Greenpeace’s Engagement & Content Vision
A billion acts of courage can spark a better tomorrow.
Planet 4, Greenpeace’s global content management system (CMS), is our engagement platform that has the potential to interface with the most people. It is how we can deliver the critical information of why people should lend their energy, their creativity, their resources to Greenpeace’s work. It must be first and foremost focused on how we build people power whenever people visit our web properties.
Our thesis is that engagement will be most successful when we present ourselves to our supporters and our potential supporters through a clear representation of our values, with a clear proposition for why we exist, how people can become change agents through our work, and what they can do with us right now.
In order to do this, we must make it easy for people to take meaningful forms of action in campaigns that they believe in. The goal of Planet 4 is not to be only a vehicle for putting content on the internet, but for driving people to action. Content without opportunities for meaningful forms of participation won’t deliver on the promise of people power. We must have a pathway to action run as a thread in all of our content.
While much of our path towards a Billion Acts of Courage depends on how we create campaigns with people at the center, there is also a clear need for us to adapt our technical ways of engagement to fit in line with what we know about our audiences. A primary method that people reach our web properties and learn about our work is social media. We must better equip ourselves to integrate social sharing and a relationship to our content and campaigns that aligns with how we observe most people relating to us online.
We likewise must be more flexible with how we seek to engage people in our campaigns. We must experiment, learn and listen to our supporters, so that we are better equipped to design campaigns that people want to join. This is going to vary by Greenpeace office, by country, by target audience and by campaign. There is no one set way to deliver engagement.
Greenpeace is part of a global, people-powered story. Our content strategy must serve to demonstrate our fundamental and enduring message: change through collective action. We know that the work our supporters do with us is both critical and impactful. If we clearly illustrate this, while giving people concrete paths to action, more and more people will join our movement.
The content we create and curate must feature a vivid portrayal of people’s stories, their communities, and their dreams — all of which drive our work. The people are our heroes, our inspiration, and our spokespeople. Our new content should feel distinctly human, personal, timely, and concrete. It should celebrate courage — in every variant, from every corner of the planet.
As one of the few international and extra-national communities working for environmental and social justice, Greenpeace plays a pivotal and unique role. Our content should highlight and celebrate that we truly have become a community of rainbow warriors — a diverse, global band of people united in our mission to build a better world.
Finally, our mission is interconnected to struggles around the world. We are partners in the fight for both ecological and social justice. We are a voice among many, a partner, a catalyzer, a mentor, and a student. Our content must always reflect this story.
At Greenpeace, we like to talk about shifts in thinking, in structure and in behavior. Naturally we wanted to identify how we aim to shift our content strategy in Planet 4.
[Update 27/7/16: It’s worth noting that as we talk about our evolution on content and engagement strategy, we don’t start in a place of stasis. We have many places and examples where we are doing currently what it is we aim to do more consistently in the future. For example, Greenpeace US moved to a Wordpress site in 2015 that is supporter-centric, mobile-first designed. They’ve shared the site’s template with Greenpeace East Asia’s China office — a great example of the openness we are seeking. You can read about Greenpeace US’s vision and aspirations for their site here.]
Our project team consensus is that we need to have a look and feel that is minimalist and contemporary. It is critical that it is easy for people to find information and campaign content, especially actionable activities.
The web has changed. Most people are visiting our websites through mobile devices or tablets. We must ensure that all content we create is suitable for any platform or device. Our content generation tools should be sufficiently smart as to keep things looking good and appropriate across screen dimensions. In short, tool development should be informed by design needs.
We also must build Planet 4 and create new content with an understanding that search, social media and email are the primary ways people enter our sites. We must build Planet 4 to make it easy for people to find the content they’re looking for on the site and move with ease to areas they want to find once on our sites. It is thus critical that we integrate Search Engine Optimization (SEO), tagging, categories, and social sharing into Planet 4 from the beginning.
The Planet 4 platform needs to facilitate our supporter journey and positive supporter experience through integrated engagement platforms on, with, and through the website. In practice this means we need technical integrations with systems like our digital toolkit and email platform, our volunteer community platform Greenwire, our distributed campaigning platforms, our CRM, our digital analytics tools and our face-to-face canvassing softwares. The goal should be seamless integration across core Greenpeace engagement platforms, so people can have a positive experience as they are moved to action.
As our engagement activities come together with and through Planet 4, there’s an increased priority for us to have clear analytics from what’s happening on the platform. We must make sure that data, logins and metrics can be easily exchanged among our tools and extracted to make decisions across platforms and engagement campaigns.
Developing this platform is going to be an iterative process, with live prototyping and ample room for experimentation to determine what works best. As we make improvements, try new designs or features, we will measure results and make data-based decisions to drive the platform forward.
In line with the organizational shift from “Secretive” to “Open Source,” we want Planet 4 to be an open source platform with genuine options for co-development and independently funded “branching” from the main codebase. This means we want to create Planet 4 with an eye towards local or regional solutions, as well as shared central resources. We will advance forward together, but are not going to be dependent on a single development firm in Western Europe in order to progress. This transparent approach will be adopted from the beginning, and will drive our communication activities related to updates and project progress.
Feedback & Staying Involved
As you are seeing with #GPP4, this is an open, iterative process. The pursuit of a project methodology that reflects the values of openness, listening, transparency and integration is key to meaningful engagement. We welcome your feedback and input. And we hope this is a sound starting point for how Greenpeace brings people into the center of our organization and the ways we use technology to engage people as change agents, fundamental to achieving our mission of building a green and peaceful world.
There are lots of ways you can help with Planet 4 as it continues to evolve — by following this Medium Publication, getting in touch via Twitter with #GPP4, joining the P4 Mailing List, tracking our day-to-day Communication Calendar, bookmarking our wiki page or any combination of all the above, make sure your voice is heard, we are here to listen.
Links to our project documents and communications channels can also be found at www.greenpeace.org/p4.
Thanks to Tsering Lama, Laura Hilliger, Amrekha Sharma, Luca Tiralongo, Kelli Tolen, Natasja Zwier, Mark Campbell, Martijn Stegink, and Mike Townsley who all contributed their words, ideas, and time in the creation of this strategic vision and this post.