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Using Instagram to communicate policy

September 17, 2017 #How to
Using Instagram to communicate policy
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Instagram is increasingly being used by a number of organisations, from NGO’s and for-profit organisations to single issue campaigns and political parties. It’s a social media platform that think tanks should be using.

Here are 5 examples of how Instagram has been used to communicate policy.

CSIS: Using Instagram to respond to current affairs

CSIS boasts of a 18k followers list, and it’s growing. They have used a number of techniques to communicate policy, but their quick-fire photo responses to current affairs is definitely our favourite. CSIS makes rapid response Instagram photos that include what happened, why it matters, and the policy suggestion from the think tank. The images and text are easily digested by the Instagram user. No wonder they are rated the no.1 International Security Think Tank by the University of Pennsylvania.

Scroll through the image below to see the CSIS Instagram response to news of sanctions on entities and individuals assisting the North Korean nuclear programme.

Heritage Foundation: Using infographics to communicate complex data

Alejandro Chafuen’s Forbes blog on free-market think tanks found that the Heritage Foundation was a leading think tank on Facebook. We found they are successful on Instagram too. One way Heritage is using the social media platform is to create infographics that communicate complex data more simply and increase awareness on issues they care about to influence policy making decisions. Below is our favourite example.

Doctors Without Borders: Using videos to promote work in the field

Instagram isn’t just about using static images, but allowing the user to be engaged through other means of visual storytelling. Doctors Without Borders use short 1 minute videos to explain the work they have been doing in the field. This example shows how they are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to save lives.

CNN: Updating stories to keep users up-to-date.

A recent Instagram update now allows users to upload a daily story, similar to Snapchat. CNN constantly has a story, presenting current affairs through photos and short videos as they happen. The example below shows a rolling news story as it happens through their story.  

Reuters: A picture tells 1000 words

Despite all the different methods of visual storytelling: videos, story updates, interactive data and infographics to a name a few, the most important part is that one Instagram photo can tell 1000 words, so imagine what a successful Instagram content strategy can achieve. Reuters regularly post photos on their Instagram to communicate issues as they emerge in their complexities from around the world.

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