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Social Media Training For Sudanese Activists Tom Law Eman Eltigani 12 October 2013


Tom Law ●

Associate editor of Sudan Tribune since 2010

Part of the team of independent journalists who founded The Juba Post in 2005, South Sudan's first independent newspaper since the civil war.

Over four years experience working in journalism, research and communications covering Sudan and South Sudan.

Communications specialist, producing professional advocacy material and reports for the humanitarian, media, charity/NGO and marketing industries.

For more details see my LinkedIn profile or the contact section of my website.


Eman Eltigani - Freelance Media Expert As the Communication Officer at the British Embassy Khartoum for four years, she assumed many roles beyond the press and media. She was the focal Point for Human Rights Issues, hosted the Woman’s Forum, advocated for Journalist and Darfur Issues. Prior to that experience she spent several years in Darfur led the Research and Outreach for the Darfur Lifeline Radio Broadcast. As a consultant, Eman Eltigani has played a significant role in the design, coordination and administration of audience and impact research. Some of her contracts have been with BBC Media Action – Media in MENA countries, Intermedia- Chad and the Annenberg/Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research – Darfur. Some of her past awards and accomplishments were to receive the LSE Silverstone Scholar Award and share in the Darfur Lifeline Project. United Nations Gold Medal Broadcasting Award, Bayeux-Calvados Awards for War Reporting and the UNESCO Award for Investigative Journalism. She was also honoured for her role in the Darfur Lifeline Project and was invited to participate in the Knowledge Sharing Workshop promoting successful African projects.


Content 1. Survey responses 2. Basics of creating a campaign: audience profile. marketing, appropriate messaging 3. Identify the right tools for each campaign and how/when to use them 4.Online communication and reporting skills 5. Blogging and SEO


Survey Your responses and what we can learn from it


How many hours do you spend online a day? Average: 7.8 hours per day Shortest that a user spends online is 2 hours and longest 10 Do you think this is representative of your audience? What could this tell us about the length of blogs and articles etc.?


Between what hours of the day are you normally online (not work related)? This could be useful in planning an online strategy. For example promoting blog posts at certain times of day. Perhaps doing so twice a day considering the time difference with Sudan.


Social Networking sites This could indicate that you should focus on reaching your audience through facebook, and twitter.


Use of social networking sites What you said about twitter: • • • •

One respondent said they are followed on twitter by Sudan Unit, Human Rights organizations and news agencies. Use twitter to send messages about human rights violations and specific events from sources in Sudan. Sudanese activists tend to post their news on their Facebook profiles or send it to a news facebook page, they are not on twitter yet. Others have stated that they use twitter for news and covering political and social issues in Sudan, for following information, sending messages to inform the people about happenings, such as issues in Sudan and Darfur and local activities here in London.

Comments • Interesting that twitter has not got a large following in Sudan yet. • Twitter is useful to connect with human rights NGOs etc. • Do people use hashtags? • Do people know how to embed profiles, searches or hashtags into blogs? • Make sure you can always share your website and blog easily on twitter


Use of social networking sites Facebook: ● To communicate with activists in Sudan. ● Post news and to run human rights campaigns by sending key messages about human rights, government and political party functions, roles and purpose. ● Sharing news and links (for example about) about protests / SudanRevolts ● To collect and post information on detained activists ● To post political news from the Umma National Party and Ansar Sect ● To fundraise for the flash floods disaster ● To engage with others, to share information, to add news and to follow important issues Comments • Always ask questions when posting links on facebook pages to encourage debate and interaction • Always answer questions and take every opportunity to interact with your audience • Make sure people can easily share your website blogs on facebook


E-Mail Services used •

The e-mail services most commonly used by the respondents are: • Hotmail / Gmail, Google + / Yahoo / Facebook

Most users cited using them daily.

