I recently saw a campaign which followed the day in the life of a young girl, Immaculate in Northern Ghana. The Twitter Moments series starts with Immaculate doing her daily chores to help the family at 6:15am and ends with her walking home from school with friends at 4.00pm remuneration and benefits. I spoke to Michael Stulman who is the Regional Information Officer for CRS in West Africa who lead this campaign.
What inspired you to produce the Day in the Life of Immaculate campaign? / What is the main purpose of the campaign
We wanted to create content that would inform and inspire our audiences on Twitter. Just like any book or film, there is typically one main character. When you focus on too many people, people can become overwhelmed. By highlighting Immaculate’s experience, it became more personal. And photos and video provide more context and make it more engaging, which is especially important on Twitter, where everything moves so quickly and content is easily missed.
How did you select Immaculate and how long did the filming take?
CRS staff that are based in that area know the community quite well, and they spoke to the school administrator to get his recommendations on who might be willing and available. I met with a few families, and in the end, we chose Immaculate because of her willingness and availability. We filmed for just one day.
7:00 am in #Ghana: Immaculate and her friends walk to their school, which has improved #water access and sanitation thanks to CRS and @HelmsleyTrust. All students arrive early to help clean around the school. #FollowImmaculate pic.twitter.com/8DsdugqvRQ
— Catholic Relief (@CatholicRelief) April 12, 2018
Did Immaculate receive payment in any way?
We are really grateful that Immaculate and her parents allowed us to follow her throughout the day. Her participation was completely voluntary. Our staff in that area had met with her in advance to explain what we were hoping to accomplish, and she was happy to participate.
In what ways was the campaign successful and how would you do it differently next time?
We looked at key metrics after the campaign was launched, and found that a lot of the content performed better than average, in terms of engagement. We’re always trying new things, and hoping to improve how we tell stories. For example, we’ve used Twitter Moments to highlight specific donors or issues and people. And for each Moment, we’re experimenting with different types of video, GIFs, memes, photos and quotes that help tell a story.
I brought a lot of photography and videography equipment with me – much of which was useful at some point during the trip, but my iPhone was probably the most productive tool for collecting content we can use on social media. Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple!
And like most trips to the field, you need to do a lot of advanced planning, but that’s mostly to set expectations around what you’re hoping to accomplish and why. In terms of what actually happens day-to-day and hour-by-hour, everything can change quickly and you need to be flexible.
With social media, I’m always testing, testing and testing. Next time I’m in the field and collecting content, I’d like to try the “Day in the Life” format again, but I may try adding more depth to the story by incorporating perspective from other friends and family. I’ll probably focus more on video content, as well.