Startups look for growth, product-market fit, and repeatable processes. Social movements essentially are «temporary» social justice startups because they triggered by social unrest and discomfort and when that pain goes away, so does the movement.
But how do we go from «moment» to movement? In this digital world, the laws of growth apply to VC-backed startups, e-commerce stores, and social justice startups.
Read the five fundamentals to increase engagement and mobilization using the Internet.
Traction is like gas to a flame, and it is the key to your movement’s mobilization. For a campaign to be effective, traction is crucial.
Goal and Purpose
You first need to identify your movement’s goal and purpose. What is your purpose for starting your fire, and what are you seeking to accomplish?
Become an expert
Study and become well-educated in your topic area. This includes, but is not limited to, topic history, knowing factors involved in the issue’s creation, and knowing stakeholders and legalities.
Become educated enough to take on any question that the media could throw your way regarding your movement.
Offer a solution
Defining your solution to the problem. This is a no-no in Public Policy but perfect for a successful movement. By identifying your movement’s solution, you satisfy your cause.
Find your tribe
Gather five friends and ask them to share your passion with five other friends! Share your movement on social media and bulletins – nearly any avenue that you can find to spread the word about your campaign is an opportunity waiting to be accessed.
As you spread the word, make sure you know your audience. Craft your social media posts and flyers into practical excerpts that readers can digest and understand. A convenient way to do this is by branding your movement, create a theme.
Planning is also crucial to the successful mobilization of your movement. A plan is an outline of steps for the campaign from start to finish. People are more likely to get involved in a movement if it is well organized and shows progress toward the desired goal.
Starting with a purpose helps in the brainstorming of your plan. Maybe you need to meet with a stakeholder or attend an educational event that could benefit your knowledge base. Other steps might include keeping track of persons of interest, designing posters and flyers, or setting up a platform for people interested in your movement. In any case, make sure to develop a timeline of milestones for your movement from start to finish.
With that said, to help aid the planning process in mobilizing your movement, Tangelo has recently developed an app that makes it simple to create meaningful posters and share or print them instantly. Check out WalkWoke!
3. Setup Communication
James Humes sums up the importance of communication in mobilizing a movement by stating, “the art of communication is the language of leadership.” As you can see, communication is critical and is the catalyst for making things happen.
Communication can take place over different platforms, but you want to be conscious of sending a consistent message in all outreach forms. Create blogs, send social media posts and emails, and ask supporters to share your communications to amplify your message. Lastly, keep your supporters engaged, make them feel empowered as driving change within your movement, as every voice counts. It builds momentum, which is highly effective in driving social change.
4. Mobilize & Get Noticed
Now that you’ve gained traction, developed a plan, and have set up means of communication, you’re ready to mobilize the masses and get noticed. Mobilization is the expansion of your cause, the spreading of your fire, the spark to your movement. Get your project noticed using petitions, pamphlets, and even a rally. Each of these methods should portray your movement’s goals effectively. Let your flyers speak for your campaign.
For a rally, protest signs are the number one go-to in effectively relaying a message. With Tangelo’s Walk Woke, you can conveniently create posters for your movement and either prints them to use in rallies or bulletins or share them digitally. Walk Woke offers template flyers, styles, and layouts to capture your movement and make a lasting impression. It provides curated topics that are relevant to the causes of today. Another tool that effectively helps prepare and carry out campaigns is Wellstone’s organizational tools, which offer advice on building an action plan.
After all of your hard work in creating a successful movement, don’t let your fire die down! Keep the momentum going. Even after you’ve achieved your goal, follow up with your movement’s supporters, thank them, send them success reports, and keep them updated. Consider setting a new destination. Keeping the momentum going serves as checks and balances and ensures the change you worked so hard to create continues ahead. And who knows, maybe you’ll want to start another movement someday.