11.3 Prepare to Interact

Social media demands interaction. The audience, especially young people who have come of age in a digital world, are accustomed to responding, discussing, commenting, and participating in whatever cause or organization you are promoting. This places the burden on those utilizing social media to entertain, engage and educate. It is important to tell a story in a compelling way. Box 11.3.1 features a social campaign that uses a variety of media, in-person activities, retail sales, and physical objects to engage and interact with their target audience.

11.3.1 Bright Ideas: Falling Whistles Raise Awareness about the Congo

Members of the YEO field can learn about social messaging from campaigns and social movements that have successfully utilized media.

Falling Whistles is a campaign for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The campaign took its name from the practice of sending children too young to carry guns into the frontline to blow whistles when fighting began. The campaign seeks to educate people about the war in Congo, advocate for conflict-free minerals in common electronics, and create dialogue about peace. The campaign has been successful because it:

  • Harnesses social media and the Internet to mobilize “whistle-blower” societies;
  • Presents multi-media images and stories about Congo;
  • Maintains a buzz about social issues;
  • Utilizes celebrity endorsements to draw attention to the war in Congo; and
  • Partners with retail outlets to carry Falling Whistles products and information.

For more information, see www.fallingwhistles.com.