Using social media to rally the support of youth for road safety worldwide
YOURS (Youth for Road Safety) was established as a global youth-led nongovernmental organization in 2010. Social media are a mainstay of the communications and outreach activities of YOURS in its efforts to lobby for road safety among young people around the world.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo are the social media channels in use by its constituents. As such, sharing information through these channels is vital for keeping YOURS network members informed, bringing traffic to its web site and reaching out to other young people who might wish to become involved.
As has been found by other nongovernmental organizations which make use of social media, YOURS uses these tools in support of its overall programme objectives to lobby for road safety globally, create a thriving network of youth for road safety, and build their capacity to advocate more effectively. Social media are used strategically, not in an ad hoc manner, and the communications shared through these channels reinforce one another.
Together with monthly e-newsletters and periodic news flashes, social media maximize the sharing of information. They are the top referrer of traffic to the YOURS web site, as monitored through the analysis of web site statistics.
The successful use of social media depends on having dedicated staff and a well-developed, content-rich web site. In its two years of operation, it is clear that YOURS would not have made as much progress in achieving its programme objectives without the use of social media.