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9 Quick-Start Blog Posts for Activists

MARY JOYCE
FOR THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION AND THE EURASIAN HARM REDUCTION NETWORK DECEMBER 2013 image: Flickr/JohnCrider

THE BLOG POSTS
1. The Pass-it-Along Post 2. The “We’re Real People” Post 3. The Community Appreciation Post 4. The “Our Response” Post 5. The Informative Listicle 6. The Mobilization Post 7. The Ignored News Story 8. The Guest Post 9. The Email Interview

FOR ALL BLOG POSTS:
1. Know Who: Speak to a specific audience. 2. Know Why: Have a clear goal for posting. 3. Be Clear: Speak in accessible language. 4. Be Brief: If you can say it in fewer words - do! 5. Attract Attention: Include a visual element (photo, video, gif) that illustrates the post topic.

1. THE PASS-IT-ALONG POST
Pro Tip:
This is the easiest type of blog post to write.

1. THE PASS-IT-ALONG POST
1. Keep track of relevant news by reading other NGO blogs, Twitter feeds, and listservs. 2. When you find content that would be useful to others (could be your own content too), copy and paste the content into a blog post. 3. Link to the original source to give credit. 4. Comment on why you think the content is useful. 5. Publish!

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1. THE PASS-IT-ALONG POST
Share a photo that powerfully illustrates the problem.

source: SURFRIDER Foundation

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1. THE PASS-IT-ALONG POST
Share an infographic that illuminates an issue your organization cares about.

source: postwhoreamerica.com

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1. THE PASS-IT-ALONG POST
Share in internal report.

source: Amnesty International

2. THE “WE’RE REAL PEOPLE” POST

Pro Tip:
In social media people listen to other people, not to organizations. Reminding readers that they are reading posts from real people helps create an online relationship.

2. THE “WE’RE REAL PEOPLE” POST

1. Be attentive to the stories of staff and the work they are doing. 2. Remind your readers that your organization is full of real people by sharing stories about staff (or ask staff to share their own). 3. Publish!

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2. THE “WE’RE REAL PEOPLE” POST
First-person stories from staff about they work they do.

source: The King’s Fund

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2. THE “WE’RE REAL PEOPLE” POST
Office decorations, celebrations, silliness.

source: ONE Campaign

3. THE COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST
Pro Tip:
Activist blogging is about creating relationships between people that allows them to work together to achieve a common goal. People work together better when they feel appreciated.

3. THE COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST
1. Be alert to the good work being done in the network. 2. Write posts that describe this good work. 3. Use photos and video to illustrate this good work whenever it is available. 4. Praise generously. 5. Publish!

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COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST

Appreciate a group of people.

source: ONE Campaign

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COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST

Let individual volunteers and community members tell their own stories about the good work they do.

source: Human Rights Campaign

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COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST

Sharing a video that shows a network member hard at work.

source: SURFRIDER Foundation

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COMMUNITY APPRECIATION POST

When appropriate, sympathize with community members during tough times.

source: SURFRIDER Foundation

4. THE “OUR RESPONSE” POST
1. Keep track of what governments and the media are writing about your topic. 2. When they say something about your topic (either good or bad) publicly respond to highlight or to correct. 3. Publish!

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4. THE “OUR RESPONSE” POST
Give your organization’s opinion of a government policy report (that’s shorter and easier to read than the report itself.)

source: Results UK

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4. THE “OUR RESPONSE” POST
Refute a misleading public statement about your issue.

source: Huffington Post

5. THE INFORMATIVE LISTICLE
Pro Tip:
This is a more challenging kind of post because the purpose is to take something complicated and/or long and present it simply and briefly. list + article = listicle

5. THE INFORMATIVE LISTICLE
1. Think of something that you want your network to know, but the complexity of the information is making comprehension difficult. 2. Use your expertise as issue analysts to break the information into easy pieces. 3. Present the pieces as a list (bonus if each item also has a photo to illustrate it). 4. Publish!

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5. THE INFORMATIVE LISTICLE
Explain the elements of a confusing new law or government policy.

source: Buzzfeed

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5. THE INFORMATIVE LISTICLE
List a lot of similar content all at once (usually positive content).

source: Buzzfeed and SURFRIDER Foundation

6. THE MOBILIZATION POST
1. State why action is necessary (the crisis). 2. State why action will help (the opportunity). 3. Be clear about how to take action (make it easy). 4. Publish!

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6. THE MOBILIZATION POST
Use links and boldface so the reader can see where and how to take actions without reading the whole post.

source: No H8 Campaign

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6. THE MOBILIZATION POST
Make it personal with an ask from a staffer or community member.

source: Beth’s Blog

7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
Pro Tip:
News is something that happens out in the world, not in the organization.
When an organization publishes a report, that is not a news story, it’s a pass-it-along post.

7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
1. Be alert to stories from inside your network that are not being covered by mainstream media. 2. Write the news story yourself, as if you were a journalist. Include:

• Who it affects (start with the story of a person who is part of the event) • What + When + Where the event happened • Why the reader should care • How the reader can take action to help (if applicable)
3. Include an image (with permission) wherever possible, to illustrate the story. 4. Publish!

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7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
A creative solution to an ongoing problem.

source: Invisible People

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7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
A new threat that you want your network to be ready to take action on.

source: Human Rights Watch

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7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
Updates on a ongoing story members of your network are already interested in.

source: Greenpeace

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7. THE IGNORED NEWS STORY
Success stories

source: ONE Campaign

Pro Tip:
These next two post styles are time-savers. You are basically asking someone else to write the post for you.

8. THE EMAIL INTERVIEW
1. Select a community member who has a good story to tell. 2. Email them a list of 5 questions that bring out the story. 3. Edit the interview for clarity and length if necessary. 4. Publish!

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8. THE EMAIL INTERVIEW

Put questions in bold so they stand out.

source: The Open University

9. THE GUEST POST
1. Select an expert on a topic that is of interest to the network. This person should have good writing skills. 2. Ask the the expert to write a post on the topic. 3. Edit the post for clarity and length if necessary. 4. Publish!

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9. THE GUEST POST

This is also a great way to appreciate a network member...

source: The Nonprofit Technology Network

THE BLOG POSTS
1. The Pass-it-Along Post 2. The “We’re Real People” Post to 3. The Community Appreciation Post e hes t e n i b of 4. The “Our Response” Post m s e o p c y t an c re o u m yo . . 5. The Informative Listicle e . s k t ma pos 6. The Mobilization Post 7. The Ignored News Story 8. The Guest Post 9. The Email Interview

THANK YOU!

MARY JOYCE

@MetaActivism mjoyce@uw.edu www.meta-activism.org