Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign

In Partnership with the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee (MOIC) and Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs).

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Planning for the Campaign

It is suggested that each student-athlete, coach or administrator planning to partake in this year’s campaign prepare for the most effective campaign by doing the following before the October 27-29, 2020, campaign dates. Given the uncertainties facing the 2020-2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to establish clear lines of communication in preparation for participation in this year’s campaign.

Adjust to a new Reality: COVID-19

As with many aspects of life, the COVID-19 pandemic will change student-athletes’ abilities to participate in the 2020 NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign. This may mean relying more on the student-athletes themselves to create content. Below are a few items to consider when creating content and engaging in the campaign in the context of the pandemic:

  • Prioritize safety and well-being: When creating content for the campaign, please adhere to all health guidelines (e.g., practice social distancing) to prioritize student-athlete health and safety. For instance, bringing your student-athlete population together for an in-person workshop during the campaign week will likely not be permitted on your campus.
  • Focus on remote engagement: Be creative in thinking about how well-established forms of engagement can be adapted for a remote experience if your campus is closed due to the pandemic. For instance, the workshop idea above could be substituted for an online workshop held on Zoom or Web-Ex. Similarly, many of the example activities outlined on the daily campaign pages can be adjusted for online engagement.
  • Utilize multiple social media channels to increase campaign engagement: Perhaps now more than ever, it is important to utilize a variety of social media outlets to engage in the campaign. Utilize Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok and other social media platforms to reach a wide audience.
  • Be realistic: Going through a pandemic is an extremely stressful experience for a group that already faces more stressors than the regular college population. Be realistic about what student-athletes at your school can do for the campaign. This may mean adjusting your expectations for campaign participation to prioritize student-athletes’ health.
  • Consider access: Some student-athletes may not be on campus this fall and thus will not be able to film videos or take pictures for the campaign. Prior to the campaign, develop a game plan for removing barriers to participation in the campaign. For instance, see if student-athletes have the technology necessary to participate in a social media campaign (e.g., laptop, Wifi connection, etc.).
  • Provide as much guidance as possible: If you are in charge of coordinating your school’s or conference office’s efforts for content creation for the 2020 campaign, try to give campaign participants as much guidance as possible in what content to create and how to create that content. For example, on our Creating a PSA sub-page we are including a series of helpful tips for students who have to create videos on their phone in case campuses are closed due to COVID-19.

Reach out to your athletics department’s director of communications, diversity and inclusion designee, athletics director and/or senior woman administrator

You can also reach out to your school’s marketing/communications department as well as any offices dedicated to diversity and inclusion for assistance in engaging in the campaign.

In addition, encourage the campus SAAC president to send a note to the SID informing them of the campaign. This will allow them to prepare social media of their own and to be on the lookout for student-athlete posts, which they can share on the institution’s social media account. Including the media relations office at your campus can help improve the social media engagement and quality of content being produced during the campaign.

Inform your fellow student-athletes of the campaign

Ask each team SAAC representative to make sure their teammates know of the dates, general themes of the campaign, and how they can be involved. Create a signup list of those who want to be involved in the campaign.

Make connections and use the resources available on your campus

Promoting diversity and inclusion is a team effort! Fortunately, you already have a variety of resources available on your campus to help you make this campaign a success. Assign SAAC members to reach out to campus organizations, offices, or departments focused on diversity and inclusion to discuss ways in which you can highlight their work during the campaign. There could also be a collaborative effort to work together on a project to promote the social media campaign around campus.

Prepare your materials

As you will see below, this campaign uses a specific hashtag (#NCAAInclusion), a different theme for each day, and specific activities. It will be best if you prepare your materials beforehand (e.g., decorated shirts, photo templates, PSA script ideas, etc.). Keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many campuses will not be able to hold extensive in-person activities – so you may want to provide guidance to campaign participants on how to engage in the campaign online.

Coordinate

Campaigns are always most effective when they are coordinated. It will be helpful if you appoint a member of your SAAC (e.g., social media chair) to work with your institution, conference, or division to coordinate a time during each campaign day in which you intend to focus your posting. For example, you may assign some teams to post from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., others from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and the remaining teams from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on each day. This is at your discretion, of course. Having a set schedule will make the social media campaign involvement much easier for the university.

Combine online with offline activities

Student-athletes on your campus will be most engaged if they create content in group settings. You will see that various ideas ask student-athletes to participate in an offline activity (e.g., create a picture) the result of which will then be shared online. Try to combine these workshop-style activities with social media activities to achieve a maximum level of engagement. Online materials will be of the most importance for this year's campaign due to the limitations for in-person engagement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet student-athletes where they are at

It’s easiest to create materials for the campaign at a time convenient for student-athletes. For example, dedicate the SAAC meeting closest to the campaign dates as a preparation meeting. During the meeting, you can then create materials for the campaign. Similarly, you could use team meetings to create content for the campaign.

Establish clear lines of communication for effective campaign engagement.

Because most of the campaign preparation will happen remotely this semester, make sure you have clear lines of communication to communicate with student-athletes from various teams. For example, you could create a GroupMe or Snapchat group to communicate with student-athletes eager to participate in the campaign.

Center diversity and inclusion in your messaging for the campaign.

Keep in mind that the focus of the campaign is on diversity and inclusion, so all of your campaign materials should highlight a diversity and inclusion topic, concepts, or idea. For example, 2020 has seen an unprecedented commitment to anti-racist advocacy work in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Think about how you can engage in these conversations throughout the three campaign days.

Reminder: Each of the activities proposed are suggestions! While we want to encourage all student-athletes to participate in the campaign, it is up to you (and your creativity!) to what extent you participate and what strategies for engagement you implement during the campaign week.

Tell us about it!

Do you have a great idea for the campaign that you would like to share with other campaign participants?

Submit it here.