Our ‘Fighting for Families’ social media training event is a week past. So what did we have and what’s left on our agenda?

If you want to skip over the thank yous and backslapping, click here. Otherwise, THANK YOU speakers/presenters, including Farra Trompeter of Big Duck, Beka Economopoulos of Fission Strategy, Donna Norton of MomsRising, Eliza Bates of 1199/SEIU, Greg Basta and Olivia Leirer of New York Communities for Change, Elizabeth Jenkins of 32BJ/SEIU and everyone who participated in the discussions.

Thank you Murphy Institute who once again made it possible for us to offer training at such low prices. Thank you to our sponsors, and especially Jocelyn Mazurkiewicz who brought them all together and initiated this training. Thank you to our loyal volunteers, many of whom actually paid for the privilege: Bob Daraio, Marisol Thomer, Edrie Irvine, Justin Krebs, Brad Gans & John Greaves (3Knights Media) and all the rest who just chipped in.

And of course, thank you Elana Levin, Chairman of Organizing 2.0, who led our last session and without whom very little of what we do would be possible.

Intro to Social Media for Organizations

Farra Trompeter’s presentation is available below. I was very pleased that she was able to come, and for our first session no less. It combines a lot of facts that some of us might already know with some great analysis and insight. It made a lot of us happy that she felt trusted enough to critique a certain union’s Twitter feed. We need more of that!

Unfortunately, I missed most of the day because of having to run around. We really need attendees to offer comments on lessons learned that deserve to be shared! That said, it feels right to offer a few notes that capture our intentions in planning the training.
There are many trainings in social media available these days. They are often aimed at small business, nonprofits, marketing & development staff and others with a strong need. Organizing 2.0’s contention is that unions and advocacy organizations are often ill-served by training that doesn’t take our specific needs into account. In the case of Fighting for Families, we were very well served by having a focus on family and worker issues like paid family leave and paid sick days. This meant our audience was mostly thinking about city and state advocacy on topics that have to fight pretty hard to get media attention. Attendees were used to working in coalitions, and many knew each other beforehand.
Our main goal was to give a very diverse group of volunteers, organizers and leaders a shared sense of how social media is used to advance our campaign mission, as opposed to competing goals like organizational branding or fundraising. Based on feedback, we seem to have accomplished this. What we did less of – and we’ve heard from attendees that they want more – is offer hands on skills training that go deep into specifics. Anything from practicing a campaign, to developing a written social media plan, to learning some Twitter analytics tools. We also heard a complaint that too much of the day was devoted to frontal presentations followed by Q and A, at the expense of truly interactive sessions that build on the experiences of people in the room.
For organizers thinking about ideas for future trainings or just keeping up with the demands of a complicated media- and tool-rich environment, there are some questions to think about:
  • What is your peer community for staying on top of social media? (Like NTEN, ProgEx, or something internal to your organization.)
  • At what stage do ideas about social media tools and tactics get introduced into campaign and strategic planning? Are the right people in the room to propose and evaluate new media strategies?
  • Are folks clear about the investment and return on your social media activities?
  • Is there a role for outside experts/consultants? How might you cultivate your ‘bench’ of advisers?

Is there anything else you’d like to share or learn about? Let us know!