Have you heard about – or seen – the Ice Bucket Challenge?
It’s an ingenius strategy being used to raise awareness about ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Started by Pete Frates – who lives in Beverly, MA and has ALS – it entails people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same. Anyone who declines to participate is asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and attracted thousands of followers. And people don’t even have to leave their house to support the cause. It doesn’t get easier than that!
This is Slacktivism at its best!
What IS Slacktivism?
As you might have guessed, it’s a combination of the words “slacker” and “activism.” Words, which by definition, are at odds with one another! According to Wikipedia, it’s a perjorative term used to describe “feel-good measures” that support a social issue or cause, but have little impact or meaning.
Here at New Era, however, we have a different definition! We believe that employing easy, user-friendly strategies that involve little effort on the part of the participant is a great way to help busy people get involved with your cause and can lead to good things.
In the span of a few weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge is helping to raise awareness about ALS among thousands of people! While it’s hard to tell how many of these people will continue to engage – as fans, donors or volunteers – this strategy has certainly improved the visibility and awareness for the cause.
We believe the key to a good Slacktivism strategy is consistency and follow-up. If you want convert Slacktivists to activists, you need to stay in touch with them on a regular basis – via email, social media and newsletters — and let them know about all the great work you’re doing, the difference you are making in the world, and specific ways they can help. With each communication, include a call to action. This might include asking them to sign and circulate a petition, sharing or tweeting the news item with others, volunteer, make a donation of money or goods, etc.
What would it be like if you were able to make thousands of people aware of the great work you’re doing and get a portion of them to go to work on your behalf? We encourage you to start using Slacktivism strategies today and find out!