The SEL activities helped the learners identify key strengths and weaknesses in affecting change. Learners had an opportunity to identify those changemakers they know and what characteristics they have that make them effective. The learners were encouraged to apply this to themselves and look for ways to improve.
In the Media analysis unit, learners had the opportunity to explore how messages are spread online by mobilising an “army of haters” and then considering how this can be “flipped” to mobilise an army of activists.
The Media production unit offered learners the opportunity to plan a counter-narrative campaign using some of the learning from the “army of haters” activity in the Media analysis unit.
In the Citizenship unit, learners learned more about planning high-level campaigns and examining the importance of identifying the issue, audience and objectives to help focus a campaign.
The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:
“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”
Activity: Seriously rapid planning
Note: Works best with anywhere between 8-16 learners, but you could adapt it for an even larger group if you had the space for it. Learners will be split into teams, with a minimum of two learners per team.
What you will need:
- Remind learners that the SELMA toolkit is a set of modules designed to address hate speech through a social and emotional learning approach. Learners will be participating in this activity designed to encourage reflection on three critical components of any successful campaign, including the campaigns they will be designing as part of their efforts to tackle (online) hate speech. The three components are: (1) goal-setting, (2) audience segmentation and targeting and (3) choosing the right channels.
- It’s important that learners feel safe, comfortable and warmed up before participating in an activity. Check out our handy “How to” guide for general recommendations on how to introduce the peer-mentoring activities.
- Before the activity begins, set up the room using the “Room setup” resource as a visual aide:
- On one side of the room you should have the four “Segmentation labels” stuck across the wall, horizontally (Age, Gender, Location, Education Level). Allow for as much space as you can between one label and another. Under each Segmentation label, either on the floor or on a desk, spread out the segment options for each category (e.g. under the segmentation label “Age”, place the four individual cards: 11-16; 17-21; 22-30; 31-40).
- On the other side of the room, stick the title page “Where will we run it?” on the wall. Then, either on the floor or on a desk underneath, spread out the five “Channels” options (Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, We’re going offline). Allow for as much space as you can between one “channel” and the other.
- Set up the chairs and tables as shown in the “Room setup” resource, depending on the number of participants you will be working with.
- Place one “Mission overview” resource on each participant table, face down.
- Explain to learners that, in this activity, they’ll be focusing on the three key elements of any successful campaign. Explain that there’s lots more work that needs to go into a fully-fledged campaign, but that these three key elements should be a starting point - and getting them right is a really great way of setting yourself up for the best chances of success. The three key elements are:
- Creating a specific goal based on an identified problem.
- Identifying your target audience.
- Choosing the right channels for reaching that audience.
- Begin with a 10-minute brainstorming session where you ensure that participants understand what is meant by the three criteria. Some guiding questions and discussion tips are:
- Why is it important to begin the process by thinking about the problem we are trying to solve?
- Why do you think it is important to be really clear about our goal before designing a campaign?
- Here are two examples of goals. Can you tell me which you think is an example of a good goal and which is an example of a less good goal:
- (i) We will raise awareness about the tools available to people for reporting online hate speech.
- (ii) We will solve hate speech.
- Participants should understand that we risk running an ineffective campaign if it is not based on a correct understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. They should also understand that a good goal is specific and limited. It helps to keep campaigners focused, and helps them to evaluate whether their campaign was successful afterwards.
Target audience and segmentation:
- An audience in this context means all the people who will see our campaign.
- What do we mean by a target audience?
- Why might we want to target our message to a specific group of people in order to solve our problem, and not just try to reach everyone?
- How does a target audience link to your goal?
- Why do you think it is important to be really clear about our target audience before we begin designing our campaign?
- How do you think our target audience will affect the choices we make about how we design our campaign? Participants should understand that campaigns that try to reach everyone rarely work - because they do not tailor enough to individuals’ specific needs and preferences. Choosing a target audience allows you to focus your efforts on those whose behaviour you most want to change. It also means you can tailor your message and choose your channels properly, for maximum impact.
- Explain the concept of audience segmentation: the idea of “slicing” your population according to specific features so that you can better tailor your campaign.
- Ask participants to give you examples of segments.
- Ask participants to give you examples of how the choice of segments would influence their campaign design.
- Ask learners to give you examples of “channels” (i.e. online and offline platforms for getting your message across).
- Discuss why choosing the right channel is key for an effective campaign and what they should think about when choosing their channel. Participants should understand the link between target audience and channel selection.
- Now, tell learners to turn over the “Mission overview” resource on their desk. Explain that they have been sent on a mission, to create a “seriously rapid plan” for a campaign addressing online hate speech in a country called Breadria. Direct them to the “Mission overview” resource and talk them through the instructions on the first page. Explain that they will first be reading the information about Breadria, then doing their 10-minute planning session and that, at the end of the activity, they will be presenting their seriously rapid plan to a group of “Dragon’s Den” judges.
- Explain that during this 10-minute session, they will be completing the “My seriously rapid plan” resource, which is asking them to describe their campaign goal, their target audience and segmentation and the channels they will use. Tell participants that they should explain their choices, and make sure that the campaign is properly addressing the problems they will read about on the information sheet about Breadria.
- Draw participants’ attention to the papers on the walls and floor/table. Tell them that there’s a slight catch to their planning session, which is that they will have to choose their audience segment and channel from the options on offer. They will have limited time to grab the audience segment and channel they want and it will be competitive: if they don’t manage to get the option they wanted, they’ll have to settle for another one, and adapt their campaign to make it work. They will have to select three audience segments and one channel that they will use. The three audience segments they choose must come from three different categories (e.g. 11-16; Female; Primary school education). Timing will work like this:
- Five minutes: To read the information about Breadria (“Mission overview” resource, page 2), discuss which problem they want to address and then decide what their goal should be (participants should write this down on the “My seriously rapid plan” resource)
- After five minutes you will stop participants to begin their 10-minute rapid planning session:
- Give them a maximum of two minutes to select three audience segments and one channel that they will use. Participants who finish choosing in less than two minutes can immediately continue completing their “My seriously rapid plan”.
- In the remaining time they will complete the rest of the “My seriously rapid plan” writing down the options they chose and their reasons.
- When the 10 minutes are up, stop participants. Tell them that they must choose one person from each team to be a “Dragon’s Den” judge. The “Dragon’s Den” judging panel will listen to the campaign plans of each team and will decide which they think would most effectively address Breadria’s problems. Judges are not allowed to vote for their own team’s campaign plan.
- Invite each team to present their plan briefly to the judging panel (if there is time, judges may ask questions to the teams).
- Understanding the problem you are trying to address is essential - do not rush into proposing a campaign before you’ve really understood the problem you’re trying to solve.
- A clear and specific goal will keep you focused and ensure that you can judge how successful your campaign has been further down the line.
- Your goal should help you decide which your target audience is. Having a target audience will help you tailor your message and focus your efforts. Campaigns that try to reach everyone are rarely successful.
- Your target audience should help you identify the best channel for your message. It’s no use trying to reach the 80+ population via Snapchat if very few of them are on there!
Learn about, and practice applying, the principles of audience segmentation and channel selection in the campaign planning process.