Staff Reporters
Feb 27, 2012

CASE STUDY: Yellow Ribbon uses social media to gain community support

The Yellow Ribbon Project used social media, through UM Singapore, to engage with the community.

The Facebook page for Yellow Ribbon Project Singapore
The Facebook page for Yellow Ribbon Project Singapore

There were two key events by The Yellow Ribbon Project last year, namely the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run and the Community Art Exhibition. The run aimed to call for participants to collectively encourage all ex-offenders to “pick themselves up and to get back on track”, while the art exhibition allowed Singaporeans to appreciate and adopt art pieces made by inmates during their rehabilitative art therapy.

UM Singapore, in collaboration with Singapore Prison Service, was looking at ways to grow the movement from some key flagship events and the Yellow Ribbon month of September to a year round engagement. By engaging the community through the use of the social media, the Yellow Ribbon project hopes to ex-offenders a second chance at life, while inspiring a ripple effect of concerted community action to support them and the families.

The team identified Facebook as one of the most influential social media platforms in Singapore. With the country’s high internet penetration, the campaign is set to benefit from opportunities where traditional media cannot accomplish through a two-way dialogue.

Working with the Yellow Ribbon Project, UM built a Yellow Ribbon online community with PR agency Burson Marsteller and Blugrapes as the production partner. The team worked on growing the community through engaging programs and initiatives rather than just social media.

For instance, a piece of art expressing one inmate’s struggle in rehabilitation was posted online but some parts were blacked out and not shown. As the community grew, the picture was progressively “unlocked” and revealed, driven by social ads and community members inviting their friends to help.

All the experiences were carefully tied-in with the Yellow Ribbon brand in order to maintain the high level of integrity associated with the cause.

The Facebook page is sparking people to react online, with more and more users launching their own conversations and socialising the movement within their own online networks.

The Facebook page has grown from 1,600 users to 26,900 in just seven months, creating a community around the topic and sparking conversation and debate. The online initiative is aimed at getting more people involved and interested in the cause and rallying more volunteers.

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