Nuance at a social media workshop with Pink Ribbon


I was invited to conduct a social media campaigning workshop for the Pink Ribbon foundation.

Pink Ribbon 🎀 is a NGO supporting women affected by breast cancer and bringing awareness across the world. The German branch Pink Ribbon Germany has created an additional branch called Pink Kids. With Pink Kids young adult women whose mothers are affected by breast cancer offer support for other youth going through the same situation. Children sometimes become the after thought in this situation, however their life’s are also changed completely.

Pink_Kids_Social Media_Workshop.png

Teaching social media to a group of young adults was a challange and I was totally up for it. The reason I predicted it to be a challenge is because young adults between the ages of 19-28 are digital natives. This means they have grown up with the internet and Social media and probably consider themselves somewhat natural experts. And this is where the challenge lies. It is harder to teach “old dogs, new tricks” - well in this case young dogs.

From my experience with working with or coaching  young adults the hardest part is breaking through the scepticism regarding why I should teach them something they have grown up with and feel they know inside out. Training 30+ on social media, I’d say is easier because they have already accepted the humbling realisation that although they use social platforms, they still  have no clue what’s really going on.

I spent about a week researching specifically for a case study on social media campaigning for NGOs, in respective for young women and started tailoring my workshop sessions. Not every teacher does that and it is not always necessary since structure and technology behind the respective social platforms, that I am teaching do not change as well as the steps of campaigning are overall the same as well.  I am a millennial however and we get bored fast. I figured my audience will be too and I need to bring something fresh that they can really identify and work with. So I made a case study on the Girls Scouts!

be6524cc-a7c5-463f-a1e2-f50689a4551a 2.JPG

My workshop was divided into 4 sessions

  1. The Basics  - What is social media really?

  2. What makes a good social media campaign?

  3. How do you plan a social media campaign?

  4. Practical group task

Since I am a fan of interactive learning and inclusion into the experience, I engaged with the group a lot and had them not only analyse my case study but also self reflect their own relationship to social media.

All this to say the Workshop was fun and productive ofcourse - they totally crushed it!

At the end I asked everyone for feedback by answering 4 questions

  1. What thought about Social media has changed because of the workshop?

  2. Did you learn something new about Social media?

  3. How did you like the workshop overall?

  4. How did you experience me as a coach?

Again you don’t have to ask for feedback whilst there. Most coaches sent a questionnaire or ask for a written testimonial. But I genuinely enjoy conversation and I like to hear it out of the horse's mouth while it’s still fresh. The feedback was overall super positive! They enjoyed my approach and were happy that it wasn't a lecture but interactive and they got to instantly do what I was teaching.

But my favourite feedback answer actually came from every single workshop attendee. It went somewhat like this:  

To be honest Nana, I was a bit reluctant at the beginning. I really thought I knew all there is to know about social media and I really didn't understand why we should have a beginners workshop, but now I am glad we had one because I realised that I actually know nothing about how social media actually works.

And this is definitely my favourite type of feedback and experience, when teaching on “common knowledge topics” such as social media.

The Aha-moment or how I like to say the “I actually don't know anything, let me sit down and listen.” - moment is something I can not fabricate nor manipulate in people.

It is the most genuine,  pure, humbling and valuable experience a human can have and seeing it happen in front of my eyes as I unpack and transfer information is one of the greatest delights to me.

I also learned a valuable lesson from these young women: Nuance!

My father past awey in Summer 2017 by an intestinal infarction. He didn’t even make it to the hospital.

Dealing with the death of a parent was something I could relate to. How your view on life and the world changes somehow and things feel much more immediate than before. Also the appreciation for life and health and simple things increase tremendously. Or how people can act so awkward around you when you speak about that dead parent or simply mention that they are dead. It’s a unique space to navigate, as this has now become part of your life as it's continues but you don't want to make people uncomfortable that have just not reflected on the subject of mortality.

The ladies and I definitely had common things to talk about.

My father death was quite apprupt and he was 83 years already. Therefore I think I found it easier to make peace with it after a year of grief. Being a child or teenager however and now faced with a journeying that your parent will go through, eventually seeing them decay and having these constant highs and lows, demands much more strength and maturity. Probably more strength than I needed to grief my fathers death. These women were young but carried a maturity and sense of responsibility that many 40+ year olds I have met and worked with don't have.

Ironically they were the most appreciative audience when it comes to my “directness” since they hated tiptoeing, walking on eggshells and beating around the bush. YES TO THAT!

I learned how much deeper sacrificial love really is. I gained a new perspective of what love in action looks like and how much more strength there is in giving rather than receiving. I learned the nuances of grief and dealing with loss and healing others through it. And most importantly that only open conversation allowed us to understand each other to ultimately develop compassion for each other.

Nana AddisonComment