Social Media Rapid Response


  Guest Blogger

  Reporting from Netroots Nation in Providence, RI

This afternoon there were a few great sessions that I went to, one of which was on Rapid Response in the digital age. Rapid response is all about seeing your window of opportunity within the conversations happening around your issues, getting in on a conversation, or creating a new conversation QUICKLY and IN TIME with whatever is going on. The present gave us a run down of the ABCs for rapid response for social media advocacy:

  • A is for pay Attention
    • Keep your eyes open and your ears perked for news that is about you or news that impacts you…in fact, all day, every day was the presenter’s moto.
    • Check-in with your social media (Twitter, Facebook, news outlets, etc) often but stay on task
    • A good tool for this is Google Alerts because you can tell google to send you a message every time “The Network for LGBT Health Equity” comes up in any online news or media source
  • B is for Be ready 
    • Anticipate: don’t just wait for things to happen, try to stay ahead of the game by watching trends in your area and interest around you
    • Know your narrative and your message: once something happens that requires a rapid response make sure you know what your response is. Part of rapid response in social media is NOT having to run to and from your EDs office to ask what to say next…Also, it is important to advance a positive narrative and to redirect if necessary so that your response is promoting your message and your issues.
    • Save some ammunition: this means that if you have to respond to something unfriendly you have some tricks up your sleeve like pictures and written material ready to go. This doesn’t only go for unfriendly things and sometimes its ok to use some humor in tense places.
  • C is for  Close 
    • When trying to wind down from a rapid response situation take some time in closing off the conversation or situation…make sure you are saying what you need to say and aren’t typing nonsense.
    • Be thoughtful…at the end of the day we’re (well all of us associated with The Network anyway) trying to do something good using all these mediums of social media, so don’t be a jerk.

Our work and campaigns are not hinged on social media, but social media can certainly enhance our work and campaigns, because it gives out platforms an audience. Even if our goal is to get the US Census to collect better data on LGBTQ people, social media is a tool for conversations and to interject into other conversations. It’s pretty cool.


EXCLUSIVE: 10 Ways to Win the Internet Through Sexier Sharing and Epic Graphics


Guest Blogger

Reporting from Netroots Nation in Providence, Rhode Island


The title of this blog post embodies everything that the training was about…getting people’s attention as a way to promote your story, your call to action, your video…whatever…this is about getting clicks and and getting people to notice YOU.

So…y’all have issues, campaigns, videos, pictures, petitions and all these online tools to use to get people involved and aware of what you are doing, but with all the other folks out there doing similar online advocacy you are competing for air time. Here are some tips of how to get your stuff VISIBLE on the big interwebs…

  • Headlines and Titles are super important said these social media wizards from UpWorthy. Write loads of them, whether its for a video you are posting, an oped piece, or whatever…your headline needs to pop because most social media users only read the headline and the first couple sentences of any piece of media.
  • Lead sentences: If you are writing an oped or written media spend most of your time on the first TWO sentences. If you have not communicated the MOST IMPORTANT things in those two sentences most readers will not get the message.
  • Visuals are one of the best ways to get people involved in progressive issues.
    • Photos get 3-4x more engagement
    • Links on your photos to your content will get 10-30% increase in clicks
    • If you want to increase interaction with your materials…Facebook is King/Queer and you should use it.
  • Test your work: So you have some headlines or ideas, well see which one gets the most response from your viewers. Here are some ways to do this:
    • is a website that helps you count clicks on your URL. So if you post one of your hott headlines with your new video on Facebook you can use to see how  many people clicked on headline 1 in 15 minutes, headline 2 in 15 minutes and then you know which one resonates most with your audience.
    •  :  Same idea as
    • Google and Twitter Analytics: whoa a lot to learn hear. Check out Daniella’s Tweets from yesterday for more on this!
    • A/B Testing: Check out Scout’s post on this for more info!
    • Intuition: yes you should still use this in the digital age, because if your gut tells you that something stinks, it probably does.
  • Getting people to share things: so sharing is important to spread your good messages, but to do so you need to tap into something human in the online world…feelings. Most people share things and pass information when they feel angry or happy about something. So get your headline or title to illicit some of those feelings to get it to go viral.
The social media world moves fast, so get people to notice you. 
Over and out,

Social Media Strategy for Advocacy


Guest Blogger

Reporting from Netroots Nation in Providence, RI


Beth Becker and Alan Rosenblatt blasted us through an awesome session on Social Media Strategy and Advocacy yesterday eve. The room was packed and they packed in some of the nitty gritty about how to actually use social media for advocacy in an organization.

Here are some tips:

  • Use the Pyramid of Social Media Strategy when conceptualizing any social media campaign (reconstructed below for your viewing delights).
    • Targeted engagement: WHO are you trying to reach…there are too many people in the social media world to reach them all!
    • Authenticity: you should be able to relate with your audience…post things in your social media that are honest and real
    • Integration within the whole organization: YOU cannot do this alone…to launch a good and successful social media campaign your whole org must be on board with the same messaging and plan and actively participating!
    • Quality content: This is in the center for a reason…make it worth your reader’s time…make them want to be SOCIAL with your media and get involved with YOU.

