How to Use Pinterest to Promote Human Rights

pinterest human rightsPinterest is the fourth largest traffic source and the third largest social network in the world, meaning that it’s a great to post content and to promote human rights in an effective, visual way. Pinning your favorite human rights pictures and infographics on the topics you’re most passionate about is a great way to start your board (or several). However, with a little more strategy, you can use Pinterest as an excellent way to promote your causes. Here’s how to use Pinterest to promote human rights.

Have More than Just the Big Issue Stuff

Yes, it’s important to pin powerful photos of the issues, whether you’re pinning the photos of victims, of war zones, or of those on the ground working to make a difference. But, pin something other than the big issues once in a while because the big stuff can be overwhelming. Part of building awareness for human rights violations is to make people feel they can do something about the issue, instead of just know about it. By pinning photos of your events, pictures that lead to petitions, and pictures relevant to success stories and to organizations that are making a difference, your Pinterest content accomplishes much more than making others feel sad or guilty about the issue.

Pin Vertically When Possible

Because of Pinterest’s layout, portrait pictures attract more eyes than landscape pictures. Another trick to attract more attention is to use dark borders or to add text to what you pin (and I mean text on the photo, not just text in the description). The latter characteristics are features of a meme photo, and I’m not suggesting that you turn human rights into a series of memes, but that style of presentation can attract attention even if your photos aren’t a meme or are covering a serious topic.

Consider the Interests of Your Audience

Many who are interested in human rights are also interested in other things, and people interested in other things or specific political issues are also interested in human rights. Pinterest just added a new “interests” feature to make it easier for users to find pins relevant to your interests. When promoting human rights, you can take advantage of this feature by creating boards and pinning pins on “interests” other than human rights. For example, if you know eating organic or eating healthy is an interest among those you know that like human rights (that’s at least the case with our chapter), then creating a board with organic recipes or pictures of healthy foods isn’t a bad idea. It engages those who may like human rights but haven’t heard you or your issue yet.

Pin as Well as Repin

Most pins on Pinterest are actually repins. Although repinning is important to this network because it showcases the great work of others and encourages them to follow you on Pinterest, creating original pins is critical to positioning yourself as the go-to person on human rights or your specific human rights issue. Granted, repinning helps to do that also, but you don’t want everything you pin to be repins.

Related Links:

How to Use Twitter to Promote Human Rights

4 Things That Need to Be On Your Amnesty Chapter Website

How to Use Blogging to Promote Human Rights

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How to Use Twitter to Promote Human Rights

Twitter human rightsTwitter may seem like a social network for the young kids, something that older human rights activists don’t participate in because there aren’t any older folks using Twitter. However, that’s a misconception, as the 55-64 age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter. That’s right, older folks are using Twitter, and you need to build their awareness about human rights issues. Hopefully, they’ll care and follow the trends the way you have, or at least spread the word and get others to care. Here’s how to use Twitter to promote human rights, no matter your age.

Completely Fill In Your Profile

There are two reasons that you want to fill in your profile completely. First, a full profile looks good. It looks like whoever is running that account is taking care of that account. It looks like whoever is tweeting cares about the things they tweet and those who follow the account. Second, a full profile is less likely to get flagged as span and to be seen as illegitimate. You take human rights seriously, but that’s not going to show on Twitter unless you take the social network seriously too. That means filling the profile and paying attention when people retweet your updates, follow you, and send you a direct message.

The following aspects of your Twitter profile should be filled in:

  • Biography – Something short, but descriptive. Doesn’t need to be too fancy.
  • Cover Photo – Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t provide a few generic cover photos for you to use, so you do have to find one on your own. Yes, you need to have one. You also need to keep in mind the color of the text so that all of it is readable with the cover photo in the background. The plain black is boring and isn’t representative of human rights.
  • Background Photo – One of the generic ones Twitter has will suffice, but if you can create a customized background, that’s a lot better.
  • Link – Hopefully, your chapter has its own website that can be placed here. If you do have your own webpage, then it’s best to take this one step further and to create a Twitter landing page. A Twitter landing page is a specific page for people who find your Twitter account, and choose to visit your webpage through Twitter. The landing page provides additional information about your chapter, as well as your chapter’s policies on tweeting and following others.

