“The Filibuster Heard ‘Round the World” was the result of a few opportune factors, that formed a perfect storm for the political story to go viral: a likeable Senator in Wendy Davis, a high profile issue in abortion and the availability of information on social media combined to allow millions of likeminded progressives to show support for the cause in Texas, the U.S. and internationally.
While a social media storm of the magnitude we saw last week from Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster of SB 5 cannot be caused by a specific action, it does pay to have a strategy in place, including a group of allies reaching their audiences through their owned channels and a specific target list of amplifiers you want to engage. Progressive organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lilith Fund had those key elements in place to ensure there was a discussion. Additionally, the Texas Tribune was providing up to the minute analysis, reporting and, hugely important, a crystal clear video stream from the senate floor.
A good example of allies using their owned channels came from blogger Julie Gillis: “If you are NOT in Austin and cannot get here, tweet and retweet your support for us. The anti-brigade is out in force. Here are Twitter handles for members of our Lege. All they have are lies, falsities, and shock tactics. Don’t engage them, just tweet your support for what we are doing. Tweet at positive public figures, get us trending and raise the signal for women’s rights. TWEETSTORM them out of business, y’all!”
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