CHECK OUT THE SHORTY SOCIAL GOOD FINALISTS SEE THE LIST

13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications. The early deadline is on December 3rd, 2020.

From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

George Takei & #BoycottIndiana

Finalist in Hashtag

About this entry

On March 24, 2015, George Takei became aware of a new bill – SB101 – that the governor of Indiana had indicated he would sign. SB101 gave business owners the right to refuse service based on proprietors' religious beliefs. The bill, entitled "Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)," was hailed by some as necessary to protect religious liberty, particularly with the (then pending) U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

This wasn't the first time such "religious freedom" bills were pushed to state governors. In 2014, Arizona had a similar bill that would later be vetoed by its governor. Other states would enact similar bills in an attempt to dilute the legal power of same-sex marriage in their states.

Recognizing the bill for what it truly was – legalized discrimination similar to the "Jim Crow" laws of the past – George took action. At 78, George had experienced bigotry first hand. As a child, he and his family were forced to live in internment camps during WWII, simply because they looked like the people who had bombed Pearl Harbor. As an adult, George kept his homosexuality a secret for decades out of fear of losing work as an actor. Now an LGBT activist and social media icon, George mobilized his social media team, Team Takei, to combat the law in Indiana, using #BoycottIndiana as his hashtag to overturn the corrupt decree.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

With George Takei's 11 million+ fans on Facebook and Twitter, George and Team Takei took a two-pronged approach in the battle with Indiana's governor and legislature:

1) Created viral awareness via #BoycottIndiana to draw attention to the discriminatory law.

2) Garnered support from disparate groups:


IMPLEMENTATION

George began with a Facebook "Call-to-Action" for gamers, as "GenCon," the biggest gamer convention in the world (65K in attendance in 2015), was set to open in Indianapolis. George encouraged gamers and other fans to call the Indiana governor and tell him not to sign the bill.

The governor ignored these calls and signed the bill into law. George and Team Takei initiated the #BoycottIndiana hashtag and encouraged socially conscience companies, conferences, and others that usually transacted business in Indiana, to join the boycott.

As #BoycottIndiana grew in power and began trending on social media, traditional media outlets reached out to George. George appeared on programs like "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell," and wrote opinion pieces for MSNBC.com and The Daily Beast.

Part of George and Team Takei's strategy was to help fans truly understand the law and why it was so insidious. The team shared stories for various outlets, like The Atlantic, so fans could gain an in-depth perspective from various writers.

Through the roughly two-week period, George posted only nine times on his Facebook page, and 25 times on Twitter. Rather than overwhelm his fans with the topic, the posts were interspersed with his usual fun, humorous, and interesting pieces. The #BoycottIndiana posts included thanks to businesses and states for participating in the boycott, as well as opinion and educational pieces to better inform the fans.




Results

Facing mounting pressure, Indiana announced a compromise on the law, which made clear that it could not be used to discriminate against LGBT persons. George immediately reached out to Indiana with a positive message and meme, changing #BoycottIndiana to #IndianaForAll.

In the 12-day period from initial-to-final campaign post, George and Team Takei amassed astounding media exposure with #BoycottIndiana, from social media, as well as traditional media outlets:

SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS

Facebook:

Reach: 42,621,952

Likes: 609,975

Comments: 52,835

Shares: 115,485

Twitter:

Impressions: 3,866,767

Engagement: 105,521

Engagement Rate: 53.55%

Retweets: 12,927

Replies: 1,940

Favorites: 14,634

URL Clicks: 25,855

Hashtag Clicks: 3,512

Detail Expands: 29,586

TRADITIONAL MEDIA METRICS (Broadcast, Print, Online):

Total Impressions: 2,278,813,235

Total Publications: 258



Thank you for considering our submission.

###

Media

Produced by

George Takei and The Social Edge

Links

Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, and the rest of the social web.

the 13th annual shorty awards for brands and organizations is open for entries! early deadline on dec 3rd, 2020.