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Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in grass-roots led campaigns aimed at corporations and employment branding. Much of this can be attributed to the internet and the rapidly evolving tools there that allow an individual or organization to take an issue straight into the public eye without the involvement of media.
According to a report published by the Greenpeace Mobilization Lab, these types of campaigns will continue to increase in number and effectiveness. In fact, it is the mission of the Mobilization Lab to help foster the growth and effectiveness of such campaigns.
Activist Organizations Training For Social Campaigns
According to their own media “one pager” the mission of the Mobilization Lab is:
We exist to transform how campaigns are fought and won, pioneering a powerful new era of “people-powered” strategies that amplify campaign impact and create positive change.
Their reported training efforts as of May 2014 include the following:
- Convened Global Digital Mobilization Skillshare annually for 130+ participants from 40 countries to identify best practices in mobilization, share skills, develop mobilization and public comms ideas for campaigns, develop leaders within the mobilization community and strengthen our network of staff
- Delivered 58 hours of training to 179 Greenpeace staff in 2013 to build expertise on everything from fundamentals (e.g. Email Academy, Google Analytics) to new tactics (Big Listening Bootcamp).
- Cultivated networks for greater sharing, global cooperation: “MobSquad” and “Data Ninjas” email networks
- Developed and delivered mobilization leadership curriculum (community engagement strategy, constituency mapping, online-to-offline integration) including training in coaching and facilitation
- Implemented fundamental online tracking and analysis practice via Google Analytics with majority of GP offices
The Mobilization Lab is just one example of the kind of efforts that are being brought to bear against your corporate marketing and employment brand. Many sites exist that provide the tools and infrastructure to create a negative campaign. Corporations spend a lots of time and money to build a positive image, but it can be a double edged sword.
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Reverse Campaigns: Issue Driven, Brand Specific
Here are some recent examples of these kinds of campaigns:
- Tell McDonald’s: End McPoverty Wages & Respect Workers Right to Organize
- Tell Sodexo: Stop using the Affordable Care Act as an Excuse to Stop Cutting Employee Benefits
- Stop Union-Busting at FedEx Ground
- Stop Zero Hours Contracts Being Forced on Jobseekers
- President Obama: Meet with Walmart Workers
Preparing Your Response Plan is Crucial for Employment Branding
You should have a crisis response plan in place for dealing with such campaigns. Here are some tips that will help you create a plan for responding to these types of campaigns, especially on your social media sites. Here are the top ten steps according to an articles in Forbes.
- Listen and Be Present
- Set The Right Expectations
- Be Transparent
- Respond Thoughtfully
- Do Not Lose Your Cool – Ever
- Have a Crisis Management Team In Place
- Manage Access To Your Social Media Accounts Carefully
- Post Moderation Guidelines
- Hire Experienced Community Managers
- And Remember… You Will Never Please Everybody
You’ll find the time and energy well spent.