Social media users are to be given the chance to raise money for a hard-hitting Amnesty International campaign against Shell. The U.K. branch of the 50-year-old organization announced over the weekend that it is to use its Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts to bring in cash to run a full-page newspaper ad next Tuesday, May 18, the day of Shell’s AGM.
The NGO’s Naomi McAuliffe, said: “Amnesty is a campagning organization, and advertising is a great way of exerting influence. Of course it doesn’t come cheap, so we’re looking to concerned members of the public to help us pay for a powerful ad.”
Everyone knows that social media worked for Barack Obama on his 2008 presidential campaign, although it was used more as a medium to transmit rather than a two-way channel. Over in Britain, the recent general election was vaunted as the first election that would use social media to both transmit and receive, it didn’t quite work, despite the parties using social media and blogs to crowdsource some of the campaign ads, giving rise to some very amusing–and, at times, negative–images.
Amnesty, however, has taken a step backwards by merely using the social networking sites as a fundraising option. Perhaps the NGO should be outsourcing the creative side of its campaigns to its followers as well, in an attempt to generate a feeling of ownership by its supporters–a buzz, if you like, to go with the bucks.