One respondent stated that they use email to: “send news to a list of Journalists and activists who include Sky News Arabia, AFP, BBC Arabic, Al Sharq Al Awsat, Sudan Tribune, Hurriyat, Al Hurra, Arab News Network”

Comment • •

Email is a good way to communicate with journalists and human rights campaigners etc. Suggest ordering free business cards using about.me, moonpig or visaprint as it is a good way to stay in touch with journalists and researchers you meet at events


Use of E-mail Mailing Lists • • •

Majority (64%) of users said that they do not use mailing lists Those that do, said that they use the following lists: • sudanese_list@googlegroups.com • SUDAN-L@LISTSERV.CC.EMORY.EDU • drabdin@googlegroups.com

Comments • • •

Google groups can be a good way to get information on a specific subject from a reliable source. Good for keeping information relatively secure. John Ashworth’s google group is useful for info on South Sudan and Sudan.


The websites you use? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alrakoba Sudan Tribune Africa Review BBC Twitter Sudaneseonline Radio Dabanga Arabic news sites / UK Newspapers Sudanile.net Hurriya Sudan Friends Facebook pages Sudanese newspapers Al Jazeera and Al Arabia Human Rights Watch Arabic Media - Sudan Justice Africa Girifna Yahoo, hotmail and gmail

Comments • Once you have read an interesting article it is important to share it on social media to allow more people to find it. • RSS feeds from these sites can be used to embed into your own websites • RSS feeds can be added to the bookmarks so you can immediately see when a site you like has been updated • Google alerts can also be useful for this • All these sites should be included in your blog roll


Group SMS Services • Most respondents did not use group SMS services: • No – 45% • Yes – 36% • Blank – 19% • Of those that do use them, they gave the following examples: • Darfuri group • Friendship groups • Lycamobile


SMS SMS Crowd Mapping can be useful when covering live events and protests: http://ushahidi.com/ Free SMS services can be useful in mobilising people for protests etc. : http://www.cellsea. com/media/smsindex.htm


In your experience, what communication tools do Sudanese in the diaspora use?

Discussion groups on facebook said to be most useful


In your experience, what communication tools do Sudanese in Sudan use


Internet Security Precautions? ●

Not necessarily needed for UK but if you do need for when you go to Sudan try the TOR project

Hwr, this will make your internet a lot slower.

Only worth using if the person you are communicating with is also using it. Perhaps worth using for very sensitive information or contacts


When you engage in social media campaigns what is your intended audience or audiences? • Young people (16- 35) (many of those I saw a recent protests in London were older, how do you reach them?) • Sudanese in Sudan • Sudanese in Diaspora • International community • Human rights advocates and political activists in different countries • Local and international journalists, embassies, governments, Sudanese people and Sudan government • Own community


What online tools do you use to reach your audience or audiences? ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Facebook Twitter Skype Youtube E-mail: Gmail/Yahoo Google plus Instagram Wordpress Whatsapp//Viber Sudanese Online Harriyat Writing on news websites Messenger Change.org, Avaaz and other petition sites


Closer look: FACEBOOK • Facebook is the most popular media tool, mentioned by 6 respondents • Almost everyone used Facebook every day, with the maximum number of visits reaching up to five times per day • Average time spent on facebook – 3hrs per day • Used in Arabic, Greek, French, English • Successful because…: It’s accessible; enables the reach of activists/journalists on the ground in Sudan; gives activists the opportunity to send messages and timeline spots; reaches many people • Unsuccessful because...: Although effective in mobilizing support, it’s not an effective kind of support; because of the type of audience - they are not interested in activism; FB is only useful to connect with other activists


Closer look: TWITTER ● Twitter is the second most popular tool, mentioned by 4 respondents ● All respondents but one use Twitter every day for 3-4 hours on average, with one activist working on it for 12 hours per day. ● All four activists use it in Arabic and English ● Successful because: It helps break media blackout in Sudan; it reaches international human rights organizations and International Media and FCO; very effective in mobilizing support but only internationally ● Unsuccessful because: It’s not popular; it’s limited, only really successful internationally


