When we think about communication and social media, we think about sharing a graphic on Instagram, creating a Facebook event, or reading an article in the Armenian Weekly. But when it comes to the work of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), communication is much more than just sharing a message. It’s about inspiring youth, affecting legislation and paving the way for Hai Tahd.
On Monday night, the ANCA-ER hosted one of its most important workshops yet – Traditional and Social Media. We have all witnessed the importance of communication, especially during this past year, and we had four incredible individuals explain the important role media and communication play in the Hai Tahd movement and how we can be more effective in our advocacy work.
ANCA communications director Elizabeth Chouldjian started off the workshop by stressing the vital role of communication in our advocacy efforts. Simply put, it’s to “Educate, Motivate and Activate.” Communication can be used to educate our youth, our government officials and the non-Armenian community. It can be used to motivate government officials to support legislation and motivate the Armenian community to take action. Chouldjian talked about all the different outlets we have for communication including direct and indirect communication with our community, grassroots advocacy and regional media.
Another area where communication should play a key role is event planning. Coverage of your event adds reach for the work you are doing both within our community and to the officials we are trying to influence. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s working at an office, organizing a community event, or working on a project on the local level, make sure to include communication in your planning and organization.
Pauline Getzoyan, editor of the Armenian Weekly, talked about traditional media. She highlighted all the sections the Armenian Weekly has been covering for the past 87 years and emphasized that the Weekly is OUR outlet. It serves a community to carry on a tradition. Getzoyan, and all the speakers noted, if you ever want to contribute, you can reach out to anyone on the Weekly team, and they will be more than happy to help you with your idea.
ANCA Programs Director Alex Manoukian discussed the importance of social media. He highlighted two key factors when approaching social media: brand and audience. Manoukian also highlighted some social media tips.
- Make sure you have a brand voice and tone. Figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it.
- Be authentic and genuine. Know what you stand for and what you represent.
- Be professional and have integrity.
- Know your target audience. What do they like to see? Check analytics and insight to see what posts your followers engage with most.
- Consistency is key.
Finally, ANCA IT Director Nerses Semerjian highlighted three key programs the ANCA uses to communicate not only to government officials, but to Armenian community members.
- March to Justice: ANCA’s online advocacy tool where you can share your views with key decision-makers on issues such as aid to Artsakh and stopping US military aid to Azerbaijan. Then use social media or email to urge friends and family to take action as well. You can even keep track of your steps in our global March to Justice.
- FrontRunner: By signing up, you will receive an ANCA text message on the day or days of your choice with a link to three of our highest-priority social media posts that you can choose to share online.
- Rapid Responder: This is the easiest way you can contribute to the Hai Tahd movement. All you do is fill out your information, click “next” and by signing up you allow the ANCA to automatically send pre-written letters on your behalf to your legislators. ANCA will always forward you a copy of the letter sent on your behalf. ANCA is doing all the work for you!
One important point all the speakers highlighted is that they are here for you. If you want to get the word out about an event, if you want to contact your representative, or write a press release, you have so many resources available to you. Never hesitate to reach out to any of these individuals because we all have the same goal in mind, and we must work together and collaborate as much as we can in order to achieve this goal.
Make sure you check out these amazing informative workshops hosted by powerhouses in the ANCA community. The next workshop will be taking place on September 13 at 8 pm EST covering the topic of “Organizing Events.” First time participants must register in advance.