Submitted on Fri, June 29, 2012
We think and write a lot here about the connection between knowledge and activation. Really, that linkage informs everything we do: Knowledge is powerful only inasmuch as its allows people to advance their lives, to engage powerfully in their communities and society – and, ultimately, to make change.
So, we’re excited about a new partnership with The Christian Science Monitor, a global news organization with a long tradition of top-flight, solutions-oriented journalism. The idea is to directly connect the Monitor’s content, and its 8 million unique visitors a month, to changemaking activities in ways that are both relevant and measurable.
Here’s how it works: Monitor editors tag certain online content with Ashoka's "Make Change" button. When readers click on the button, they're taken to a co-branded campaign page on the Changemakers site, where they're introduced to a range of changemaking activities: They can see more content related to the article they've just read; participate in online chats or Google Hangouts with thought leaders; or start their own change projects.
The goal is to provide readers easy entry into the world of changemaking. We also expect that this initiative will move the relationship between publisher and audience to a place of much higher value. This is an opportunity for the Monitor to transform the historic role of media – to connect knowledge to participation, create communities of problem-solvers, and turn readers into changemakers. Not least, we hope to forge compelling connections between advertisers and sponsors and these more engaged readers.
We’ve just piloted this strategy with a campaign tied to Ashoka’s Empathy initiative – and the results were tantalizing. Over two weeks, more than 3,200 unique readers ventured into the Changemakers site, a number that far exceeded both our expectations and historical click-through rates. Metrics of readers’ activity on the site also were far higher than we had anticipated.
We’ll be launching new campaigns through the summer and autumn – each one strategically connecting a slice of Monitor content to a portfolio of changemaking opportunities. Take a look as we roll these out: We hope they change the way you think about journalism.