The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) new social media initiative is the first major promotional effort by the nonprofit since it received an unprecedented surge in popularity after the election of Donald Trump. On Monday, the ACLU unveiled “The People’s Oath,” a desktop and mobile website that lets anyone create and share their own pledge inspired by the oath of office that Trump will take during his inauguration on Friday.
Each pledge begins, “I do solemnly swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States to ensure . . . ” and visitors can write their own ending or select one from a “get suggestions” button. Some of the prewritten endings include “ . . . to ensure that Planned Parenthood’s doors stay open,” and “. . . to ensure that we are all treated equally and fairly by the police.” Pledge takers can then add a photo and signature and share the image to social media with the hashtag #PeoplesOath.
The social media campaign, created with brand strategy firm Co:Collective, is partly aimed at attracting a younger membership base to the ACLU. People who create and share pledges will be invited to sign up for the ACLU’s email newsletters.
“The ACLU has been shapeshifting to make sure the role for people and how they involve members is very clear,” says Tiffany Rolfe, chief creative officer at Co:Collective. “After the election, there has been a lot of energy around the ACLU. [The People’s Oath] is made to introduce people to what the ACLU stands for and signals the beginning of a relationship that will bring people in throughout the year.”
The ACLU plans to launch additional social media-driven campaigns later this year to capitalize on the post-election wave of public interest, Rolfe says. When asked if the nonprofit was concerned about trolls using the pledge-generator tool to create hateful messages, Rolfe replied, “the ACLU believes in freedom of expression.”