Children Now

Brian Kennedy
Vice President, Marketing & Partnerships
(510) 763-2444 x130
Ted Lempert, President

Your Social Media Questions:
(1) How do we target our audience and seed our message effectively?
(2) Are there existing networks/influencers that would consider sharing our work with their members/followers (e.g., does anyone important select a "Nonprofit of the week," similar to Macromedia's old "Site of the week" program)?
(3) Can contests/promotions be leveraged in social media campaigns to spike performance (i.e., the analogue in the for-profit world is a price promotion)? If so, how?

Results from the program that would make it a success:

(1) Outside, expert analysis of Children Now's biggest opportunities to leverage social media in building The Children's Movement and working toward one or more of those during the lab.
(2) Identification of powerful, existing networks (e.g., "the mommy network") and how they could be leveraged by Children Now to build The Children's Movement.

Communications Plan

Big Goal:America’s political system increasingly is driven by the influence of interest groups. The sources of power in this system include campaign contributions, lobbying dollars and large, organized voter constituencies. This likely isn’t news.
What remains eye-opening to consider is that children are without a competitive voice in today’s political system. Children are a unique “interest,” having near universal support in public opinion polls and being highlighted by politicians as a priority in rhetoric more than other interests. Yet children still have insufficient amounts of political power and the consequences are evident.
But, an unprecedented amount of untapped constituency power exists for children. In addition to extraordinary voter support, countless organizations serve childhood development. Engaging and bringing together this existing support in The Children’s Movement will provide children and the people who care about them with the political power they need to bring about systemic policy reforms.

Smart Objective for Social Media Strategy:

The S.M.A.R.T. objective that we would like to take into the lab with you is the optimization of Children Now's use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.* to sign organizations and individuals onto The Children's Movement and its political actions.
*We are hopeful that you can provide guidance on other outlets that we should consider/prioritize.

Identification: At the outset, we are primarily interested in reaching Regional/Grassroots Organizations that are supportive of children, but do not currently participate in children's advocacy at the state level (e.g., direct service providers).
Secondarily, we would like to tap into (a) the growing anger with the political system among the general public and (b) children's perspectives.

What is known: We have not yet mapped the specific social media habits of our primary and secondary audiences. However, we believe there is a big opportunity for Children Now to develop a targeted media plan to reach these audiences, plugging into existing networks (e.g., Facebook groups) and key influencers to efficiently expand our reach.

Existing Belief To Tap:
The belief that we would like to tap into is that together we can make the system to respond to the social injustices being carried out against children, a population that has insufficient political power. Historical examples of successful movements, such as labor, women's, and civil rights, support this belief.

The barriers to belief that we will have to overcome include the disconnect between all children's well-being and personal well-being (i.e., "I don't see how this benefits me personally").

Organizational Change

Skepticism: There is little-to-no skepticism at Children Now about social media's potential to help us build The Children's Movement. There is, however, a low level of expertise within the organization regarding: (1) how best to leverage social media and (b) the resource requirements to do so (i.e., content production). We have been working with professional services agencies to study and reflect models that have worked and quickly ramp up our social media knowledge and practice; we will continue to do so.

Social Media Experience:


Other: We are creating web content, applications, and campaigns that aim to have participatory and viral appeal, initially including (a) an emotive web video stinger for the movement, (b) email- and social media-based campaigns to launch the movement and its first political action, (c) personal story and photograph publishing (i.e., "a place to be heard"), and (d) "badges" that individuals can use to identify themselves as part of the movement (e.g., free posters, products with a message for purchase, etc.).