Guest Post From Elizabeth Arledge: #LegalAid Voices “Storm” the Twitterverse

Elizabeth writes as follows:

Well, THAT was fun.

Something amazing happened last week on the way to tonight’s State of the Union address. When Voices for Civil Justice invited members of our JusticeVoices network to participate in a “Twitter storm” organized by TalkPoverty.org, civil legal aid advocates from 26 states responded with a torrent of tweets – 545 by our count – calling on President Obama to include legal aid in tonight’s address. TalkPoverty.org organized the online event as a vehicle for individuals to tell the White House that the President should focus on solutions to poverty.

The 545 tweets promoting civil legal aid were posted from 65 different Twitter accounts and represent fully one third of the 1,600 tweets posted by anti-poverty advocates during the storm. Let me say that again – one third of the tweets told President Obama that civil legal aid matters.

Put simply: Legal aid rocked it.

How fitting is it that there’s a word cloud for a tweet storm? Look here for a visual representation of civil legal aid’s visibility in the Twitter storm.
 
What’s so amazing about this? The level of participation (with only three hours of lead time, no less) is a clear indication that advocates are eager to talk about why civil legal aid matters, and are increasingly capable of using new platforms like Twitter to do so.

The impact of online engagement / social media can often seem fuzzy, but legal aid’s showing in last week’s Twitter storm proves that we can use our voices strategically, combining our efforts to deliver a common message to high-priority audiences. And, working with allies such as TalkPoverty.org leverages our efforts.
 
Two opportunities:

If you are on Twitter, your next opportunity to participate in a joint event is tonight. Join TalkPoverty and other online activists who will be live tweeting during the State of the Union address. Offer your thoughts using #LegalAid, #TalkPoverty and #SOTU, and ask your friends to join in.

Are you a member of the JusticeVoices network yet? If not, you can learn more and join here.

Thanks and congratulations to all.

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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