COMM1107 Assessment 01: Online Stakeholder Engagement Live Blogpost

Cooking Wine
6 min readAug 16, 2020

BY DARCY SULLIVAN

Online Stakeholder Engagement: Save The Children One Advertisement At A Time

Working within 116 countries, Save the Children is a non-for-profit charity agency that aims to give a powerful voice to children and champion their rights(savethechildren, 2020). Save The Children coordinate support from 116,000 Australians, corporate partners, trusts and foundations to provide children access to healthcare and education, and to assist children in times of emergency (Ibid,2020). The advent of the online medium has fostered Save The Children to become a global movement. With multinational websites and participation within all major social media platforms, Save The Children creates an active and participatory online presence to ensure their objectives are recognized and committed to by global online communities. Save The Children supplement all publications and policies via media releases headed by their media team.

Within Australia, Save the Children’s media team is headed by Angus Smith (Media Manager) and Evan Schurrman (Head of Media). Save The Children have effectively, and transparently demonstrated all past and contemporary mission objectives in relation to protecting the rights and freedoms of children globally1. All activities and online engagements of Save the children are also shared by third party databases to better reinforce and demonstrate the transparency of Save The Children (adsoftheworld.com, 2020).

This analysis of Save the Children and their online presence, participation and development shall demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses non-for-profit charities hold in light of online relations and commitments to stakeholders. This case study shall call upon a theoretical base of participatory media systems, alongside examples a demonstration of how Save The Children contend to proliferate their mission statement through social media and advertising platforms. In conclusion this case study shall demonstrate the means to which charity organizations can utilize emergent social participatory platforms to assist in the achievement of their mission goals.

(Simple and easy to understand graphs are regularly used by Save The Children to depict the functional motives in relation to the audience/donor input and stakeholder results.)

As a non-for-profit charity organization working with real world issues, Save The Children primarily fits the category of an authoritative hierarchy. That is, Save Children utilize a top down approach to proliferate objectives and roles to employees, partners and volunteers in order to create systematic goal orientated operations. However, in conflict with traditional theories concerning hierarchical approaches Save The Children operate from a purely humanitarian position. The nature of ‘trust’ and its four components as cited in Paul Adler’s ‘Market, Hierarchy, and Trust: The Knowledge Economy and the Future of Capitalism’ all require adequate market pricing as a mode of participation return (Adler, P. S. 2001, pg. 219). As Save The Children operates as a Non-for-profit charity, the participatory trust and market return does not apply. Instead, a return in humanitarian duty and objectives attempts to substitute market pricing and fiscal incentive. The participation of donor and funding partners in relation to a non-for-profit charity such as Save The children more accurately reflects political scientist Fritz Scharpf definition of networks as ‘voluntary negotiation systems in which partners are free to choose between negotiations and unilateral action’ (Mueller, 2010 pg. 40).

This freedom to opt into and/or volunteer with save The children without potential market incentive is made more evident by the level and frequent presence of advertisement and publications made by Save The Children. These advertisements are set to influence donor and online participation by demonstrating the humanitarian necessity to assist children in dire circumstances. The advent of online media participation has greatly widened Save The Childrens base audience. This is made evident as online communities steward outside of organizational boundaries and allow for regular interactions between a broad spectrum of actors who do not share a close physical proximity, yet are able to participate virtually (Wenger, E. Et.al, 2009, pg.30).

https://www.instagram.com/savethechildren/

(Save The Children constantly update and allow for community-based discussion via social media platforms. Above is depicted straight forward and action-based participation between the stakeholders (children), and audiences, donors, and volunteers.)

The action possibilities and affordances Save the Children implement within their online and advertisement strategies primarily depict information concerning the situation children face in light of health, social and conflict emergencies. It is the constant motif within these advertisements is to inform audiences that the child is the primary stakeholder. In almost all online designs, Save The Children situate the child as an independent artefact, not causational of the environment they find themselves within. The cultural, social and political environment the children find themselves within are commonly seen as second place to the emergency primarily at hand. Whilst the project and relief missions Save The Children undertake are within the most diverse regions of the world, it is very uncommon for the geo-political circumstances to be addressed. This strategy is highly successful in posing the question to audiences; What can be done to help these children? Over the question of; Why are these children in these circumstances? Humanitarian organizations that focus on the innocence of children are highly successful in attaining support as they provide an option for audiences to participate, donate, and feel good whilst not having to directly interact with the project at hand. Psychologist Edward Hallowell ‘Human Moment’ highlights that business and online social platforms require the ability to invoke the same level of cognitive dedication to something via the interaction of peoples emotional and physiological commitment (Edward Hallowell, 1999). The design of Save The Children’s online strategies and advertisements successfully invoke an emotional and empathic response from audiences and potential donors/volunteers because of their immediately recognizable human subject matter. It this design technique that subsequently bridges the gap between targeted audiences and stakeholders.

https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/save_the_children_child_labour

(An advertisement from 2009 directly manifests ‘The Human Moment’ in the mind of the audience. The corresponding emotional response immediately bridges the gap between the view of the audience and the stakeholders, successfully accomplished via the advent of online medium internationally.)

Charity organizations utilize emergent social participatory platforms to assist in the achievement of their mission goals. When done so in a succinct and to the point matter, charity organization’s social online presence can have profound effect on targeted audience’s willingness to participate. Save The Children are particularly apt at demonstrating their mission objectives in short and to the point modes. Due to their involvement and aid toward children, Save The Children obtain a large participatory audience spreading across an age varying and international diverse spectrum. Save the Children are able to divert almost all participatory media shortcomings as their specific goal orientation allows for a straight forward and impactful bridging between the stake holder and audiences.

References:

  1. 1. Adler, P. S. (2001). Market, hierarchy, and trust: The knowledge economy and the future of capitalism. Organization science, 12(2).
  2. https://www.adsoftheworld.com/taxonomy/brand/save_the_children
  3. https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/save_the_children_child_labour
  4. Edward Hallowell, 1999, ‘The Human Moment at Work’, Harvard Business Review, accessed: 13/08/20, https://hbr.org/1999/01/the-human-moment-at-work
  5. https://www.instagram.com/savethechildren/
  6. Mueller, M. L. (2010). Do networks govern?, in: Networks and states: The global politics of Internet governance. Mit Press,
  7. https://www.savethechildren.org.au
  8. https://www.savethechildren.org.au/about-us
  9. https://www.savethechildren.org.au/media/our-media-team
  10. Wenger, E., White, N., & Smith, J. D. (2009). Digital habitats: Stewarding technology for communities. CPsquare.

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