Depending on who you ask, this election is being dubbed the “Facebook election” just as previous elections have been dubbed the YouTube, Google or selfie elections. Whether or not such labels accurately represent the influence of social media there is no denying that the online world of selfies, tweets, likes and shares is one of the primary vehicles being used by candidates and parties to promote their message directly to voters.
Social media is also being used strategically by social justice organisations and unions to respond and to spread campaign messages.
It takes only a little bit of time and effort to engage in the election campaign and support the push for Gonski needs-based funding — but if enough people take that little bit of time, the effort amplifies an already large chorus of voices and is a public display of support for the equitable funding system we know our students need.
Listed below are easy ways in which you can join the online discussion and help support the campaign in the final weeks before July 2. Please remember that all NSW public school teachers are governed by the Department’s social media policy and all activities must be considered in the context of that policy and guidelines.
Use Twitter: here’s how to reach a wide audience
One of the most public and active social media platforms, everything posted on Twitter is public and available to a wide and varied audience. There are a few key features of Twitter that can be used effectively as part of a campaign.
Hashtags: Send tweets that include #Gonski. Regardless of how many people follow your account, you can use hashtags (short words or phrases preceded by a # — e.g. #Gonski) to link your message to every other message on the same topic. The #Gonski tag has been used consistently in this campaign, and during dedicated Twitter campaign events it has been used in tens of thousands of tweets.
Account handles: Send comments or questions directly to politicians/parties. Every account is identified by a short name that is preceded by the @ symbol (e.g.
@TeachersFed is Federation’s official account). By including an account handle in your message, say @TurnbullMalcolm or @billshortenmp, your message will not only be brought to the attention of their account but also be visible to anyone else searching for that handle. Combine a handle with a relevant hashtag to maximise the number of people your post will reach.
Photos: Images are a great way to get your message across! Social media offers very visual methods of communication. One way of getting your #Gonski message across with greater visual impact is to download and print one of the placards from the resources page of I Give a Gonski and take selfies or photos of friends and family holding them. Then tweet out the photos with the #Gonski hashtag and your words of support about Gonski!