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  • Engaging Decision Makers using Social Media

    25th June 2013

  • Today’s session • Overview of lobbying • What is social media? • Why has it become so important? • What has been its effect upon decision making? • How you can use social media to influence decision



  • What is Campaigning?

    Put simply:

    Campaigning is the process of using planned actions on specific issues with the aim of changing policies or behaviours of groups or

    institutions and raising public support

  • What is Lobbying?

    Put simply:

    Lobbying is the practise of individuals and

    organisations trying to influence the opinion of

    political decision-makers and institutions of


  • What motivates people to Lobby?

    Threat ‘v’ Opportunity

    Policy threat / new regulations

    Protect an Organisation


    Build Support for your cause

    Access to Knowledge

    Competitive Advantage

    Raise Profile

    Trusted Partner

  • Government Institutions Local








    Executive Leader




    Council of





    Officials Chief Exec








    Challenge &



    Chamber Councillors MPs MEPs

    Revise Primary



    Chamber Lords

    Head of Govt Monarch

  • Some common mistakes

    • Unrealistic aspirations

    • Lack of planning or focus

    • Lack of factual information about an issue or incorrect information

    • Not thinking about opposition’s arguments

    • Blanket approach

    • Lack of forethought about timing of approaches

    • Lack of follow up with the target

    • Thinking that social media can do it all

  • Knowing you’ve been successful? • Your target is informed and understands about you, your

    organisation and your stance on a particular issue

    • Someone else becomes convinced of your case and will support the same view

    • Your target takes action on your behalf e.g. re-tweeting, Facebook

    • Other stakeholders adopt your lobbying stance and garner wider support e.g. viral campaigns

    • You overcome previous opposition

    • Your key lobbying messages are repeated in official briefings and documents and your issue attracts #followers

    • You attract followers

    • You achieve the aims and objectives within your lobbying plan

    • Change happens!

  • Preparing to Lobby – How it’s done!

    • Detail the issue

    • Research

    • Record sources of information

    • Build a convincing case

    • Overcome any existing counter argument

    • Be clear about your ‘ask’

  • • Identify the Issue

    • Determine the Cause

    • What are the likely Impacts

    • What is you Solution?

    Issue Analysis

    • Map key contacts & decision makers

    • Cross -influencing Local Govt, sector specific or stakeholders

    • Local political intelligence & local government timetables


    • Develop a focused action plan

    • Develop targeted briefings

    Lobbying Plan

  • What is Social Media?

  • “An umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audios.”

    Wikipedia definition

  • Or:

    “Social media is a ‘global village’ connecting everyone and anyone and

    giving them power to promulgate social movements and engender democracy”

    Marshall McLuhan 1960’s Communication Theorist

  • What is Social Media?

    Social Networks Google+ MySpace Linkedln Facebook

    Media products community

    Flickr Slideshare You Tube Pinterest

    Blog services Blogger Twitter Wordpress

    Information creation community

    Wikipedia Wikispaces

  • What does social media involve? • Listening and Learning • Creating connections and building relationships • Engaging with people and their networks • Making your organisation or brand ‘personal’ • Providing a platform on which to interact • Managing your brand and reputation online • Providing an instant platform to share news and



  • Social Media – why it’s important?

    • Reach greater numbers of people

    • Free! (saves money but not always time)

    • It allows for multi-tasking

    • It allows for greater choice – so many channels

    • It can go into greater depth and give background information – people can read around a subject and what others think

    • It’s quick AND instant e.g. 24/7 news updates, Twitter


  • Social Media – why it’s important?

    • Customization – you decide what you read about

    • It allows for discussion amongst peers

    • It facilitates many different viewpoints

    • It allows for ‘challenge’, ‘feedback’ and ‘talk-back

    • Social media undoubtedly engages a younger audience

    • Can work outside of your group’s ‘reach‘

    • You can get direct access to influential people, media figures and politicians

    • For politicians, it gives them first-had information on constituents’ thoughts and priorities


  • Social Media – Implication of changes to traditional communication methods

    • Agents are often anonymous: use of nicknames & aliases prevalent e.g. Twitter

    • No single source of news or data; impossible to participate in every conversation

    • Omnipresence: private & public life of society’s influential figures merged & become public space; no hiding places. (BUT - does create pressure on them)

    • Speed: news and information spread more quickly than ever; impossible to process all new information

  • Social Media – Implication of changes to traditional communication methods

    • Relationship of users: lack of clear hierarchy; e.g. Wikipedia, no single editor but 1000’s of contributors

    • Objectivity to subjectivity: e.g. across social platforms rumours are often rife e.g. Barack Obama

    • Type of information: now a combination of text, pictures, audio, video & animation

    • Traditional methods of regulation: govts may attempt to restrict social media content e.g. China but traditional censorship regs cannot keep up with ever changing web pages & content

  • Social Media – the effect on politics

    • Social media: fact of life for civil society, citizens & activists

    • Changed the way people communicate • Previously communication was ‘command &

    control’ • New technology has changed the ‘conversation’ • More opportunity to engage in public speech &

    debate • Allows greater access to political information &

    decision makers

  • Social Media – the effect on politics

    • Supports collective action & communal campaigning activity

    • Social media amplifies and fast forwards campaigns

    • No geographical or political boundaries

    • Social networks are now part of political lobbying that no one can ‘control’

    • Media & political ‘spin doctors’ have all joined twitter in cyberspace e.g. 2010 General Election debates, Alastair Campbell

    • They represent a cheap option for politicians to engage en masse with their electorate

    • They make politicians look ‘trendy’ ☺

  • “Personal computers and the speed of optic cable in the transfer of information have marked a modern revolution and almost removed the limitations of time

    and space”

    Thomas L Friedman NY Times & Pulitzer Prize winner


  • The power of Twitter

    • Founded in 2006 by Biz Stone, Evan Williams (creators of blogger.com) and Jack Dorsey

    • There are over 465 million accounts (29.6m are UK) • 175 million tweets a day • 1 million accounts are added to Twitter every day (twitter

    increased by 43% when Oprah Winfrey joined in 2009 • Top 3 countries on Twitter are USA at 107 million, Brazil 33

    million and Japan at nearly 30 million • Busiest event in Twitter’s history is now “Castle in the Sky”

    TV screening 25,088 tweets per second (previous record was the last minutes of the 2012 Superbowl with 10,245 tweets per second).

    • Projected income for 2012 = $260m


  • What politicians might use it for?

    • Exchanging short bursts of news and information about forthcoming policies or speeches etc.

    • Reach younger audiences – sometimes before they can vote! • Promote any events that they are attending • Find out abo