Category: Campaigns

Thunderclaps, social networks and how to grow a campaign

The last seven days at LabourStart …

Campaigns:

SF Leather/Mulberry: I sent out a followup mailing to the 70,000+ people on the English list who didn’t open last week’s message. This added a considerable number of new supporters. The campaign is now up to 8,432 supporters. Due to the very low response to our first appeal in Turkish, we drafted an entirely new appeal and sent that out as well. Still, response rates in Turkey remain low, with just 131 supporters for the Turkish language version of the campaign (plus another 90 supporters of the English campaign from Turkey).  I have consulted our Turkish comrades and we are discussing why this is happening and what we can do about it.

Esmail Abdi: This remains our largest current campaign, with 12,252 messages sent so far. The Canadian teachers-initiated Thunderclap was successful in the sense that it reached over 330,000 people, but it generated very few new supporters for the campaign. This confirms previous experience with using Facebook and Twitter to promote campaigns — their impact is much less than you might think, and email remains a far more powerful tool. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use social networks — of course we should; in fact, we’re posting more content than ever before to Facebook, reaching a larger audience.

IUF SABMiller campaign: Following the company’s attempt to block messages, we did a mailing to encourage support this IUF campaign.

Translations: I’ve improved an online form I created some time ago which will make it easier and quicker to deal with submitted translations of campaigns (where the translators are unable to upload the campaigns themselves). We’ll start using this from the next campaign we get.

Mailing lists:

We continue to pick up many new subscribers due to the campaigns. A couple of days ago, I added 256 new subscribers — including 44 new ones for our Turkish language list.
We now have a Sinhalese list, but only one name on it for the moment.

Apps:

Our Norwegian language app for Android is now available in the Google Play store.

Donations:

We’ve had 3 large donations from Canadian unions in recent days.

Two new campaigns launched; others may follow soon

2798We launched a new campaign in support of workers at SF Leather in Turkey, suppliers to the luxury British handbag company Mulberry, who are fighting for the right to join a union. Within 24 hours, the campaign was in six languages and had over 5,000 supporters.

We also launched a new Canada-only campaign in support of striking municipal workers in Hay River, Northwest Territories.  They’ve been on strike for more than five months and need all the help they can get.  If you’re reading this, feel free to sign up to support them — even if you don’t live in Canada.

Our campaign in support of jailed Iranian teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi is our largest current campaign, with just under 12,000 supporters.  I had a meeting with an Iranian human rights activist and we discussing deepening our cooperation. LabourStart is apparently quite well-regarded in these circles and there is much we can do.

It turns out there will be no need for us to a campaign in support the jailed LabourStart correspondent in Transnistria; according to reports we’ve received, he has now been released.

There remains the possibility of a campaign in Germany; a member of our Berlin group is looking into this.

Our mailing lists grew today as we added 246 new supporters, mostly for the English list.

 

Our newest campaign is our largest – and our lists are growing as a result

The campaign to free Esmail Abdi, the jailed Iran teacher trade unionist, is now the largest current LabourStart campaign, with 11,401 messages sent in the last 12 days.  (The runner-up is the China campaign, live since 1 June, but with only 10,293 messages sent.)  There’s been considerable interest shown by some teachers’ unions, especially in Canada, and we’ve made a determined effort including followup emails to our lists.

One of the more unusual tactics this time has been to write to people on the English list who come from non-English-speaking countries and to send them the mailing in their own country’s language, to see if they’ll respond to that and therefore strengthen those lists.

The Abdi campaign message was therefore sent out to people on the English list who may want to be on the Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Czech, Turkish, Swedish and Dutch lists.  There were over 5,000 of these.  The number of Swedes on the English list exceeded the number of people on the Swedish list, and there were over 1,000 people each from Spanish-speaking countries, Norway and Turkey on the English list, all of whom got mailings in Spanish, Norwegian and Turkish.

In addition, our tiny Hindi list (just 31 names) is being strengthened by a mailing to the more than 840 people from India on our English mailing list.

The overall result of these efforts, including the rapid growth of the Abdi campaign, is that we picked up a net gain of 1,449 people to our lists — the vast majority of them in English.

Written by Comments Off on Our newest campaign is our largest – and our lists are growing as a result Posted in Campaigns, Mailing list

Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, Norway, Burma and Transnistria – another week goes by at LabourStart

esmailCampaigns:

We launched a new campaign demanding the release of a jailed Iranian teacher trade union leader, Esmail Abdi, which instantly became one of our largest. The campaign has 6,700 supporters after less than two days online. Canadian teachers unions have launched a Thunderclap to help build support for this.  If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please sign up to support this and spread the word about it.

We’ve also been asked to support a campaign in Turkey and Morocco this week as well. We’re waiting to hear from the IFJ and EFJ about a possible campaign in defense of a journalist in Transnistria who is a LabourStart correspondent.

I did a followup mailing on the Malaysia forestry workers campaign in English. That campaign is well over 8,000 messages sent, making it our second largest current campaign.  But I expect the Iran campaign to overtake it in a day or two.  Followup emails sent a week after we do the initial mailing are important, and I always do them in English.  If the translators for our other large lists (French, German, Spanish) want to do the same, it might help get several hundred additional supporters for our campaigns.

Mailing lists:

We picked up 974 new subscribers this week following the launch of our Iran campaign. We’re now have 132,173 subscribers to our various lists.

Social networks:

Our Facebook page now has 10,021 likes. I’ve stopped paying for advertising and growth from today will be organic. That ad campaign cost us $95.29 and generated 583 new page likes.

Apps:

Our Android app in Norwegian is now nearly done — just a couple more tweaks and it will go live on Google Play. We’ll begin work on other languages, using this as the template.

Books:

The ILO office in Burma needed a Word version of our global labour movement book; this has been found and sent to them.

LabourStart in Numbers – Q2 2015

Some highlights of this, our second quarterly report for 2015:

Mailing lists

Mailing lists have largely stagnated or shrunk in the last 3 months, though we’ve seen some modest growth for English, Swedish, French, Portuguese and Hebrew.

English: 86,373 – 86,077
French: 8,276 – 8,238
German: 5,700 – 5,708
Spanish: 5,431 – 5,446
Italian: 4,039 – 4,059
Turkish: 3,650 – 3,684
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,790 – 2,803
Russian: 2,408 – 2,418
Dutch: 1,743 – 1,762

Chinese: 1,103 – 1,107
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Swedish: 387 – 345
Portuguese: 355 – 353
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 278 – 277
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Other ways to count …

Social networks

Twitter followers

Unlike our mailing lists, we’re seeing continuous growth for our bigger Twitter accounts. In the last quarter, we picked up 532 new followers in English, for example, as compared to just 296 new subscribers to our mailing list.

English: 14,676 – 14,134
Canada English: 4,422 – 4,073
Canada French: 728 – 666
USA: 521 – 492
Indonesia: 292 – 230
Italian: 290 – 255
French: 224 – 221
Spanish: 76 – 75
German: 76 – 73
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 19
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Helped by an ad campaign, our biggest growth this quarter was on Facebook, where our English language page picked up 740 new likes, far more than Twitter or the mailing list.

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,893 – 9,153
Members of LabourStart group: 8,500 – 8,338
Like LabourStart page (French): 478 – 463
Like LabourStart page (German): 428 – 407
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 161 – 149
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 143 – 135

UnionBook

Members: 5,879 – 5,862

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,944 – 1,892

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 790 – 787

Website

Correspondents: 784 – 773

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 24,170 – 35,252

Top countries (by sessions):

This has proven to be remarkably consistent from quarter to quarter, except for Australia’s fall to 4th place.

USA 28% – 25%
Canada 14% – 14%
UK 8% – 7%
Australia 8% – 16%
India 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 44,076 – 54,062
USA – English 13,854 – 15,024
Canada – English 6,791 – 8,049
Australia – English 2,673
UK – English 2,644

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 30,849 – 41,682

Top countries (by sessions):

The very significant growth of Canadian traffic to our campaigns may be explained this quarter by a couple of Canada-only campaigns. One of these was even the third most popular page on our campaigns site.

Canada 23% – 12%
USA 15% – 17%
UK 12% – 14%
Germany 7% – 7%
Australia 4% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

China: Stop police violence against workers fighting for their rights – 12,804
Malaysia: Stop union busting in SFI – 5,419
Tell Premier Wynne and Minister Flynn of Ontario to Stand on the Side of Canada’s Workers! – 5,278
Iran: New wave of arrests of labour activists prior to May Day – 4,525
Hungary: Hödlmayr does not respect trade union rights – 4,524

Breakthrough in Europe, and more …

eescYesterday, thanks to the initiative of Silvana, I was invited to address the regular meeting of the Workers Group of the European Economic and Social Committee, a gathering of nearly 100 trade union leaders from all over Europe.  LabourStart was given 30 minutes on the agenda and we followed their adoption of a statement on Greece.  I spoke and showed a PowerPoint presentation (see it here as a PDF), and we distributed LabourStart flyers to all delegates.  There was a lively discussion, and some were quite familiar with our work and praised it.  Others were introduced to LabourStart for the first time and are keen to work with us, including the Lithuanian delegation.

Following the online campaigning course last week in Hattingen, Germany, we’ve heard from two participants — one from Malta who has begun translating our campaigns into Maltese, and one from the European Federation of Journalists who will be working with us on our next campaign.

Our Malaysia campaign continues to grow and is up to 6,459 supporters as of mid-day today.

Thanks to our ongoing ad campaign, we’re nearly up to 10,000 fans on Facebook — we have picked up 247 new fans in the last 8 days, and have just 110 to go.

We’ll be able to revive the Labour Video of the Year competition thanks to our ongoing partnership with the London Labour Film Festival, which takes place this year in September.  More details soon.

The ILO office in Burma has asked permission to translate our book on the Global Labour Movement into Burmese and publish it there.  We’ve agreed.

Finally, I visited this week with a London-based web design company which organized the recent Hack Day at Mozilla which had a trade union theme and at which we made a presentation.  They’re keep to help with with technological issues and have some very interesting ideas (and a wealth of experience).  We’re considering sharing office space with them, so this could be the beginning of a kind of partnership which could help us enormously.

 

The last 10 days: campaigns open and close, Euro-training, a unionized online book shop, and more

Training:
I’m currently in Hattingen, Germany, helping to teach an ETUI course to 22 European trade unionists on online campaigning.  Five of the 25 people in the room attended our conference in Berlin last year.

Campaigns:
We launched a new campaign today in support of forestry workers in Malaysia, at the request of BWI.
The China campaign is growing slowly; it was at 10,000 ten days ago and is today at just 10,184.
Unions in Turkey, Italy and Mauritius have asked for our support for campaigns as well.
The ITF’s Kenya campaign has now been closed; we have not heard back from them about the results.
The Portuguese interface for campaigns has been improved.
We’re live with one campaign in Sinhalese now.

Books & other publications:
I’m probably going to resume marketing books for trade unionists through Powells.com — we still have a partner deal with them and they’re still the unionized alternative to Amazon.

Social networks:
We have an inexpensive ad campaign going now on Facebook again as we race to reach 10,000 likes. We’re up to 9,643 likes today, up 244 this week.

China campaign has broken the 10,000 barrier and more news from the 2nd week in June

Campaigns:
The China campaign now tops 10,000 messages sent and is our largest active campaign.
A followup mailing was sent to the English list, and this generated 1,600 new supporters from the 5,500 people who opened this message (but didn’t open the first one we sent).  We should consider doing this for our other large language lists.
The Hindi version of this campaign went live this week.
I discussed the possibility of a LabourStart campaign in support of jailed journalists in Turkey with a former president of the National Union of Journalists (UK) — we’d want to do this as a campaign together with the European or International Federation of Journalists.

Internationalization:
We’re still working to get the Portuguese interface working properly for adding news — nearly there. We also now have a transation of the welcome message for new correspondents. Euan has made contact with all our translators and correspondents in Brazil.
We now seem to have a working interface in Sinhalese for our campaigns and have just received the first translation of a campaign — I hope to go live with this very soon.

