Great suppliers, training, QR codes, when to escalate and more...

Summaries of some of this month's hot topics on the eCampaigning Forum email list. Separate articles to come on campaigner development strategies, Copyright law and campaigning, and a campaigning reading list.


NoTW – Twitter explosion

Online campaigning certainly had a part to play in the remarkable events in the UK around the News of the World phone hacking scandal, with Avaaz  and 38 degrees both generating enormous activity and mainstream coverage.

Pretty-much real time spontaneous campaigning emerged on Twitter, prompting a wry, “When I think of the sign off and stake holders I would need to get on board with a similar project,  I don't think we could match this example, which makes it a nice case study to share with colleagues on what we can achieve if we change or loosen our traditional ways of working.”

And here's the blow by blow account of how it happened from one tweeting campaigner, the wonderfully-named erotic puffin.

QR codes

How do you generate a QR code  to put on a poster or flyer, so people can use their mobile devices to connect straight to a sign up page or action? A short url generator, such as or will do the job (have to either be signed in to the service, or add a + at the end of the shortened URL), or most CMSs will have a plugin which can do this for you.

This campaign against Hershey's labour rights violations encouraged supporters to leave action cards, with QR codes on, near Hershey's products.

Great suppliers

A few requests for recommendations for web agencies, consultants and photographers this month. If you want to share suggestions of great suppliers, let me know why you think they should be on the list.

And if you are a great supplier, ideally get one of your clients to drop me a line...

Teaser pages

Chat about the advantages and disadvantages of teaser pages – encouraging people to sign up for a campaign pre-launch. Several posters felt frustrated that the example didn't give enough information to attract anyone who was not already a supporter of the organisation, who you could probably contact on launch in any case, and perhaps the sign up page needed to offer more. 

The teaser seems to have done a job of work in this case: “A couple thousand people recommended the page in about 30 hours.  Twitter seems to have been the less successful ask with only a handful of Tweets that I can track.”

One poster cited experience of a campaign launch where they had struggled to re-engage people who had signed up to a teaser, who perhaps felt they had 'been there, done that'.

JK Rowling's Pottermore site was suggested as an exemplary teaser campaign (though one with the advantage of millions of obsessive fans out there waiting for anything Potter-related...)

Escalation policies

How do you judge when to take action when 'buzz' starts showing up something interesting or alarming in relation to your issue or organisation? One organisation shared their informal processes:

We rotate the on call job among five people - all with 3+ years experience. We've got smart phones so aren't sitting by our computer all weekend. There's also a 24/7 on call news media person and emergency technical support (if our website goes down).

During the week we have an intern monitoring social media (twitter, Facebook/blog comments), and we're all online obsessively anyway. Weekend on call web person keeps an eye on twitter (keywords, not only organisation name), Facebook/blog comments.

It's a qualitative judgement as to when something needs escalation."

Campaigning training

The NCVO's Certificate in Campaigning is currently not running, but you can still track down general campaigning and advocacy training in the UK. Here's a list of some of the solutions ECFers came up with:

More to come...

Hopefully coming soon will be more detailed commentary from list members on campaigner development strategies, Copyright law and campaigning, and a campaigning reading list. Thanks of course to all contributors for their wit and wisdom (and terrible poetry), and especially to those who've agreed to write up the topics above.

by ECF Discussion Summaries published Aug 08, 2011,