On Tuesday evening’s call we linked up with RESULTS advocates from around the country, and were joined by guest speaker Chris Mitchell, UK Media Officer at The ONE Campaign. After celebrating the UK’s generous pledge to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), we heard what campaigning you’ve been up to and launched into this month’s campaign action.
Throughout September we’ll be championing the Department for International Development (DFID)’s investments in human development programmes – or those projects that are aimed at improving human lives and wellbeing, rather than simply the size of the economy. We’re asking you to use local media and online media outlets to shout about what UK Aid has done well, and use the #100WaysAidWorks hashtag when doing so.
Inspired by Chris’s words of wisom on the call, here are some top tips for engaging with the media and your MP this month:
1. Keep grappling with complexity
As advocates, our job is to break down detailed policy issues and make them engaging enough to inspire others. We can do this by using vivid case studies and relatable arguments more effectively than with seemingly abstract facts and figures. As Chris said, “Politicians will listen if you ‘make it human’ for them.”
2. Don’t just retweet – add your spin
Your voice is important, so when you’re amplifying good examples of international aid on social media, add your personal thoughts to the conversation. If you see comments you disagree with, challenge them (within reason!). You can learn how to become an expert in defending international development online by becoming a UK Aid Ninja.
3. Make it local
The issues we work on (whether it’s malnutrition, extreme poverty or global epidemics like TB) can seem very far away to many. Election periods are a time when MPs will want to be seen to be listening to what their constituents want. By linking international issues with what’s happening locally, you will be more likely to get their attention, which goes for local media too. Norfolk Counts is a great example of a tool that conveys this, as is The ONE Campaign’s From Your Town with Love site.
4. Show DFID some love
Respond directly to DFID’s social media examples of good human development case studies, and amplify them, being as positive as you can. DFID is one of the most effective and transparent departments of it’s kind in the world, so let’s give them credit where credit is due! ‘Noise’ is good and shows the Government that the public have DFID’s back when it comes to supporting 0.7% and ensuring they remain an indepentent department.
Watch it back here:
Resources mentioned on the call: