We can all use our voices for social good. It’s easier than ever, but it’s time to go beyond “hashtag activism.” Start posting about the issues you care about, raise awareness, point out resources to help others, and you will feel you are contributing to the greater good.
As content creators, the next step will be embarking on bigger collaborations or campaigns. Before you jump at the opportunity, it’s best to do some research.
The first thing you should ask yourself before committing to any campaign is whether or not it’s a good fit.
Then, are the organization or brand’s values aligned with yours? Will you be proud of being associated with what that brand or organization represents?
It’s not enough to just like a cause, company, or the products it sells. Take a few minutes to do a quick Google search or check out social media to see where the organization or brand stands when it comes to issues that are important to you.
There are questions you should always ask before working on any campaign:
- Is this a pro-bono campaign or do you have a budget?
- Who are the other creators working on that campaign?
- How much creative freedom will I have?
- What are the deliverables?
- Is there an exclusivity clause?
- What happens if the client suspends the campaign after I have sent all my deliverables for review?
- How many rounds of revisions are you anticipating?
- Who will own the content I create?
Assuming you are in sync with the campaign you will be working for, it’s time to use your allyship to ask more questions and advocate on the behalf of the underrepresented members of the blogging community
5 Activism questions to ask before working on any campaign
Is this a pro-bono campaign or do you have a budget?
Pro-bono means everybody is donating their time and their work for a cause. In some cases, brands allocate money or goods that will be donated in your name. Are you okay with donating your time? If the campaign is for a charity that does offer to pay you, you can always donate back the money if you feel uncomfortable about receiving compensation from a non-profit.
How diverse is their campaign?
How are they striving to be inclusive and represent diversity? Really ask yourself if (and why) you are okay with a lack of diversity. When you’re an advocate or activist, it’s important to know whether you’ll be comfortable and aligned with those you’ll be working with. If this opportunity is not diverse as you would prefer, see if they are willing to incorporate other voices, whether now or in the future. Before walking away, have a conversation with key decision-makers. In asking which other creators will be working on the campaign, use it as an opportunity to hold brands to their diversity pledge.
How much creative freedom will I have?
Any content you create must reflect your voice and unique point of view, especially if you’re an activist or advocate for social causes. Be prepared to make a case for yourself and establish boundaries. For example, it should be clear that your posts must be authentic and consistent with the content you consistently publish. You should also feel free to suggest a change of dates if current events would make the content appear inappropriate or insensitive.
What happens if the client suspends the campaign after I have sent all my deliverables for review?
Many agencies and brands have paused their marketing efforts during the pandemic or when it would have appeared insensitive to promote their products. However, if you have done all the work already, you should be paid for it, even if you didn’t post for these unforeseen reasons. Some contracts specify that the client will pay the creator even if they decide not to use your content. Ask before you sign anything. Also, check the termination clauses.
How many rounds of revisions are you anticipating?
In general, it’s fine to consider two rounds of revisions. It’s up to you whether you will allow for general edits or whether you’ll consider a reshoot without charging an extra fee.
Given how unpredictable our lives are right now, anticipate having to be a bit more flexible with changes. However, that does not mean that the client gets the final word.
Make sure you have final approval so you can make the copy more organic (so it sounds more natural and less like a marketing talking point) and it doesn’t feel like you’re selling out.
It’s powerful to use your voice to draw attention to causes, programs, movements, or brands seeking to improve the world.
Just know what you’re getting into, be careful who you’re associated with, and ensure that your values are aligned.
Most importantly, have everything in writing, to not only avoid confusion down the road but to also stand your ground in case there are disagreements once it’s time to execute your campaign.
Jeannette Kaplun is an award-winning journalist, TV personality, speaker, and bilingual content creator. A pioneer of the Latina blogging world, she is the founder of Hispana Global, hispanaglobal.net in English and hispanaglobal.com in Spanish. She believes in the power of your voice for social good and has worked with [email protected], ONE, the UN Foundation, Save the Children, Bloggers4Haiti, Climate Reality, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among other organizations. Connect with her on Instagram @JeannetteKaplun.