Below is the latest in our series featuring memorable talks from our 2014 frank gathering.
Twitter may force us to use fewer words to deliver our messages. But ironically, even an organization like Human Rights Watch that deals with ugly and complicated subjects, such as torture and murder, has found that the combination of brevity and focus makes the group’s communications more effective.
Caroll Bogert, deputy executive director, external relations, for Human Rights Watch admitted, however, during her frank 2014 talk, that when she first heard about Twitter, she thought of it as the “ultimate insult to the idea of complexity….How can you possible say anything important in 140 characters?”
In the years since, Twitter and other social media tools have helped power Human Rights’ communications strategies. Bogert now describes Twitter as a way “to point a finger” to where people can find a lengthier and fuller description of the problems Human RIghts Watch is addressing around the world. She adds that Twiter aslo “has turned out to be the place where journalists go for information.”
Video, too, has become a mainstay of the work of Human Rights Watch, as the ability to collect stories of abuses told by the victims themselves, also fuels the group’s ability to capture public and media attention about problems that need action..
Overall, says Bogert, social media gives Human RIghts Watch the ability to turn the information it collects and the research it produces into levers for action and positive change.
Watch Boggert’s talk below.