Case Study: ForceChange

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The ways in which organizations, corporations, and businesses utilize digital media organization to express the ‘who we are’, the ‘what we do’ and the ‘what we stand for’ are vast and complex. There are effective, ineffective, innovative, and problematic practices. Assessing the effectiveness of digital media organization can be difficult, obvious, and subtle. In this paper the effectiveness of the digital media organization for the not-for-profit organization ForceChange will be explored. ForceChange is a web-based not-for-profit petition website (found at forcechange.com) that spins educational and collaborative material daily that is meant to inform the public about pressing issues worldwide. Petition topics range from politics, human rights, animal rights, and environmental causes. ForecChange effectively organizes its digital media platform by using straightforwardness and collaboration to identify itself in today’s mediascape.

First of all, Millard et al. acknowledge that organizational identity is key to brand identity and therefore the recognition of organizations (2011, p. 1). Organizational identity spearheads the narrative of the organization with both positive and negative results in the world of telecommunications and media, which has become an increasingly important realm of business and recognition (Millard et al. 2011, p. 1). ForceChange uses individualistic, relational and collectivist identity orientations that contribute to the success of the organization. Petitions are highlighted immediately on the home page with bold summaries, bold claims, and a flowing display of images. Once the viewer clicks on the image and reads the petition, it will either inspire the viewer to sign and to read the commentary. Any individual is invited to join the discussion as well as contribute to the cause by contributing their voice and their name. This is a successful form of organized digital media because it employs organizational identity unapologetically from start to finish, incorporating individualistic, relation and collectivist identity that Millard et. al cite as strategic identity orientations (2011, p. 2). Additionally, the simplicity of the organizational narrative of this particular use of digital media contributes to the overall understanding of the brand and the narrative the organization intends to portray.

ForceChange creates a clearly visible organizational strategy in its digital media formation. Millard et al. propose a strategy for successful approaches for the organization of an easily analyzed and understood digital media platform (2011, p. 2). From ‘content selection and analysis’ to the ‘annotation of key elements’, ForceChange successfully deploys, to a certain degree, the five-stage framework that provides the ‘first-pass analysis’ that Millard et al. deem useful when successfully communicating organizational identity in the ever-growing world of digital media (2011 p. 2). Starting with bold text with headlines, single-paragraph summaries and all the way down to voluntary support and commentary from the masses, ForceChange successfully deploys what many organizations strive to achieve: effective organization of digital media that engages stakeholders. In this case, the stakeholders are the common people.

Successfully navigating the organization of digital media for organizations and corporations can be tricky, and challenges to change may occur. Presenting a top-down approach to organization as well as a platform for collaborative interaction, ForceChange represents a successful example of digital media practice and organizational structure. ForceChange.com uses of collectivist, individualistic and collaborative platforms while also incorporating clear branding strategies make it a prime example of successful digital media organizational structure for not-for-profit organizations that utilize a web platform.

References

ForceChange - Petition to Change Your World. (n.d.). ForceChange RSS. Retrieved August 19, 2013, from http://www.forcechange.com/

Millard, D. E., Hargood, C., Weal, M. J., Warren, L., & Harris, L. (2011, May 12). Social Media and Emergent Organizational Narratives. Reading presented at Narrative and Hypertext Workshop at Hypertext 11, Eindhoven. Retrieved August 19, 2013, from http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/272276