How we used Twitter to help our community to tell its own story

community camerasI’m a huge fan of driving engagement by getting the community involved.

I have always argued that there are more folks on the ground than reporters, and often they can tell their story better than any outsider can.

Case in point: The @UW_Cameras twitter account from United Way Ottawa, where I work. United Way Ottawa gave some of the agencies it funds a wifi-enabled iPhone (dubbed a ‘community camera’) and gave access to this twitter account. We then asked them to show the world how they are changing lives on a daily basis.

The photos are stunning, and they tell a story better than we at United Way ever could. Take a look:

United Way curated the best tweets into this Storify, which it embedded on a story page of its website, to broaden the audience beyond the @UW_Cameras twitter account.

We’re hoping this initiative helps donors understand the impact their dollars are making, that people understand #WhatWeDo.

Over the coming months the phones will circulate to other community agencies who will use the cameras to highlight what they do.

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2 thoughts on “How we used Twitter to help our community to tell its own story

  1. Mel, this is a great initiative. Do you have a plan to achieve broader distribution for it? With only 55 followers for @UW_Cameras and 121 views of the Storify, it seems like the real issue is how to reach more of Ottawa’s million residents and potential donors.

    1. Great point Joe – we’re just getting started with this and as agencies increase their usage we’ll be promoting it more. As you know not all of Ottawa is on Twitter, so my goal is cross-platform promotion of these mini stories.

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