“I use Facebook for work.”
These days that’s not an uncommon statement. Many people–and even entire advertising and PR agencies–make a living out of social media, managing accounts for corporate entities, government agencies, and celebrities. Campaigns for elections, important causes and big events happen on social media.
Back in 2009, that wasn’t always the case. The use of social media for advocacy wasn’t even a given yet, and NGOs didn’t normally use social media to promote their cause. That’s where we came in.
My best friend Dante invited me to work with him on a project with the Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Center for Population and Development. The project didn’t even have a name yet, just a concept: enlighten people about the idea of population and development, get them to talk about it in preparation for the upcoming national elections, and get people talking about all of that on social media. Dante was going to be the project coordinator, and I would handle the website and social media accounts.
It turned out to be a pioneering project, and Mulat Pinoy–Kabataan News Network became sort of the go-to team for social media coverage during advocacy events, as well as youth media training. I worked on this project for six years, and it was tiring but extremely fulfilling work.
Live social media coverage
Through our work with MP-KNN, our team became involved with various events as a social media coverage team.
National Consultative Workshops on Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education, 2013
The NCWRHSE was a series of consultative workshops in early 2013, discussing a framework for RH and sexuality education, in the Philippines. There were regional consultations with stakeholders from different sectors, and their task was to develop a comprehensive sexuality education framework that is developmentally and culturally relevant, as well as age-appropriate, to Filipinos. Our team provided live social media coverage, photo documentation and an audio-visual presentation.
7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, 2014
Our team led the Social Media Coverage Committee for the 7th APCRSHR, held from January 21 to 24, 2014, in Manila. As with NCWRHSE, we provided live social media coverage, daily blog posts, photo documentation, and audio-visual presentations of the conference. About a month before the conference, we even held a training workshop to standardize the usage of social media as a real-time reporting tool. We also developed social media guidelines for other conference attendees were posting on social media.
My particular contributions, in addition to overseeing the team alongside Dante, were updating the conference blog and overseeing the live tweets.
Ako Para Sa Bata Conference 2015
The Child Protection Network flew us to Cebu for this conference. It was especially important to have live social media coverage of the event because the theme was the Cyberprotection of Children!
Puzzled Owl online
As the resident social media manager, I usually handle the social media accounts of Puzzled Owl too. Dante and I split the duties, posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also manage the company website!