Remember the 50/50 Rule

The 50/50 rule states that 50% of what you share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, or any other platform), should be your own content. The other 50% should be other people’s content. Yes, half of what you share on social media should be someone else’s article, tweet, picture, website etc. Twitter is not another bullhorn to use just to push your human rights messaging. You need to also interact with others, share the great things that they are doing, and not hog the spotlight.

For some chapters, the tough part might be fulfilling the ‘own content’ instead of the ‘other’s content’. To share your own content, there are a number of things you could do:

  1. Start Blogging – Once you write a blog post, share it on Twitter and share it multiple times throughout the day or week. You want to do this multiple times because if you only do it once, then not everyone will see it the one time you share it. The more times you share it (given that it’s space out over the course of a day, week, or month), then the more people that will see it.
  2. Find Facts, Figures & Demographics – Use Twitter to inform people about human rights by tweeting facts, figures, and demographics. If you can cite the source within your tweet, even if it’s just by adding their twitter handle (@humanrights as an example), then that’s even better. This gives people something to retweet and a good reason to follow you, as you inform them and provide insight into human rights issues and abuses.
  3. Start Conversations – It’s okay to tweet during the meeting, or to ask questions about human rights, or to provide comment on current news and issues. Everything you tweet doesn’t have to be a link. Simply sharing thoughts or encouraging others to share thoughts is great also.

Related Links:

How to Use Blogging to Promote Human Rights

4 Things that Need to Be on Your Amnesty Chapter Website

How to Use Facebook to Promote Human Rights

How to Use Blogging to Promote Human Rights

blogging human rightsIn today’s digital era, everyone is a publisher, especially non-profits and activists. If you aren’t going to take the time to tell your story and to discuss the issues that are important to you and your organization, then who will take the time? Chasing newspapers and magazines to cover your upcoming event or to publish your op-ed is not the only strategy anymore. Besides, blogging is a much more effective strategy if your goal is to build awareness and to get attention. Here’s how to use blogging to promote human rights:

Blog Regularly

The more often you can blog (without sacrificing quality), the better. Ideally, you want to blog at least twice a week, but I understand that not everyone can fit that level of commitment into their scheduled. If you need to do it less often, say once a week or every other week, then you need to stick to that schedule as much as possible. Although you’ll build an audience faster if you blog more often, you’re not going to build an audience at all if your schedule is all over the place. No one wants to follow a blog that write three posts this week, and then only write one post over the next three weeks. It’s too inconsistent to keep people coming back. Before you write your first blog post, figure out your level of commitment to the blog, and well, commit to it.

Don’t Just Talk about Yourself

This is the biggest mistake people, and organizations, make when starting to blog. They only talk about themselves! This is fine if the blog is a personal blog, but if you’re writing for your Amnesty chapter or for chapter members, then you need to write about topics that are important to members and to the chapter. That audience don’t necessarily want to hear about chapter events all the time, especially since they probably already know about all the chapter events coming up. Instead, write about the issues and/or write about ways they can be better human rights activist and make a bigger difference. Be a helpful resource, not a bullhorn. You don’t get others to care about you if all you do is talk about yourself. No one likes someone who talks about themselves at a party, so don’t do it on your blog. Talk about the things that interest others to get them to listen and to like your content.

Posts 300 words or Less Aren’t Going to Cut It

This is the second biggest mistake new bloggers make; their blog posts are way too short to offer any value. As you may have noticed, this blog post is already over 400 words, and it’s not done covering the topic of how to use blogging to promote human rights. If this post ended at 300 or 250 words, it wouldn’t be nearly as helpful. This mistake stems from the misconception that search engines like shorter posts, but that’s no longer true. Search engines prefer content that goes into great deal about the topic and offers something of value to the reader. Short posts are okay from time to time, but make sure that with every blog post, the reader feels that reading that post was worth while and provided some benefit to his/her life. If it takes 2000 words to provide this value, then go for it. If 2000 words is way too daunting, then shoot for 600-800 words with every post. This goal is a good balance between giving yourself enough room to go into depth without overwhelming the reader with something that will take too long to read.

