When organising projects or events the one thing you want is for people to be aware and know when things are happening. This is especially apparent in Community Organising work when you have spent time consulting with local people about what they would like to see in their area, and what concerns they would like addressed - the last thing you want is for no one to know or be a part of the action you are taking! For Action LN2, a resident group based in the Monks Road area of Lincoln, social media has played a large role in telling our story and the stories of the our community.
Social media can reach hundreds, if not thousands, of online users who will hear your stories with no cost. This has obvious appeal in contrast to posters or flyers, which can be costly to print and time consuming to distribute. In an area such as our community, where we are inundated with free take-away menus and other forms of advertising through our letter box, flyers can also often be ignored by people even if the project or event may be highly interesting to them.
Facebook in particular has played a key role in telling the story of Action LN2 projects, especially Our Big Gig in the Arboretum – the free community music festival we organise. The Facebook event page we created has now attracted 1,094 ‘likes’. It is the main tool that we use to tell the story of this amazing music event that brings the whole community together. Through the event page we also recruit local bands, stalls and attractions, and it proves to be a quick and easy means of communicating with these individuals. Recently our volunteers Eleni and Sophie have even won a National Community Star Award for their excellent work on organising the gig. So well done girls!
There are people of course who do not have or use social media and therefore we have recently created an Action LN2 website, designed again by our volunteer SJ. The website was created on a free platform called Weebly and provides us with another outlet to tell our stories. By using digital tools we are telling the story of our Action LN2 movement. And this helps us grow our group of residents who want to bring our community together to make a safe, fun and exciting neighbourhood for us all to live in.