Monday, January 9, 2017

Grassroots Influence – Can It Work?

We all appreciate the complexity of the Middle East. In the hurricane of social media is it possible for a grassroots influence effort to succeed? One example may come from Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Damascus.

The effort employs Bahlool, a character (at right) is a Judge from a ‘very old time’ and is famous in Arabic countries and is designed for the audience to identify with. The target audience is men and women between 15 and 25 years old. The team is split having people in both Iraq and Syria, they claim that some of their cartoons have gotten over 1 million views.

This grassroots effort has been active in jump starting their efforts via FaceBook and YouTube. 
The effort began in late 2016 and in November, the team claimed:

Here’s a quick snapshot from Facebook (as of 25NOV16):

Total Likes:                                          119,259
Weekly Page Engaged Users:             446,764
Weekly Total Reach:                           3,151,389
Weekly Organic Reach:                      520,067
Weekly Total Impressions:                 8,499,788
Source: E-mail

In December the group reported thousands of ‘likes’ and that they were receiving many positive comments, suggestions and people wanting to help. Many of the comments were coming from displaced people in Falluja, Ramdai and Anbar.

The team summarizes its philosophy by saying we fight ISIS by the idea, not by the gun because guns do not reach the mind.

Reader comments encouraged.

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