Related Articles:

45 Human Rights Blog Ideas You Can Use Right Now

How to Use Facebook to Promote Human Rights

4 Effective Ways to Engage Your Amnesty Members

4 Things That Need to Be On Your Amnesty Chapter Website

Amnesty chapter website According to marketing software provider HubSpot, 51% of Millennials have visited a nonprofit’s website and connected with them on social media, while 46% have read a blog post on a nonprofit’s site. Of course, most non-profits like Amnesty International want to reach more than millennials, but they are a crucial demographic since it will be millennials advocating for causes, running chapters, and leading your non-profit in the coming years. You need to reach millennials now so that they’ll be a part of the organization when it’s time for them to take the reins. Here are four things that need to be on your Amnesty chapter website:

Easy Connections

Your Amnesty chapter website should make it very easy for someone to connect with you, whether that’s link to your social media page, to contact someone via phone or email, or to give a donation. These options should be clearly marked and easy to find. It’s okay if you only have one or two social media presences. Just make sure that those icons are above the fold (no scrolling or clicking is needed to find the icons. They are at or near the top of the home page).

A Clear Description of What Your Organization Does

Just like the social media icons and the contact information, your mission statement also needs to be front and center, as well as clear. People are finding out about you online, and if you don’t have that information for them to find, then you’re going to have a hard time educating people and recruiting members. They aren’t going to stick around on your website hunting for it.

When presenting this information, you also need to think beyond your organization name and the specific cause, but also words and issues related to those two things. This is so your website can show up in search engine rankings for those other terms. This also attracts those who want to work on maternal health, or women’s rights, or the death penalty, but may not realize that Amnesty International and your chapter have opportunities to work on those issues.

Regular Updates

Seventy-five percent of millennials said the biggest turnoff of a website is when its information hasn’t been updated recently, and this problem is likely to be a turnoff to all people, not just the 20-somethings. This doesn’t mean that you need to update your website every day, as just once or twice a week will suffice, but having a static website that showcases no changes at all won’t cut it. All you really need to update regularly is a blog, or a new announcement on the home page every other week, or an events page that changes regularly. You don’t need a new layout and you don’t need a link to the Twitter feed.

Reasons to Give and to Be Involved

Millennials are likely to give and to be involved, but they aren’t going to do it because you tell them to or because it will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside. They want to know that their $25 donation will have an impact and will make a difference, and they want to know that volunteering will make an impact and will make a difference. Therefore, make those reasons clear with success stories, testimonials, and statistics on what $25 can do for whatever cause your non-profit works on. Animal House Fund in St. Louis does a good job of this by outlining the different donation levels, and what each donation level can provide for their organization.

Related Links:

How to Recruit Members to Your Amnesty Chapter

What to Do for Your First Amnesty International Meeting

How to Use Facebook to Promote Human Rights

How to Use Facebook to Promote Human Rights

promote human rights facebookIf you want to use social media to promote human rights, then you need to be using Facebook. With over a billion members, other human rights activists, promoters, and concerned citizens are also on Facebook, and they are ready to receive your message. Here’s how human rights activists can use Facebook to promote human rights:

Share Links

This is the most obvious way to promote human rights: share links to articles, videos, and blog posts about human rights. They can either be your own or someone else’s, and you can share links either on your own page or on the page of another sympathetic group or publication. Make sure you don’t go overboard i.e. sharing 20 links about maternal health in Africa in one day. Don’t do too much in a single day, and try to vary the issue so you don’t come across as a crazed evangelist.

