Building a Profile and Establishing a Social Media Presence

The objective of this document is to further empower the politicians featured on Fempo through offering regularly published articles that provide tips to political women, especially regarding how to build your profile, hone your message and mobilize resources.  This is our first installment. All installments will be archived on this blog and so even if you miss out on them when they are published, you can still access past articles on the site

A prominent community leader and activist, let us call her Nadia Ndongo, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been a leader in her community for the last 10 years, bringing positive change, especially in the areas of child nutrition, advocacy against early marriages for girls and economic development for women. In particular, she helped establish a child feeding scheme, prevented 12 girls (average age 13) from being married off to much older men and helped 6 women set up their own small enterprises.  However, few people outside and even within her community have ever heard of her. She has had little news media exposure and uses the Internet only to send and receive emails. Yet, she aspires to hold political office, first at the local level and eventually on the national stage. This is where Fempo.net can help Nadia.

Below are guidelines for women who are active politicians whether you hold or do not hold political office as well as aspiring politicians regarding how to make the track record you have established in serving your community more widely known in order to attract the recognition that you will need to obtain votes and win elections.

Step One

Take stock or inventory regarding what you have achieved in the service of your community.
Make a written list of your achievements. Reflect on what drives you to serve your community. Was there a particular incident that led you to become a community activist or leader? What observations have you made about what more needs to be done to improve the lives of the people in your community, your province, your country?

Step Two

Create a package containing the above information that will essentially establish your profile

Step Three

Establish a blog that helps you order your thoughts and ideas on the above information.  The home page of the blog should feature a paragraph on your overall mission to serve your community, province, country.  You should establish a tab on your personal history (your bio). Establish a tab that elaborates the causes that you fight for.  You can call it “My causes” It is best to have no more than 3 or 4 very specific causes like a) improving the country’s ability to attract investment; b) Protecting the country’s forests and linking the protection to job creation; c) Fighting to reduce infant mortality. Each cause should be described in one or two paragraphs.  

 

Then it will be useful to describe what you have achieved already in each of these causes and list those under a tab called "Past Achievements."  Once you complete a project, you can add this to your list of past achievements under that tab. Create another page entitled "On-Going Work".  Here you will list uncompleted tasks that readers can visit for regular updates from you on your on-going work. Establish another page entitled "Around our Community" which features your observations regarding positives, negatives, threats and opportunities in your community.  This can provide information not necessarily related to your core causes. Rather, this will let your readers know that you keep on-going contact with your community and that you are open to hearing about whatever issues concern them.  Here you can even feature news about individuals or groups that are serving the community well or who provide services that might be useful to the community. Another tab can include event announcements. A final tab can feature a picture gallery where you include photos of yourself out in the community.  You can also provide a news feed which features news stories regarding any of the issues you are passionate about as well as news stories where your name has been mentioned.

Step Four

Establish a Facebook Page with a profile picture of you in action serving your community. Inform as many people as you can of the existence of the page, including your existing friends on FB.  Link your FB page to your blog so that each time you have a new blog posting, you can alert your FB followers by pasting the link on your FB page.

Step Five

Establish a Twitter Account.  Use your Twitter account for announcements about events; broadcast your opinion about issues that have arisen or events that have occurred; promote an issue that you are passionate about.  You can also send your blog URLs through Twitter and this will direct people to your blog.

One important strategy with building followers on Twitter is to re-tweet things you agree with. For example, if Nadia Ndongo finds a great article from a journalist highlighting how important it is to protect central African rainforests; she re-tweets the journalist’s story to establish a rapport. Later, the journalist may see Nadia sharing some of her activities and reciprocate by re-tweeting her tweets. This is a great way to maximize the potential of Twitter, which is useful in connecting with journalists and intellectuals.

Step Six

Establish a YouTube account.  If you have the means, hire a videographer to conduct a 10 minute video of you in which you express your views, tell personal stories about what led you to become a politician emphasizing issues that you observed in your community that needed to be addressed, the issues that you fight for. Use this opportunity to educate the viewing public about these issues - citing statistics and providing anecdotes that help people to understand the issue. If you cannot hire a videographer, it is incredible how useful some basic software on most laptops will do for making a well-crafted video with the laptop’s camera

Step Seven

Apply to be featured on FemPo.net in order to heighten your visibility even further.  Fempo.net is a hub for promoting political women and women leaders in Africa which attracts thousands of viewers from all over the world. FemPo.net will also design a standard business card for you that will highlight your social media presence.

Good luck ladies and look out for more tips on this blog!!!

Eve Thompson