Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell) campaign in India has turned out to be a great social media success story. The campaign highlights the use and influence of social media in creating awareness on social issues. The campaign is run by Breakthrough, a global Human Rights organization based in India and United States.
IndiaSocial has a detailed article on the Bell Bajao case study. It is a great read for any organization planning a campaign through social media and on-the-ground efforts. Here are few interesting highlights of the Bell Bajao campaign.
- The campaign used a strategy to target segments of the population who were potentially part of the solution rather than the victims and their families. Take cognizance of the solution not just the problem in designing your social media strategy.
- According to the IndiaSocial article Bell Bajao Blog is one of the few user generated platforms that encourage the exchange of opinions, studies, experiences or personal stories on issues from gender, violence to sexuality. Don’t dictate solutions for social challenges; encourage stakeholders to suggest possible remedies.
- The campaign used variety of tools ranging from Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, YouTube, Vimeo, news dailies and wires (print and online). Don’t just concentrate of social media; use all effective tools of communication popular in your community.
- The biggest milestone for the Bell Bajao online campaign was the micro campaign during the global 16 Days of Activism in 2010 called, 16 Days of Tweetism. Design specific sub-campaigns for short durations; it’s easier to engage audience with specific tasks for small durations.
- In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Breakthrough called on men and boys to join the fight to halt domestic violence and ‘Bell Bajao’. Men and boys were asked to join the blog action week ‘It Takes Two’ from 1st March till 8th March on the Bell Bajao blog and tell their stories. Engagement increases if you make it easier for the target population to participate. Don’t expect to see spurt in your social media engagement with broad and undefined calls to participation.
- The media and education teams at Breakthrough worked in together to design and run the Bell Bajao campaign. The education team generated content like knowledge and theory of domestic violence in India and resource databases of helpline numbers, case studies of domestic violence, service provider organizations, legal counseling cells etc. Social media campaigns are successful when integrated in the organization’s overall approach to the solution; judiciously mix your program expertise with social media skills.
Bell Bajao offers the E-Mediat participants a great opportunity to learn about tailoring social media and communications strategies to cultural sensitives and target group dynamics.
(This blog post summarizes the “Bell Bajao” case study carried on the indiasocial website.)