A social media campaign being run by Code Computerlove on behalf of domestic violence charity Refuge and Avon, the company for women, gained a massive boost after a number of high profile celebrities tweeted their support.
One of the key tweeters was Stephen Fry, who boasts more than 1.7m followers.
Stephen’s Tweet: “RT Speak out against domestic violence – sign petition to Government http://bit.ly/Refugecharity with @Avon_UK #speakoutnow” helped to generate thousands of signatures within minutes of broadcast and to get more than 7,000 signatures on Refuge’s petition so far.
Claudia Winkleman, Amanda Holden, Lorraine Kelly, Fay Ripley, Angela Griffin, Jenny Faulkner and Lauren Laverne also re-tweeted the message about Refuge’s petition.
In total after just one day, the Facebook application http://apps.facebook.com /fourwaystospeakout that Code created to enable people to quickly and easily sign the petition was “Liked” by more than 1,000 Facebook users. Around 3,000 people also invited their social media networks to sign the petition.
Tony Foggett of Code Computerlove said: “We’ve supported Refuge with digital marketing and web design and build for a number of years now, and knew that social media was the natural next step to help the charity gain signatures for this petition, part of this Four Ways To Speak Out campaign.
“Due to the unpredictability of social media campaigns, we’d geared up for any peaks in awareness and surges in signatures, and negotiated a discounted rate on bandwidth usage with UK Grid; but getting the support of such high profile social media users was more than we could have hoped for and very nearly toppled the back office system! It really does demonstrate the effect social media can have on getting messages out there.”
Lisa King of Refuge added: “One of the challenges facing Refuge is to break down the taboos and wall of silence which ‘hide’ domestic violence – an issue which claims the lives of 12 women every week; with one woman in four experiencing domestic violence at some time in her life.
“Social media is a very powerful communications tool which allows us to reach out to thousands of people in an effective way. By rolling out a focused online programme of work, centred around facebook and twitter, thousands of people have been able to show their support. And these supporters are helping to break down the wall of silence that surrounds abuse. This was one of the important goals around Refuge and Avon’s joint Speak Out campaign.”
Refuge and Avon’s joint petition is lobbying the Government to ensure that every woman and child, no matter where they live, can access specialist domestic violence services. It is specifically challenging the fact that a third of local authorities has NO specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Earlier in the year, Code created a microsite for Four Ways To Speak Out, a campaign being run by Refuge and Avon to generate awareness of ways that lives can be saved – buying and wearing Avon’s empowerment necklace, signing an online petition, printing off and displaying posters and by simply speaking to family and friends to encourage them to join Refuge’s campaign http://www.fourwaystospeakout.com