Tip: Add something to the link, instead of just sharing the URL. A question, a quick thought, or a fact or quote from the article will work well. This gives people a reason to click the link and to engage with whatever content you shared.

Tip 2: You can actually schedule your posts, so if you want to make sure you don’t go overboard, you can share on immediately and space out the others at two-hour intervals. Even though the scheduling featuring has been there for almost two years, many people don’t realize that this is possible.

Announce Events

The second most obvious way to promote human rights is to announce events, whether your own or someone else’s. Facebook’s event tool is invaluable in promoting the event and encouraging people to attend. However, promoting events on Facebook (and inviting people to attend) works better if you have a large or strong network of activists and supporters. If your network is small, or if your network doesn’t have many human rights activists and supporters in it, then announcing and promoting events will only get you so far. A good thing to do here is to promote these events on the groups and pages of others, where your target audience may be found.

Have a Presence

Besides your personal presence, your Amnesty International chapter should have a group page or a Facebook page as well. This is a great way to engage more passive members i.e. those who don’t come to meetings or events but care deeply about the issues. Since it’s a great way to engage people who don’t show up in person, the Facebook presence is then a great platform for sharing chapter news and events, encouraging volunteers for future events, sharing links, and keeping everyone up-to-date with what the organization is doing.

Run an Ad

If you can afford it (and if you already have a presence), then you can run an Facebook ad as a way to increase membership and/or fans on your Facebook page. If you choose to do this, make sure to follow tips such as linking to a Facebook page or a landing page, as simply linking to your chapter website doesn’t take the most advantage of anyone who clicks your ad. For $50, you can actually run a successful campaign for just one month, but $50 is a lot for individuals and some chapters. However, this is about the cheapest it takes to run a campaign, as it allows enough time for the campaign to run while keeping the cost per-click rate low enough to account for enough success.

Related Links:

4 Major Lessons I’ve Learned from All This Human Rights Work

How to Recruit Members to Your Amnesty Chapter

4 Effective Ways to Engage Amnesty Members

45 Human Rights Blog Ideas You Can Use Right Now

human rights blogHey, keeping up this human rights blogging stuff isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to come up with stuff to share on social or to have good ideas for the monthly newsletter either. To help with that, we have an awesome list of 45 human rights blog (or newsletter, or social media, or insert communication/promotion method of choice) ideas that you can use right now. Yes, you can use them right now without any strenuous research or brainstorming. You’re welcome.

  1. Live blog what’s going on at an event, conference, or speaker
  2. Attended a webinar, conference, speaker, or event recently? Share what you’ve learned.
  3. Instead of recapping the conference or webinar, review it! What would you have wished to learn? What could they have done better?
  4. Did you just hold your own event? Do a recap.
  5. Will you be holding an event? Do a post about it and why people should come.
  6. Do a roundup of news articles that your readers may have missed.
  7. Do a roundup of old blog posts around a specific theme or topic.
  8. Do a roundup of some your most popular blog posts.
  9. Write a follow-up to one of those popular blog posts.
  10. Respond to comments made on a previous blog post.
  11. Write a counterpoint to a post from another blog.
  12. Agree with a post from another blog.
  13. Ask another blogger to do guest post.
  14. Ask another blogger if you can reprint one of his/her posts. Make sure to write your own introduction and give credit to the blogger.
  15. Look at what other relevant blogs are blogging about, and write your own post on something they’ve done.
  16. Take a current event and show the human rights angle to it
  17. Compare human rights to something from pop culture, like a TV show or a new dance craze.
  18. Define some human rights lingo or key terms.
  19. Are there any new research findings or statistics related to human rights? Write a post on why that new something is important.
  20. Present the history or some little known facts about a specific human right
  21. Ask several human rights leaders or prominent people about a human rights issue. Post the responses.
  22. Create a beginner’s post to human rights/your issue (think of it as a very quick 101!)
  23. Do a blog post on how activists/human rights advocates/non-profits can use Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn.
  24. Create a “recipe of success” for activism/human rights advocacy
  25. Create a “5 Pillars” or a “10 Commandments” for human rights or your issue
  26. Do a “Day in the Life” of someone in your organization
  27. Interview someone and post the Q&A.
  28. Answer a frequently asked question about human rights or your issue
  29. Make a list of the 10 best other human rights blogs or news sites.
  30. Make a list of the biggest lessons you’ve learned while doing this sort of work
  31. Compile a list of the best apps for activism/human rights
  32. Make a list of your favorite human rights quotes.
  33. Make a list of human rights people to follow on Twitter.
  34. Got a lot of photos? Compile a few and do a photo post.
  35. Pose a question or two to your readers, and blog the best responses.
  36. Pose a question on Twitter and blog the best responses.
  37. Review a book related to your issue.
  38. Respond to a question you find on a forum, on Quora, or on LinkedIn questions.
  39. If you are feeling brave, go over a failure and what you/your organization or group learned from it.
  40. Ask your readers what they’d like you to write about.
  41. Write about the best idea(s) suggested.
  42. Conduct a poll.
  43. Post the results to that poll.
  44. Ask for reader submissions (can be posts, pics, or vids).
  45. Share the best ones!

