Social Media and Social Change in New Zealand

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Information about Social Media and Social Change in New Zealand

Published on May 8, 2009

Author: audaciousgloop



My presentation to a group of students from Regis University who were visiting New Zealand. Their interest was in the highly successful "Like Minds, Like Mine" campaign, and also the use of social media for social change. Interestingly, although LMLM currently doesn't use any social media, the principles are the same: have a clear simple message, build relationships and spark conversation.

Social Media for Social Change Presented by Simon Young Catalyst/Cofounder iJump


“mental health gains will be minimal if the person lives in a hostile and uninformed community” - 1996 Mason Report Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Two goals: • Create supportive environment for people with mental illness • Bring down barriers of stigma and discrimination

Phase One (2000) • Raising awareness • Getting people talking and thinking • Featured famous, aspirational NZers

Phase two (2001->) • Strengthen positive public attitudes • Improve public understanding/acceptance • Improve understanding of impact of mental illness • Create dialogue • Counter negative stereotypes

Phase 2 (contd) • Encourage people working in mental health sector • Create a positive platform for policy change

Facts • 1 in 5 NZers suffer from mental illness • Most NZers discriminate through ignorance, not malice • Maori and Pacific Island views need to be addressed differently

To significantly reduce discrimination ... education is not enough... litigation is not enough. multi-stranded, What is required are persistent strategies. ” Liz Sayce

Multi-Stranded (more than mass media) • Relationships built with 26 regionally-based organisations around NZ • Included 11 Maori-based orgs • Included 3 Pacific Peoples orgs • Local relationships = local media coverage

2002 campaign • Focus on friendships • TV for mainstream audience • Targeted radio for Maori/Pacific Island audience

Multi-stranded • Training for other government agencies • Relationships with journalists • Media training for spokespeople • Newsletter for influencer groups

A Beautiful Mind Movie tie-in

Success • 87% “people with mental illness can lead a normal life” • 80% “I am more accepting of people with mental illness” • 93% “mental illness can happen to anyone” • 79% unprompted ad recall • 60% discussed advertising with others

Since then... • website: • national contractors: events, training, freephone service • regional providers: workshops, promotional events, developing policies and procedures

2008 Effie Awards • Won the grand award for “sustained success” • Other results: • Acceptance levels improving • Documentaries resulting from campaigns • More people seeking help • WHO recognises best practice

Success secrets? • Strong, simple message • Relationship-building with key stakeholders/ influencers • Conversational focus • Acknowledging larger context

Online • Lots of online resources • But not much social media - yet

Conversation • How could they do this better?

Other social media/ social change initiatives • The LowDown • Internet Blackout • Twestival • Givealittle

LowDown • Web-based • Interactive • Music/Pop culture • Why not social media?

#blackout bingo if all the avatars are black, yell “COPYWRONG!”

Protest on parliament

Blackout • Grassroots • Simple, clear idea • Easy to take action

Twestival • Global • Easy to be involved • Automated

Givealittle • Platform for individuals • Can be a ‘hub’ for other social media activity

How would you do it? Simon Young Catalyst/Cofounder

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