Five Tips For Organizing During A Pandemic

The world and our respective communities are changing rapidly in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Progressive voices need to respond, adapting to shifting priorities and needs. 

Here are five tips to consider for your campaign in the coming weeks: 

  1. Take a breath, both literally and figuratively. Now is not the time to rush out advocacy messaging not related to the coronavirus. It is time to review your social content calendar and consider cancelling or reducing non COVID-19 related posts. 
  2. Consider how you are messaging to your supporters and the general public. Are you providing information that relates to this crisis? Are you encouraging people to come together in this difficult time? Where appropriate, share important COVID-19 resources such as available government programs and local public health websites and self-help tips. 
  3. Consider tactics like hosting a virtual town hall to actively listen to your members and supporters, helping provide a space for people to share their stories and experiences. If you work in areas that relate to this crisis, such as health care, poverty reduction, Indigenous rights, education and climate change, help tell this story. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Youtube Livestream and Facebook Live are all options you can explore. 
  4. Meet people where they are at. Many of us are in our homes, balancing work and personal responsibilities (and sometimes with cooped-up, wired children) with anxiety. Educational opportunities, and fun escapes are much needed for many of us. Release the report or paper you’ve been holding on to, develop or update an educational toolkit. Podcasts, webinars, apps and kid-approved activities that relate to your work are all value-added resources you can provide. 
  5. Organizations can give back to our communities. MediaStyle recently donated to the Ottawa Food Bank and Parkdale Food Centre. If your organization has the capacity to financially give, now is a good time to donate to frontline support such as local hospitals and grassroots initiatives meeting people’s needs. You can also support the demands from the frontlines, such as this petition from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union asking the federal government to rapidly enact emergency measures for health care workers.

*Bonus: Lean into the pet and kid cameo Zoom opportunities, we all need some comic relief (perhaps not during a tantrum – written from experience).

Andrea Harden is a Senior Strategist at MediaStyle


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