PLEDGE FOR THE PAPER
On June 28th, 2018, five Capital Gazette employees were murdered in their office by a gunman with a vendetta against the paper. My college roommate, Danielle Ohl, works at the Capital Gazette and was fortunately out of town on that day.
In order to support Danielle and show solidarity with the local news industry, I created Pledge For The Paper. Pledge For The Paper consists of a website (pledgeforthepaper.com) and a corresponding hashtag (#PledgeForThePaper).
As the event unfolded, Danielle ask me to let as many people as I could know that she was safe.
Many asked what they could do to help.
Donating was a great option, but I wanted to engage people in order to do even more.
I decided to launch a social media campaign, encouraging people to pledge to subscribe to their local paper.
I collaborated with two friends (Trey and Mason who are also friends with Danielle)
The idea evolved.
A social media hashtag so people can publicly pledge to subscribe to a local paper and challenge friends to do the same.
We could track and display those who have taken the pledge and those who have subscribed.
We can include a list of resources in case anyone is confused about to which paper they might subscribe.
I designed and built the website shown above (partial pages shown). using the Wix platform (including Wix Code) as well as the database supporting the site. Trey created the logo.
Full site at pledgeforthepaper.com
SPREADING THE WORD
Once the website was functioning, we kicked off a social media campaign.
I started by uploading a video to Facebook and Instagram sharing my feelings about the event and encouraging others to take action - this received nearly 3,000 views! I tagged friends using the hashtag to challenge them and from there, the word spread.
Additionally, I posted in several closed Facebook groups, including Pantsuit Nation.
Once people started to share their subscriptions, I reached out the papers who had new subscribers on account of Pledge For The Paper to let them know about our efforts and to thank them for tireless service in the name of journalism.
unique website viewers
The website had viewers in 49 states.
Featured under the "Current Actions" on the Pantsuit Nation Website
WHAT NOW? WHAT NEXT?
The Pledge For The Paper website is still live! We will continue adding local papers to our resource page.
Additionally, we have a corresponding Twitter account in order to foster conversation regarding local news, gun control, and the importance of the truth.