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Is Your Online Activism Working? Special Discount On Social Movement Technologies Training In January

ActivsimI want to recommend that you take a look at this important training series coming up in January. The NH Labor News is an Outreach Partner with the group that is offering these trainings, which have been excellent in the past.

Any group affiliated with our work can get a significant discount at registration. The cost is just $35 per person (instead of $95) for the series of 3 webinars in January.

Info & to register: “Is Your Activism Working? MEASURE IT.”

When registering, you will need to forward this blog post to info@socialmovementtechnologies.org in order to be approved at the discounted rate. (There is no limit to how many people you can register at this rate as long as this email is sent in with their registration.)

See below for detailed information about the training.

Coming in January: the most thorough online training series on how to know if your stuff is working — for progressive staff, board members and activists.

Are you posting, tweeting, emailing and wondering if what you’re doing is working? This webinar series will provide tools and tactics for getting the kind of information you need to focus your limited resources where they can get the biggest bang–and help others in your union/organization to understand the impact of what you’re doing.

Info & to register: “Is Your Activism Working? MEASURE IT.” 

We’ll cover:

  • How to measure your campaign power online
  • Quick & dirty ways to get the data you need to shape strategy, and how to present it
  • The smart use of Facebook Insights, and its limits
  • The two things every online organizer needs to know how to do in Google Analytics – and what to do with the limits of Google Analytics
  • The most important report in Google Analytics for organizers
  • The Twitter metrics that are worth tracking for organizing impact–and what’s just fluff
  • How to set up your campaign to track which allies are coming through and which aren’t and which channels are contributing the most
  • Tracking how-tos with CRMs, using ActionNetwork as an example
  • The email metrics to track to know if your email is going to spam
  • What to do when your email opens and clicks are LOW
  • When to use and when to avoid using short links
  • How often to assess results and how to integrate it into campaign planning effectively
  • A board member or officer’s guide to metrics that matter
  • What 3 things to do if, really, you have no time for metrics

We’ll provide a proven metrics template for organizing groups and work through it, as well as a priority list if you have to choose just a few things to track.

We’ve designed this training to be accessible to beginners but also useful to advanced online organizers.

Info & to register: “Is Your Activism Working? MEASURE IT.”

When registering, you will need to forward this blog post to info@socialmovementtechnologies.org in order to be approved at the discounted rate. 

If You Are Doing Any Type Of Campaign Organizing Beth’s Trainings Are A Must


Beth Becker of Becker Digital Strategies

Over the past six years I have been working with different unions and advocacy groups to spread their message across the vast reaches of the Internet. In fact I started the NH Labor News with the sole intent of showing the people of New Hampshire that Right To Work was wrong, to stand up and take action against the “Bully” O’Brien legislature.

From those humble beginnings, full of grammatical mistakes and typos, the NH Labor News has grown to over 3,000 Facebook fans, 6,000 twitter followers and has had over 650,000 website views.

Do you want to know how I did it? Do you want to build your organization’s digital empire to spread your message better? Do you want to use digital tricks to become a better organizer offline?


Becker Digital Strategies

Do what I did; take a class from Beth Becker.

Beth is goddess in the digital world. I could tell you all the places she has worked but this server does not have enough space. Lets just say that she has worked for everyone from a union local to Congressmen and literally everything in between.

Now Beth is taking her show on the road. Her first training class will be in Phoenix in early January.

I know what your thinking, I don’t live anywhere near Phoenix. That’s okay she will be in a city near you soon. Click here to sign up and receive updates about upcoming training classes.

(For those in NH specifically, Beth is already talking about coming up here for a week)

Right now Beth is traveling around giving two, 2-day classes.

The first class is an Introduction to Digital Space:

“This training will introduce organizers who aren’t comfortable or familiar with digital organizing to some of the basic strategies and best practices for email, data, social media and more.”

The second class is Social Media Strategy:

“We’ll dive into the pillars of building a social media strategy, best practices and case studies for a variety of platforms, content strategy, social advertising and analytics.”

If you work for a campaign, whether it is organizing bank tellers, paid family leave, or any political campaign these classes are a must and there is nobody better at teaching them than Beth Becker.

Sign up now to get email updates on upcoming classes.

Seniors, the untapped social media market


Running an online blog I know how hard it is to get people to my site.  When I created the NH Labor News, I started with a blogger account and a Facebook page.  Now we have grown to include Twitter (@NHlabor_News), Pintrest, Google+, and Tumblr.  Why so many accounts? Because everyone has their favorite place browse, and every site has their advantage.

There is no doubt that the ‘millennial’ generation is the most active on social media websites.  They make status updates every time they sneeze!  Many of these people access the Internet through their smartphones and tablets.  As we go up in the age brackets we see a decline in the number of people who are active on social media.  I would argue that the people are there, they just choose not to post everything they are doing. With a little training the older generation can be effective messengers.