  • Anatomy of a Tweet:
    • Include other tweeters in your post by using the @ symbol (example @SHIFTMinnesota). This is a good way to include people and to call people out or call them to action!
    • The # hastag is a way to create a conversation around a certain topic (example #nn12 is the hashtag for Netroots Nation, you can search it on twitter and see ALL the posts about the conference)! Hashtags are tool you can use to create a Twitter Townhall which is a forum for exploring a certain issue and has been used to gauge support, opposition and engagement in campaigns.
    • The LINK: you can link pictures, webpages, or anything really using Twitter…just paste your tiny URL right in there to redirect to a call to action!
  • Anatomy of a Facebook Post
    • There are THREE main things to keep in mind when posting on Facebook for your campaigns:
      • Lead Sentence: make it short and memorable
      • Image: FB is all about seeing things, draw people in with a palpable image
      • Call to Action: give people a way to follow up and to ENGAGE

Phew! So much to cover! One more quick thing that Beth said that…if you don’t have Pinterest, GET IT! Pinterest is a virtual push-pin board by subject that you share with your friends where you can post pictures, recipes, and other awesome stuff. Beth demoed a Pinterest Auction and a Pintition (get it? petition!).

Let me know if you have questions,


Netroots: What every nonprofit should know about the law & their social media presence


    Guest Blogger

    Reporting from Netroots Nation

Fascinating session this morning about Online Activism, Social Media and the Law this morning by Adam Bonin and Abby Levin who presented a host of interesting facts and figures for those of us who are using social media as a part of activism and advocacy particularly in 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations.

Tips and things to watch out for from Online Activism, Social Media and the Law:

  • Whether blogging, tweeting, or facebooking, if you are at work you are at work. If you work for a 501(c)3 organization you need to be aware of who/what you follow on Twitter, who you like on Facebook, and what you blog about! You have to remain nonpartisan in all social media, not just on your website.
  • There is a lot of gray area in terms of the exact rules, regulations and laws coming from the IRS! Because so much of social media changes so fast, there are not always hard fast rules put forth by the IRS about how 501(c)3 and 501(4) are expected to use each piece of media out there. It is important to consult with legal consultants and experts on media about these things.

Wellstone Action! (from MN!) did a workshop on Grassroots Lobbying which I found applicable to all forms of organizing and advocacy work where you are trying to gain support for an initiative or policy.

Tips from Grassroots Lobbying about getting your message across:

  • Be prepared and know what you want to convey in concise fashion
  • Know your role! Whether in a meeting, blog or online forum, be strategic about how you convey your message and where you fit in the conversation.
  • If you are working on a policy initiative make your team effort fluid, highlight different perspectives, work from an agenda, have a precise ask and follow up.

So much more to share…I’ll save some for later.


Diving into Netroots Nation on the Heels of Philly Trans Health


blogger and queer health enthusiast

Netroots Nation, Providence, Rhode Island



Hay Network Hay,

Hope all is well with you. I am at Netroots Nation with many thanks to The Network for LGBT Health Equity for helping get me here. It was THEIR idea to nominate me for a scholarship through the DFA and to support me in getting here, and I am so grateful for this experience. In the shuttle to the hotel last night everyone was a buzz and coming here because “everyone you meet is so amazing” and “you learn so much about different ways of being in media.” So excited about those things!

I am also coming here on the heels of the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference and I feel so whole knowing that I will have gotten to experience both of these conferences this week. I am so passionate about transgender and queer health, and the Trans Health Conference showed me a space that really validates transgender health unlike really any other I have see…EVER. There were so many people there hungry for information and knowledge, because there is so little, and one of the best parts for me as a public health practitioner is that there were many people offering information and best practices. Coupling these two conferences together is my dreamland because I also know that one way to gain visibility and to influence people is through media.

I am super excited to tell you more about what I learn about health communication, media, grassroots campaigns and so much more.

With energy,


Young Adult Tobacco-Control Promising Practices- Come and get ‘em!

by e.shor
Promising Practices Conference 
New Orleans, LA

Hay Network Hay!

This is e.shor writing from Promising Practices 2012 in New Orleans! What a treat to be at this conference in such a lively and fun city. This conference is all about working in communities and practices that have worked for tobacco control and public health folks in the field. There is a lot of good energy and sharing of knowledge here!

I coordinate a young-adult, LGBTQ tobacco-control campaign called SHIFT Minnesota. I am at this conference because SHIFT is trying to cover a lot of ground in our social media and policy work, and we are always looking to mentors and other tobacco-control experts for their wisdom and knowledge.

Some promising practices that I can offer are:

  • Listen to young people…they hold so much energy and knowledge and are the heart and soul of SHIFT.
  • Embrace color and BIG ideas! Part of tobacco-control is selling it as an important issue that people should care about…so add some pizzazz to your campaigns!
  • Pitch tobacco-control as a SOCIAL JUSTICE issue…people have heard since the 1970s that tobacco use is bad for their health. Tell them how the industry is targeting them to make a profit. Tell them that BIG TOBACCO is after young people. Make it personal.

