While searching pro-life hashtags on Instagram, I experienced love at first meme. I found a page with memes that were kind, provoking and modern. The memes were created by a grassroots strategic marketing organization named Alice Paul Group.
I recently connected with Annie Celotto, founder of the Alice Paul Group. In this exclusive interview she shares how pro-lifers can use social media to change the way people think about abortion.
Q. Your firm is named after Alice Paul, an activist who lead the cause for women’s suffrage. Why did you choose Alice Paul ?
A. She was a tactic reformer – willing to question the tactics that those in the movement were using. She didn’t blindly follow people, nor did she get caught up in politics. She got things done and did them on principle. Though she walked in the footsteps of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she actually lived during Roe v. Wade and said: “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
Q. Your firm’s work is based on the verse Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” How does your team live out that verse?
A. More than anything, I view social media as a voice for the oppressed. Many people can’t go on a mission’s trip, and/or have the ability to pursue a religious vocation, but they can share an article, tweet to the world, or re-post a graphic to the masses. Through creative messaging, strategies, and images, we are able to get information that literally saves lives, out to the masses.
Q. Issues like poverty seem more socially acceptable to fight against than abortion. Do you see a difference in response when fighting for preborn rights?
A.Yes, there’s a vastly different response, unfortunately. It’s incredible, though, because God’s really used us to shed light on the injustice of abortion to other groups who are fighting for other social justice issues.
If society does not respect life in the womb – the dignity of that life in its most defenseless form – how can we expect them to see the dignity in that girl or boy who’s trafficked?
How can we expect them to see the dignity in that woman or man who stars in a porn film? How can we expect a society to see the dignity in the life of that homeless person if they don’t respect life in its simplest, most helpless form? Want to teach a generation to value each other – to do good? Then, start with the child in the womb. It’s that straightforward.
Q. Many in the pro-life movement feel misrepresented by media. How can we spread our message while some major networks are hostile to our cause?
A. New Media really is our form of media. The more coordinated, visually appealing content that you get out there, the better. We have so many platforms to use to get our message out, from YouTube, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Yik Yak, Pinterest, Instagram to just name a few.
If pro-life groups capitalize on social media, that’s what will drive the stories that the MSM puts out there. Think about this: pro-aborts have mastered the visual – they owned imaging by showing that sad teenage girl, that hurt woman…but we have that same chance! Our approach is to take that and spin it through a small meme – meme marketing is what I call it.
I want to reach the mom on Pinterest whose 40-yr-old best friend is unexpectedly pregnant and is contemplating abortion, through an image that shows the empowerment of motherhood.
I want to reach that 15-yr-old girl on Instagram who’s pregnant, but remembers that pretty picture w/ messaging that highlights how abortion is a war on love. I want that discussion on Yik Yak to be driven by facts (delivered in kindness, truth and love). I want our clients to reach these people and cause them to think – to become educated – on abortion (and other issues!) using unconventional graphics and messaging that will change our culture.
To support Alice Paul Group, Annie asks for prayer for their firm. To get more information on Alice Paul Group and their messaging, advocacy, fundraising, memes, website or video animation, visit alicepaulgroup.com. As Annie says, ‘If the cause is just, we will help’.