
Facebook for iPhone
I hope you found this recap useful and interesting! Let me know if you have any questions.