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

Obama Administration Leadership on International Human Rights (Part I)

President Barack ObamaEarlier this month, Ambassador Susan Rice delivered an address regarding the Obama administration’s leadership on international human rights. In this speech, Rice specifically criticized the human rights records of Russia and China while also highlighting what the US has to improve international human rights.

“We support these rights and freedoms with a wide range of tools, because history shows that nations that respect the rights of all their citizens are more just, more prosperous and more secure.” – Ambassador Susan E. Rice, December 4, 2013

Over the course of the final two weeks of the 2013, we’re going to cover in a series of blog posts what the Obama administration has worked on, and hasn’t worked on, during its tenure in the Oval Office. The administration has done well on some issues, while others could use much more work. Today, we’re covering LGBT rights in the US and around the world. This is an issue where the presidency has made great progress, but not every issue will show as much progress and attention.

Advancing LGBT Rights at Home and Abroad

Domestically Advancing LGBT Equality:

In his first term, President Obama and his Administration took significant steps toward equality for the LGBT community. The President signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that included important new protections for the LGBT community.  The Obama Administration also issued important guidance to ensure visitation rights for LGBT patients and their loved ones at hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid payments, implemented the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and prohibited discrimination against LGBT people in federally funded housing programs.  Finally, the President also ended the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act and has directed his Department of Justice to work with other departments and agencies to ensure the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor is swiftly implemented, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations.

International Initiatives to Advance LGBT Rights and Nondiscrimination

In December 2011, President Obama signed the first-ever Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, requiring that federal agencies work together to meet common goals in support of the human rights of LGBT persons globally.  Consistent with these goals, the United States assists activists and individuals under threat around the world through public statements, quiet diplomatic engagement, and targeted programs.  Through the Global Equality Fund and the LGBT Global Development Partnership, the United States works with government and private sector partners to support programs that combat discriminatory legislation; protect human rights defenders; train LGBT leaders on how to participate more effectively in democratic processes; and increase civil society capacity to document human rights violations.  Additional programs and research focus on protecting vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.

Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad

Working with our embassies overseas and civil society on the ground, the United States has developed strategies to combat criminalization of LGBT status or conduct in countries around the world.

Engaging International Organizations in the Fight against LGBT Discrimination

The United States works with our partners to defend the human rights of LGBT persons through the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and in other multilateral fora.  In addition to supporting resolutions specific to LGBT issues, such as cosponsoring the historic June 2011 UN Human Rights Council resolution on the human rights of LGBT persons, the United States works to ensure that LGBT persons are included in broader human rights resolutions and statements.

Promoting Action and Coordination

The United States will host in 2014 a global gathering of donors and activists to pursue ways we can work together to strengthen protections for LGBT persons around the world, including by ensuring assistance in this area is strategic and coordinated with our like-minded partners.

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