Union campaigning is a tough business. I’m not talking about those major campaigns, like the Rights at Work campaign or well publicised disputes like Qantas or the ANF bargaining campaign in Victoria.
Most union campaigns are small affairs, fighting tooth and nail for working people in small workplaces and over issues that won’t affect the national economy. Lots of union campaigns are done on a shoe-string. They’re run by an organiser or a passionate delegate. The union’s digital and online campaign tools are scarce or non-existent. It’s tough out there — especially since bigger campaigns can suck up all the oxygen, and raise expectations of members who see them in traditional media.
It’s tempting to believe that the big campaigns, big unions or national disputes will get all the attention because they have the resources. I think this is partly correct — because of the halo effect of traditional media attention and scale.
The real problem though is that many unions (of all sizes) are using old, outdated techniques to promote their campaigns and activities. Most unions run fantastic campaigns on the ground. Organisers are, by and large, passionate, skilled, experienced and effective. Unions are winning for members every day.
This should be a winning combination. Unfortunately, unions can’t seem to get their story out.
This is why a union blog is important.
Practically, a blog lets you tell your union’s story, your campaign’s story and your members’ story. You can use a blog to reach the working people your union wants to represent and join.
A blog lets you paint a picture about your union’s activities, campaigns, services, and successes. They let you tell those stories in an authentic and credible way — and the best thing is that blogging about those stories is Google secret-sauce.
Search engines, like Google (the most used search engine in Australia), absolutely love blogs. They provide rich, relevant and updated content for their web-crawlers. The more content you have on your blog, the easier it is for people to find it online using Google.
A well thought out blog can multiply your online campaigning and communications efforts and make a lot of the other stuff you’re doing online — email, landing pages, social media, pay-per-click advertising — a whole lot more effective.
Your main union website should have a blog at the very least, but if you’re running a campaign over a long period (such as the Equal Pay campaign), then a blog will really give you an edge. No matter the size of your union or the campaign.