Recently Fosters Daily Democrat posted a new article that highlighted how senior are becoming more active online.

According to a Pew Research Center study from 2012, 53 percent of adults age 65 and older in the United States were using the Internet or email…. 34 percent of senior citizen Internet users utilize social networking sites such as Facebook, while 18 of those individuals do so routinely.”

The major problem with all of these seniors being online is that many of them do not know or understand how to effectively use their computers and social media accounts.

A lot of times we find that someone’s family member buys them a computer, but they are unsure how to use it,” said Krista Trefethen (assistant recreation director for the Dover Senior Center). “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of questions coming from our members relating to tablets, Nooks, and other technology.”

This is a huge opportunity for groups like the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, The New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and the NH Alliance for Retired Americans to help teach their senior members how to effectively use their social media accounts.  Not only could they teach people how to use Facebook, but how to help push a message through their Facebook account.   This could also be a great way for seniors to become informed about issues and events in their area.


No matter how good a message is if you fans on social media accounts do not share it, the message falls flat.  With creative training sessions we could teach an entire group of people how to push our collective message.

There are significant advantages to having senior online pushing our message.  They are living the message.  When people talk about cuts to Social Security seniors know what that will mean to them, and that helps provide validity to the message.  It also shows their friends, who are in similar age bracket, how they could be affected.

There is another advantage to arming seniors with effective messaging techniques.  They do not give a crap about what other people think of them.  I took an online training session last year that talked about how to frame your blog titles for the biggest shares on Facebook.  The key was that it had to pass the ‘mom’ test.  Middle age women are the biggest sharers on Facebook, for two reasons.  They are opinionated and they are not afraid of what other people think about them after they tell you how they feel.  This is the same for seniors.  They do not care if people know they are a Republican or a Democrat. They do not care if you do not like what they have to say.

Pushing a message is more about how many times people see it. How many times have clicked on something just because everyone you know is sharing it? It is about repetition.

Through social media training from our advocacy groups we can teach people young and old how to spread your message.


Can You Help Matt Murray Of The NH Labor News Win A Scholarship To Netroots Nation 2013?

Matt Murray and Richard Trumka

Matt Murray (NH Labor News) and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Taken at Netroots Nation 2012

For over two years now I have been working to build the NH Labor News.  What started as a project with the NH AFL-CIO, the NH Labor News blog grew into a full social media presence.  The NH Labor News now has over 1000 Facebook fans and over 2100 followers on Twitter.

My main goal in creating the NH Labor News was to create a single stream of labor related information for union members (and union supporters), a place to get information about what is going in here in the Granite State and beyond.

Throughout the last two years we have covered everything from the funding problems with the USPS to local Public Employee Labor Relations Board hearings and everything in between. Over the last year I helped push for support of Governor Maggie Hassan, Rep Carol Shea-Porter, Rep Annie Kuster, President Obama and dozens of local NH candidates.

Now I am asking for you to help me.  I need your votes.

I along with over 3000 people, I  will be attending the annual Netroots Nation event in California this June.  For those who do not know about Netroots Nation, it is an annual event where bloggers and social media experts come to together to share their knowledge with everyone else.  This builds a large, strong social media presence when it comes to progressive issues.  The connections are invaluable, and the knowledge is unmatched.

Netroots Nation does have some costs associated with it. This is how you can help me.  Democracy for America is offering a scholarship to cover registration and lodging at NN13.  This would only mean that I would need to come up with transportation to California (if you want to sponsor my airfare contact me directly).

Please take one minute to Vote for MATT on the DFA website. http://nn13.democracyforamerica.com/applicants/64?complete=true


Then share this post on your Facebook walls and on your Twitter accounts.  The more votes I get the better my chances of winning a scholarship.  With you help I can attend this amazing event.


Matt Murray attending a rally for President Obama in Manchester NH


NH Legislatiors Katherine Rogers and Peter Sullivan Work To Keep Your Work Out Of Your Facebook Account

Have you ever applied for a job and as part of the job interview they asked you to supply you social media passwords?  Could you imagine if they did?

You do not have to imagine it because it does happen every day.  What is worse is that some  people are being fired for posting comments about their work on Facebook.

In October of 2012 the NLRB ruled in favor of the employee after he was wrongfully fired for posting negative comments about his employer.

“The National Labor Relations Board has found that the firing of a BMW salesman for photos and comments posted to his Facebook page did not violate federal labor law, because the activity was not concerted or protected.” (1)

The NLRB also ruled in favor of the employee after he was fired for comments while off the clock.

