April 13-17, 2010
Denver, Colorado, USA

Demonstrations: Description

A Voice for Freedom: The McCormick Freedom Project's Social Media Experiment

Kelli Landes, McCormick Freedom Project, USA
Jamie Loo, McCormick Freedom Project, USA

How do you take a cause like freedom and spread its message through social media? The McCormick Freedom Project has been trying to figure this out.

After closing our museum in March, the Freedom Project has made social media a priority to connect audiences to our educational mission centered on the First Amendment. The mission of our organization is to enable informed participation in our democracy by demonstrating the relevance of the First Amendment and the role it plays in the ongoing struggle to define and defend freedom.

Our five person social media team has been researching and experimenting with ways to harness social media to spread awareness of freedom issues and the resources our organization offers. While many museums use social media to connect people to their physical spaces and collections, we’ve been faced with the challenge of connecting people to a cause rather than a location. We started with spending a few weeks defining our goals, audience, and brainstorming some things we wanted to do with our social media. We’re now actively engaged in experimenting with some of our ideas.

The Freedom Project has two voices on Twitter @freedom_project and @jloo_mfp. We Tweet things such as facts and trivia, links to news articles about freedom and fun Web pages (ie., a Web site with Bart Simpson’s blackboard scrawlings which recently featured this: "The First Amendment does not cover burping").Our Twitter voices also promote the Freedom Project’s programs and resources for students and teachers. Facebook allows us to interact with our audience through our wall and discussion forums. The Freedom Project also has a presence on Blogger, YouTube, Flickr, and will be experimenting with Ning and SchoolTube in the future. This spring the Freedom Project will be rolling out its new mobile museum and social media will play an important role in raising awareness about our new museum. Creating a consistent brand with unique voices to make constitutional issues come alive over these various mediums is something that we’re still working on. In our demonstration we will share how we put together a social media plan for our organization; how we’re using social media tools; and some of our challenges, experiments and results.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - III [Close Up]

Keywords: social media, freedom, brainstorming, experimentation, Twitter, Facebook