I have so much left to learn about tobacco-control, but one final promising practice that I want to share with you all is: ENGAGE CURRENT TOBACCO USERS IN THE MOVEMENT. I have heard from so many people in LGBTQ communities that they don’t like tobacco control because they feel judged or that they are unwelcome in this movement because they are smokers. Welcoming current tobacco users with open arms into our work is so essential because they can be tobacco-control’s strongest allies. The CDC recently released the Tips from Former Smokers as way to highlight some experiences, I am excited to see the “Tips from Current Smokers” as a way to highlight the struggles of quitting and some of the challenges faced on that journey as well (note: “Tips from Current Smokers” is not a real campaign, just an idea!).

Hope you are well,


Breathe…Standing up against Corporate Tobacco

From Lucreshia with SHIFT Minnesota

When I think of the pain that is caused by corporate tobacco I think of my mother, who has smoked cigarettes for longer than I’ve been alive. I can remember so many times when she vowed to be quitting and she tried, had the gum and the patch for a while and now she has emphysema. I wept when she told me the diagnosis, made ocean puddles knowing that while my mother was losing her breath they would be gaining fortunes. She would squeeze out her last pennies for a pack and sigh with relief at her first morning’s puff; oh the addiction that they do and I would wonder how can anyone love something so smelling. The marriage has been a long thirty five years; the last phone conversation we had I told her it was time to leave; she can’t keep doing all the giving. Her breath to her last sense/cents enough is enough. I told her that even if dinner’s turkey is cold, she knows she can no longer follow it with a smoke. I stand up against corporate tobacco because I love my mother and she needs to breathe.


dangerous swagger

Some thoughts on Kick-Butts Day from Moe of SHIFT Minnesota

Today is March 16, 2012. This spring, with a Minnesota winter that’s been mild (that’s not how it’s supposed to be!), I’ve been thinking — how did the world get here?

This past week, I’ve been reading up on some history of corporate tobacco in the United States. I have been involved with SHIFT for the past three months and I am trying to do my homework. I know that part of figuring out where to go from here is to hold the histories of how I got here.

I came across this webpage from NPR.

Where did he come from? This white man with saunter, swagger, and a cigarette propped up at his lips.

Yes, there is the sex appeal. Yes, he represents white masculinity and messages about hard work and class. All these ideas are being sold.
What did the Marlboro man make hopeful for his audience?

There’s a game to play with capitalism. You have to sell an idea with your products. For sure, the Marlboro man sells something toxic — whether it be carcinogens or a prizing of white masculinity.

There’s another layer. Yes, there is the idea of being alone, but not lonely.

How desperately do youth today need to believe there is something beyond loneliness?


Today is Kick-Butts Day!

Hay Network Community,

Today is Kick-Butts Day!! SHIFT Minnesota is excited to share some thoughts on this day with you about our work in LGBTQ communities around tobacco control and why this is important to us.

But first, check out the Kick-Butts Day website for more info on this awesome day. The gist of the days is this…“Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against Big Tobacco at hundreds of events from coast to coast.  The 17th annual Kick Butts Day will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.”

In the spirit of Kick-Butts Day, SHIFT Minnesota is blogging as activism because to us sharing words, thoughts, knowledge and experience is radical activism against corporate tobacco in and of itself. Every we week we gather to talk about our strategies and our plans to inform and engage our communities about how to fight back against corporate tobacco, and it’s awesome, but taking the time to write and reflect is also part of our journey as LGBTQ tobacco control advocates.
I’d like to encourage you to do the same…maybe your activism for the day is to write down your thoughts about this day, write a new facebook status about Kick-Butts Day, or just step outside your usual schedule to think about your place in all this business.
Take care,

There is still time to Vote e.shor!!

Hay Network Community Hay,

e.shor here. e.shor queer. Last week Gustavo posted a wonderful entry about voting for me to become a scholarship reciepent for this year’s Netroots Nation conference! What an honor and opportunity…I am so grateful for the nomination and for you support. I currently have 208 wonderful people who have shown support, and I need your help still. Please check out the support page HERE and cast your vote (for me preferably)!

LGBTQ health is my game and I’m in it to win it…for our communities and for our collective future. For me that means being an advocate for LGBTQ health issues in as many ways as I possibly can. One way has been through the awesome work of SHIFT Minnesota, a young adult tobacco-control campaign, that focuses on education, policy development and social media. But really, SHIFT is about changing social norms in our communities about tobacco and that is what public health is about too, which is why I am so excited to be a Hott Panda! Hott Pandas is an informal campaign to get people thinking about being queer and trans in exercise spaces and some of the barriers that people in our communities might face when it comes to working out. Hott Pandas is also about creating community and safe space around exercise…let’s do it together and bring all the glitter we possibly can.

Anyway, thanks for reading and for voting and for doing the work you are doing. I appreciate knowing that we have spaces like these to write and learn from each other…for me that’s what community health is about.

Take care,