“The case—Hispanics United of Buffalo—started one Saturday morning in 2010. That was when domestic violence advocate Mariana Cole-Rivera took to Facebook to complain that one of her co-workers was unfairly accusing fellow employees of laziness. Several other staffers at Hispanics United of Buffalo chimed in to say they worked plenty hard already. Soon after Cole-Rivera and her co-workers returned to work, HUB fired five of them, arguing that their off-the-clock comments had violated the nonprofit’s anti-harassment policy. (2)”

The good thing that has come from these cases is that, time and time again, the NRLB is ruling in favor of the employees right to free speech on their personal accounts.  However none of these cases involve those people who are applying for a job. (It is very hard to fight back against your employer when your not actually their employee.)

Hopefully that will all change. Many states including New Hampshire are trying to pass laws that specifically address the growing concern over social media accounts.

“Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, wants to bar employers from requiring an employee – or prospective one – to disclose social media passwords.”

Sullivan stated: “I think it’s better to make a statement at the outset that no, this is not something that’s appropriate.” (3)

The bill’s co-sponsor Katherine Rogers told the NH Union Leader that companies could potentially use Facebook to skirt current laws.

“Many people use sites such as Facebook to update family and friends about personal issues, Rogers noted. The risk is that potential employers could find out information that they are legally barred from asking job applicants about, such as age, race, weight or medical conditions.”

I think this is a fabulous idea. This is a prime example of legislators working to protect the people from potential harm.  Jut think of the pictures, comments, and links you have shared since you joined Facebook?

I look forward to seeing this bill pass through the NH Legislature.

How Do We Get Younger Members To Be More Involved In Politics?

There is an age old saying, “do not talk about sex and politics”.   I have been told this more times than I can remember.  For me politics and labor are all I do.  I eat, drink, sleep, and talk labor and politics.  For me, labor is politics.  Especially now as many of the issues facing labor organizations are purely political.  Over the last couple of years, labor has fought to retain the rights to organize and bargain collectively in many states across the country.  These fights are going to continue as they always have.  We need our members to be active in politics to order to effect change in our state legislatures.

So how do we do that?  How do we get our younger members to see the connection between labor and politics? Here in New Hampshire it can be quite difficult to get our message out to all of the people.  New Hampshire has at least five major newspapers.  Of those newspapers, some are labor friendly and some are out right anti-union.  It makes it very difficult to get our message to the people if the print media will not publish it.    So many have moved to social media.

Social media is very similar to the way the most labor organizations operate.  It is a member driven, grassroots operation.  The problem is that it is member driven and a grassroots operation.  This means we need to get our members to push our issues out to their friends, neighbors, and tweeps (tweeps is a term for twitter followers).   You have probably noticed that many of the labor organizations have created very active facebook, twitter, and pintrest accounts.   They are working to spread the message of labor to every possible place they can.

This leads to the back to my original question how do we get our members, especially our younger members to be active in politics.  Today Democracy for America posted an editorial on why young people do not engage in politics.  The reason I like this is because it is written by a college student.  When you need the answer, go right to the source.

1) Confidence: Many of us don’t discuss politics because we think we don’t know enough or aren’t qualified enough to form an opinion. We don’t read editorials in the newspapers, we don’t listen to pundit debate on political talk shows, we don’t watch the evening news every night—as if doing so would improve our understanding of the current political climate.

2) Accessibility: The stories presented in mainstream media assume readers have been following the news, know the various positions on a given issue, and the general stances of politicians and parties. So where are we supposed to start, if we don’t know the recent history and don’t have much time to spend researching on the Internet? Frankly, mainstream political media is daunting to young people who are not accustomed to following the news.

3) Cynicism: Young people grew up in the age of 9/11 aftermath and a scandalous, chaotic political system. We have very little faith in the fairness of our politics—rightly so, as the system is largely controlled by corporate money (think Citizens United). Many of us have a low sense of personal efficacy in the “untouchable” government system.

4) Attention span: As a younger generation, we have a notoriously short attention span. We write our term papers while floating around on the Internet, clicking through pictures on Facebook, multitasking with five different windows open, and instant messaging a couple friends at once. Granted, if something interests us, we’ll read it. But for the most part, long analytical articles offer little to us. We like bullet points. And numbered lists.

5) Time: We are growing up during an economic crisis with extreme pressure to stay economically afloat.  Our generation is underemployed, out of work, faces future unemployment, and has accumulated massive student debt. Keeping up with the news tends to be low on our agenda.

Jessica, the author of the post, also noted that one of the reasons the youth vote was so large during the last election was due to the social media campaigns.   Social media is where our younger generation get their news.  It is also where they form their opinions.  They see what their friends are saying and decided how they feel about an issue.

So how can you help to get our younger members involved? The answer is as simple as pressing the “Share” button.  In order to spread our message we need to share our message on whatever social media platform you use.  It only takes a moment but can make huge impact.

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