Slacktivism 

We’ve all done it, but do you know what it is? And does it have any impact? Slacktivism is…

“Actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website” – Oxford Dictionaries.

It’s easy to see a campaign that you support or an issue you feel strongly about, add your name to the online petition and think no more about it. Slacktivism is on the rise with the boom in social media.

I’m sure you’ve all seen them – the campaign asking you to hit ‘like’ or ‘retweet’, or perhaps even take a selfie and use a certain hashtag. Yes, you’ve done as the campaign has asked, but have you really done anything?

So what does this mean for PR campaigns?

The Pros

You can gather information

Getting people to engage with your message can show you how big a following your campaign may have and what sort of people are getting involved. Getting information on who’s involved can often be very useful.

It raises awareness

The more retweets or shares you get, the more people see your message. It’s as simple as that. If you just want to share a message, then slacktivism is great!

It’s easy

It’s far easier to encourage people to participate from the comfort of their smartphone, than it is to get them to attend an event or complete a challenge. 

It’s open to anyone

Let’s take a fundraising campaign as an example. There’s many that are unable to donate because of their own financial situation. However, anyone who sees a social media post online can share it. No cost. No effort.

Slacktivism

The Cons

Messages can be avoided

With the effective filtering software now available, or by people simply scrolling on past, your campaign may not get seen.

before.we_.make_It doesn’t make an impression

Can you tell me what you’ve liked or shared recently? I’d be surprised if you could remember everything. Messages may get shared but they may not be remembered for longer than it takes to click.

Does it make a difference?

This is what it all boils down to. And with online and social media campaigns, you cannot always guarantee any engagement will make a difference.

What are your views on slacktivism? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

 

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