On September 20th RSPB Scotland will be supporting the UK Student Climate Network alongside many other groups and individuals across the globe for the Global Climate Strike. In the lead up we will be posting some blogs about different ways you can get involved in campaigning. In this blog, RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor takes a look at how you can use social media platforms in your campaigning.
Nature campaigning and social media
Social media has been both praised and criticised for its role in activism. However you perceive it, it is undeniable that it has become an integral part of campaigning.
When you share something online it has the potential to reach millions of people from almost anywhere in the world. It also allows anyone the ability to find their audience: those who might not otherwise be able to engage in more traditional activism can find their role in online activism.
Here are some tips for making your online activism as successful as possible:
Know your platform
Understand how to use the platform you’re on effectively to grow your audience and get more eyes on your message. It can be a battle keeping up with social media algorithms, but a quick online search reveals guidance to get you started. Monitoring your own content will give you a good idea of what your audience respond to.
Tell a story
We all connect with stories. Whether it’s your personal journey with nature, the story of a species or landscape or someone else’s story you want to share, the narrative will draw people in and give them something to root for.
Educate and empower
Build a community and empower them to take action. Use your platform to highlight the crises we face and how to make a change. Share knowledge, share petitions, call people to action.
Be the person who inspires others to join our fight.
Listen, engage, amplify
As much as it is important to use your own voice, it is so important to hear the perspective of others.
If you don’t ensure you are engaging with people who have different experiences, your own messaging will be less inclusive and less impactful. Amplify the voices of others when you have the opportunity.
Engage with MSPs
Social media has changed how we can access our politicians. Engage with them online to keep your concerns on their agenda, keep up with what they are doing and hold them accountable.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other public figures online either. They can amplify important causes to audiences who might not usually engage in environmental activism.
Keep yourself safe
Put your wellbeing first in any campaigning you take part in.
Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Don’t overshare personal information about yourself. There is no requirement to respond to every news article and every petition if you need to take a break. There is no shame in blocking or reporting people to keep yourself safe and well.
I hope some of these tips encourage you to think about how you might get involved in social media campaigning!
For some more practical tips on using social media you can check out our campaigning guide here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/social-media-lobbying/
You can find out more about the climate strike here
Read our other campaigning blogs:
Contacting your MSPs
Campaigning with craftivism
I don't understand. Surely RSPB has always taken the lead in delaying and objecting to many wind and tidal energy projects. Read the policies, RSPB puts specific bird groups ahead of Climate Emergency, or might it please change? Surely this emergency must override small local wildlife issues?
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