Related Links:

Human Rights Blogging: How Far We’ve Come

4 Effective Ways to Engage Your Amnesty Members

How to Recruit Members to Your Amnesty Chapter

How to Recruit Members to Your Amnesty Chapter

engaging Amnesty membersIt’s one of the toughest things to do as a chapter, but it also might be one that needs to be done most often: recruiting members. People come and go, and you don’t want to wait until you only have one or two people left before you make an effort to recruit members. It’s best to make recruiting an ongoing effort so that there’s always people involved in the organization. Here’s a couple of ways you could try to recruit new members to your Amnesty chapter.

Make Sure the Main Organization Knows You Exist

Amnesty International USA actually has a directory of local and student groups, and for our group, it has been a way for new members to learn about our existence. Typically, groups have to register every year so that the information stays in the directory. If you’ve never registered before, or if you’re not sure if your group is listed in the directory, then it’s best to contact your regional office so that they know you exist and can take the necessary steps to get you listed (as well as get you in touch with some great people and resources).

Build an Online Presence

When anyone needs anything these days, they start with an online search. Amnesty International and human rights activism are no exceptions. If you don’t have a website, or a social media presence, for these people to find, then new recruits will have a tough time knowing if you exist and if you’re still an active chapter. With either of these online presences (and regular updating, which is key to showing that you are an active chapter doing things in the area), you have a way for new recruits to find you and to contact you for more information. If your chapter can have both a website and a social media presence (our chapter has a website, a Facebook group, and our Missouri legislative coordinator has a Twitter account), then that’s even better.

Host Events Regularly

Events are some of the best ways to recruit members because you can talk to people face-to-face on a common issue. If you have a movie screening on women’s rights, for example, then you attract people who are interested in that issue, and not necessarily people who are interested in Amnesty International. An event presents a great opportunity to bridge that gap, to show that the group, as an Amnesty International group, works on this common issue and that these new people you attracted can work on the issue through your group. Of course, you want your events to be awesome, but if you want to use events as a recruiting tool, then it’s even more critical that the events are great as they do reflect how well the group is organized and what the group is capable of on these issues.

Have a New Member Meeting or Event

This one is better for college and high school chapters, but may be a good option for local chapters that gets a lot of interest. It can be tough for a new member to jump right into the group, having to learn the social dynamic and to catch up with what the group is doing. Some people can do that easily, but not everyone. Having a new member meeting or event, where new members can learn these things and be given a chance to immerse themselves, can be good way to include them at a pace with which they are comfortable.

Do you have any amazing strategies for recruiting new members into your Amnesty International chapter? If so, we’d love to hear about them! Tell us in the comments!

Related Links:

How to Set Up a Tabling Event

4 Effective Ways to Engage Your Amnesty Members

How to Run an Amnesty International Meeting