Social Media for Social Good: Same Mission, New Approach

Rappler’s Maria Ressa at the Social Media for Social Good Workshop. (Photo by Yovina-Claire Pauig)

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – As new technological advances become more ingrained into society, industries are continually challenged. However, there’s still hope for agriculture to thrive even in this digital age.

Thanks to a team of journalists and social media experts from the local social news network, Rappler, five members of the newly formed Social Media Team of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), along with other multi-agency group of communicators, learned new strategies to champion the cause of farming and fishing industries in the social media.

Rappler Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Maria Ressa urged the participants of the workshop on “Social Media for Social Good: Advocacy Communication in a Mobile World” to think big and think differently in this era of increasing connectivity.

Citing recent successful social media movements worldwide, Ressa highlighted the power of social media to mobilize people which can be harnessed for agricultural development. “All it takes is one but one is not enough. We need to be able to give people information that they need for them to form communities of action and to help them make decisions and act in the real world,” she emphasized.

Rappler’s Investigative Desk Head Chay Hofileña, Research and Content Strategy Head Gemma Mendoza, Head of Social Media Team Stacy de Jesus, and Social Media Producer Marguerite de Leon also discussed topics on Writing and Editing for the Web, Presenting Data and Research in New Ways, Social Media 101, and Social Engagement.

Also included in the one-day activity was a workshop on executing a social media campaign and writing for gadgets or mobile devices. The participants were asked to develop campaigns on how to make rice research relevant to ordinary people and on how to make agriculture appealing to the youth.

International Rice Research Institute’s Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships V. Bruce J. Tolentino and Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery (IPaD) Project Leader Dr. Karen T. Barroga of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) also spoke to the participants about the viable potentials of information and communication technology tools in agricultural development.

Spearheaded by IRRI, the Department of Agriculture through PhilRice, and Rappler under the IPaD project, the workshop was held on January 19, 2016 at the M.S. Swaminathan Hall inside IRRI Compound in Los Baños, Laguna.