Please give details of what specifically you would want to gain from any training: • To be able to use digital media more effectively and to know how to use other resources to be able to campaign more effectively and easily • To learn the technique and the methods of communication • How to connect with international media and human rights organisations • How to reach the public effectively • Networking

-One respondent said: “OUR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY SPEECH MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE AND IT IS ONE OF OUR PROBLEM”

• Video editing -A third respondent stated: “I am humanitarian and tend to focus spreading about affects of FGM and making sure this issue is tackled globally”


What tools to use? ●

There are thousands of apps and social media tools The trick is to know what to use for what campaign or what kind of reporting you want to do Here are some social media tools that you may find useful


Story Telling • You can use dipity to embed timelines into articles. For example. This could be used to plotting the course of a campaign or telling the story of the Sudan Revolts or war in Darfur • Storify is a great way to bring together social media from a wide variety of sources and create them into your own interactive story.


Video •

Present.me is a free online video editing software Ustream.tv is a platform that lets you broadcast your video in a variety of ways To download a video from youtube and vimeo us clipconverter or keepvid.com


Audio •

•

audioboo.fm is a great way to share short audio clips. If you use it with your mobile device you can publish online directly with info on location and photograph soundcloud is more popular and is better for longer audio clips


Aggregating Social Media • hootsuite allows you to update and receive updates from all your social media in one place

Images • Add your images to flickr or instagram and embed them into the site • Umapper to create interactive maps


Using your website to raise funds • Giving donor option on the site using by using a just giving button if you are a registered charity • Use google ads to supplement your income • kickstarter is a great way to raise money for a particular project • To arrange meetings, use doodle to find the best date.


Blogging and Websites


Blogging - the basics Blogging is not so dissimilar to journalism especially if you do your own research and make claims that certain events happened. This makes it all the more important to make sure you are always acurate. This short presentation by media trainer David Brewer on basics of journalism is a good introduction.


Blogging - the basics • Create the editorial proposition for your blog which will in turn help build audience loyalty and increase traffic to your site. • Quality original content. • Accuracy and reliability. • Regular updates. • Use free tools to make your blog more interesting including integrating all you social media. My site has some examples of this: tomlawmedia.com


Choose the right platform • I have tried various blogging and CMS software but by far the easiest to use is weebly.com • I would advise against using blogger and wordpress but use whichever you are most comfortable with • Interesting platforms that I like include: • vizify creates a site using your social media profiles • newscoop was created by journalists for journalists • moonfruit is very popular among web designers


How to drive traffic to your blog 1. Social media rich i. Embed twitter, linkedin, storify, google+ and your other tools. ii. Add photos from flickr, instagram but ensure you

have the right to use them under creative commons. iii. Add your organisations documents using issuu. com 2. Link to relevant sites even if rivals. This should be done in a Blog Roll as well as within articles and on content pages. 3. Share the content in the right places at the right time in


SEO - Search Engine Optimization • • • • • • • •

Make sure all meta tags and page descriptions are filled in. Page descriptions should be between 100 and 160 characters for optimum results. Make sure all articles are properly tagged / categorised. Use RSS feeds to keep you pages updated with relevant content Ask friends and other bloggers to link to you If you write an article for another magazine make sure they link to your site. Republish (if permissible) any articles you publish elsewhere All photos should:

include link to original


Keywords and search terms • Decide on the keywords and search terms you want people to use to find your site. • For example: Darfur human rights • Then you should use these words in the order at every opportunity: – Title / Subtitle – URL if possible – Categories – Within Articles – In captions for photographs – Link to other related content (always put the link on Darfur human rights rather than “Click here”)


How did we do? Thanks for taking part. Please complete this online media survey to let us know what you thought and how we can improve. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XMJ22QW

Social media training 12 Oct. 2013  

Training material for digital media workshop for Sudanese activists and campaigners in London.