One Pulse for America, the anti-gun violence group founded by George Takei in the aftermath of the Pulse shootings, has grown into a Facebook group of more than 75,000 advocates in less than one year.
Takei, along with One Pulse Director Ladd Everitt, created the group to close what he calls the “passion gap.” By that, he means that gun advocates and the gun lobby have historically been much more vocal and passionate than gun control advocates. To change that, Everitt’s Facebook group promotes daily actions that gun violence prevention advocates can take to demand change. The Hatcher Group began working with One Pulse a few months before the first anniversary of the shooting on June 12, 2017.
As part of the anniversary commemoration, One Pulse created this moving video tribute featuring Takei that asked people to join the Facebook group and take daily actions to combat gun violence.
The Hatcher Group successfully pitched PEOPLE magazine to run a story commemorating the anniversary and featuring the work of One Pulse for America. PEOPLE also tweeted the piece to its nine million followers, resulting in 200 new members joining the group in less than 18 hours.
The video also got a big boost when Takei shared it on his personal social media channels, receiving more than 2,000 retweets on Twitter and 175,000 views on Facebook.
Here are lessons from One Pulse’s effort:
- A Facebook group can be more useful than a Fan page. While there are drawbacks to using a Facebook group instead of a regular fan page (you can’t run ads in a private group, for example), One Pulse has shown how a group can mobilize people. Instead of caring about overall reach, One Pulse is most interested in getting fervent supporters to take action. In a group, every member gets notified with every post, as opposed to the 1-2 percent of fans who may see posts from a Fan page.
- Video is king. While producing videos is often expensive and time-consuming, you simply can’t replace the reach and engagement from a well-done video.
- A celebrity tweet is newsy. Several major news sources, the Orlando Weekly for example, ran pieces that simply catalogued celebrity tweets about Pulse, including Takei’s, with the video.
- Caption your video. Video with captions (subtitles) are the norm on social media. Most people do not watch videos with the sound on. Videos with detailed captions get more and longer views. Don’t miss out on viewers simply because your video relies on audio.
How can you best honor the victims of One Pulse? Consider joining One Pulse for America’s Facebook group, participating in daily actions – and help wipe out gun violence in America.