We already know that a picture speaks a thousand words, but it can also speak for those who can’t. HSUS is currently doing a photo contest asking people to share cute pictures and stories of their companion animals, all as a means to raise awareness and funds for the noble and necessary mission of “ending pet homelessness,” and advocating for spaying and neutering. You post a picture of your Fido, your friends vote for him by donating a dollar, and the money raised goes to spaying and neutering “animals around the world.” This photo contest got me to thinking…
People love making you sit through their pictures. And as nice people, it’s our duty to look at them and go “aww” from time to time. Giving people the opportunity to share their lives through photos is something most will jump at. So, like HSUS’ contest, why not incorporate more photo sharing into your advocacy? By encouraging your members (if you’re an organization) or “followers” (if you’re an individual with a Facebook or Twitter account that focuses largely on activism) to share their favorite relevant pictures, you can have the added benefit of not only making people go “aww,” but also go “OHHH!” In other words, you can change hearts and open minds.
But keep it relevant. Some ideas for photo incentives or contests include:
- Favorite form of advocacy in motion (leafleting, tabling, protesting…)
- Favorite homemade vegan dish (great for foodie bloggers)
- Influential animal advocates in your life
- Best cruelty-free outfit
Always tie the contest or incentive to a learning opportunity. So if members of your peanut gallery are posting their favorite cruelty-free outfit, ask them to include a description of why they choose to wear ethically-sourced, vegan clothing and shoes. Perhaps you can even get a gift certificate donated from a vegan shoe or accessory store to award the “winner.”
As with everything, try to relate it to the non-choir so that others are exposed to the vegan message, hopefully resulting in them becoming “enlightened” to the issues. Using that same example, perhaps you can do a press release — which you can send to fashion blogs, or “green” blogs — effectively bridging the gap between US and THEM.