Social Movement Technologies
Activating Supporters to Win Campaigns with WhatsApp, texting, and phone banking: March 6 & 20

‘NHS Privatisation Kills’ direct action organised by We Own It on March 2nd, 2023. Photo credit: Dr Tony O’Sullivan

90 min sessions | 2 pm London – 3 pm Brussels – 4 pm Kyiv – Check your timezone here | Instruction in English. Interpretation provided as funding allows in response to registrations.

What’s the #1 thing holding us back from winning the future we need? We all know it: our ability to activate enough people who can also take responsibility and leadership in our campaigns and movements.

To achieve it, we must use online and offline tools and practices, with savvy use of platforms and messaging apps, to find our people and engage with them. And we must be able to scale this up with a small core group of staff. 

This training series will help campaigners, social change staff and activists deepen their ability to build effective movements and campaigns for justice. We’ll explore the following topics, with European examples in each: 

WhatsApp to build people power, March 6 (See the details and register)

  • While emails may be opened 20% of the time, WhatsApp messages are read 98% of the time. 75%+ of people in most European countries use WhatsApp. We’ll share how to use this app for organizing including automated flows, the benefits of the Communities feature and the free “Business” version, as well as how to message thousands of people individually within an hour. We’ll also cover when to use Telegram instead. 

Texting and phone banking to recruit and take action, March 20 (See the details and register)

  • Texting and phone banking are under-explored by campaigners and organizers in Europe, and this training is to give you the keys to launching your first texting and/or phone banking action. If you already do this, join us to discover tool comparisons and tips to increase your reach.

Click on each link to register. Register for the session that interests you most, or for all three. We recommend all three as they build on each other. Participating in all three will help you be more strategic in your choices. 

The series will use mainly European examples with a case study for each session. The content is relevant to all regions globally except for some of the European tool comparisons and texting regulations covered in session 2. 

Instructors: 

Victoire Guillonneau has supported groups over the last 15 years in France and across Europe. Her experience includes building a network of Fossil Free groups in France and coaching NGOs and activist groups on building their activist pipeline and supporting membership growth. Victoire is SMT’s Europe Movement Support Coordinator

Joep Karskens has 10 years of experience building the climate movement in the Netherlands. He works at the intersection of online mass mobilization and offline activism, with a focus on building effective volunteer teams at scale. His experience includes building 30 teams across the country for a multi-year canvassing campaign, 40 teams in one month for a distributed action targeting a Dutch bank, as well as coordinating a distributed phone banking operation to reach thousands of supporters and mobilize them to a climate march. Joep is an SMT Staff Partner.

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Staff and activists of 4,900+ groups
have engaged with SMT trainings

Testimonials

SMT coaching enabled us to expand our presence within human rights spaces in Kenya beyond an LGBTIQ audience. It helped us use Twitter to connect with allies in the environmental justice and land rights movements. It was amazing to have someone to work with who knows our work and give us templates just when we needed them.
SMT helped us craft an effective public narrative for our campaign to get a mine closed. SMT helped us finalize a campaign strategy and come up with an effective plan to raise visibility and engage the public. Our campaign led to a pause in the mining. We will keep fighting!
Our coach was an everyday reminder of what we needed to do. He checked in and followed up on us. It really helped us activate Twitter in our campaigns and tighten up digital security. We moved from just having a Twitter handle to building on a hashtag that saw a jailed human rights activist released from prison.
I had an amazing time. I am already applying the valuable content in my organization.
SMT’s training on using WhatsApp to activate our bases helped us activate more leaders by creating conversational WhatsApp groups for members and assigning different leadership roles to volunteers.
I found a lot of value in this Certificate Program that I use in my everyday work: from using social media effectively; significantly growing accounts and activating people online, pressuring targets in campaigns, and running Twitterstorms. Even when using other tools, I still apply the principles I learned!
The program was an eye-opener and better positioned me as a Communications Officer. I learned about digital mobilizing, online community building, and more.
I learnt a lot on grassroots movements, digital campaigns and communications in times of state intrusion or threats.
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