Books & other publications:
Derek and I have begun looking into printers for the 2016 calendar. Once we know we can do this, and afford this, we’ll begin the work on a photo competition.
With the agreement of my co-author, Jeremy Green, we’ll make our book Firefox OS for Activists, free on the Kindle.  And maybe other books later as well.

Office:
I’m exploring the possibility of re-opening a LabourStart office in London; we’ve had an offer of (free) space. More details next week.

Mailing lists:
This week, I added 558 new subscribers to 16 mailing lists – 401 of them in English.

London Labour Film Festival:
Once again, we’ll be involved in supporting this and promoting it to our supporters in the UK. The festival will take place in the fall.

Donations:
We received a generous donation from the PSEU, a union in Ireland.
I’ve written individually to half a dozen unions in the USA that we have worked with asking for donations.

China campaign launched, and much more

Campaigns:

We launched the China campaign at the request of the HKCTU early last week. It’s now been translated into 16 languages and has nearly 8,500 supporters, making it our second most popular campaign at the moment.

With the agreement of the ITF, we closed the Jimena Lopez campaign today.

Brazil:

We’ve begun efforts to grow LabourStart in Brazil, and are being helped by Euan Gibb who works for one of the unions there. Euan’s translated our news interface into Portuguese, as well as our China campaign and mailing. We had a long and detailed discussion about next steps.

Other languages:

We’re having problems with the Sinhalese interface for campaigns but hope to have this sorted in the next few days. We’re gotten the German interface for adding news working properly again, having converted it to Unicode.

London Hackathon:

This is taking place on Friday; I’ve prepared a “shopping list” of tech things we need done but I haven’t had the time or skill to do.

Fundraising:

I’ve sent appeals to a number of US unions we have worked with in the recent past. Two Canadian unions made donations.

Palestine:

At the request of the editor, I submitted an article to International Union Rights on the investigation conducted by the Israeli Police into the campaign we did in support of Palestinian garage workers. I conducted an email interview with Assaf Adiv of WAC Maan to do this.

2016 conference, new China campaign, and much more – a busy week

Global Solidarity Conference 2016:

We have a date and a venue, which I hope to announce in the next day or two.

Campaigns:

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions has given us a campaign which will go live in the next day or two.
We’ve been in touch with a group that works to support Iranian political prisoners.
I did a followup mailing to build support for our current Iran campaign after it turned out that two of the prisoners have been released on bail.
Our campaigns interface has now been translated into Sinhala, a language spoken by about 16 million people.
We helped BWI with their FIFA/Qatar Thunderclap, boosting it substantially.
The link to show more campaigns on the Swedish campaign page was broken; I have now fixed it.
Our Berlin group now has access to add campaigns directly to our database.

News:

I have begun fixing the redirect when you key in the URLs for languages like this: http://www.labourstart.org/no — they now go to the ‘news’ directory rather than the ‘2013’ directory, part of a long-term project to migrate everything over.
Small changes made to the Norwegian home page, at Espen’s request.
We’ve had a problem with the German interface to add news; I’ll be helping Gisela to sort this out.
We have a new search engine which I’ll deploy next week; it was set up in response to a request from a Canadian academic doing research on lockouts and works better than our current one.

London Hackathon:

On 12 June we’ve been invited to participate in this event, mentioned earlier (see my post from 14 May). I’ve done a short ‘shopping list’ of some of the many tech things we need help on. If any of you have any suggestions or things to add to that list, please let me know.

Books & Publications:

I’ll resume work on the 2016 Global Labour Calendar next week after a few months of inactivity.
20 copies of Dan Gallin’s Solidarity have been ordered for sale at Northern College in the UK this summer.
I’ll prepare a detailed report on sales in recent months in an upcoming report.

Donations:

We’ve had another donation from a Norwegian union, and PSI has pledged £3,090.
I’ve begun contacting US unions one by one to get their support for the next year.
Our donations page is now translated in Spanish, and we did a mailing to our Spanish list (but with very poor results).

Newswires:

The British TUC has asked us to look into making our newswires secure (using SSL) so we’ve ordered this from our ISP. This will allow the newswire to appear again on some popular TUC sites, such as unionreps.org.uk.

Mailing lists:

We picked up 123 new subscribers this week, and 928 last week.