A particularly savvy media campaign by a nonprofit group called Invisible Children has pushed a debate about Uganda and rebel leader Joseph Kony into a very bright spotlight.
Without getting into the arguments about the political motivations of the nonprofit and the consequences of its campaign — check out coverage from The Washington Post’s Elizabeth Flock for more information on the situation and its history — it’s astonishing that the group’s members have been able to draw this much attention now to a conflict that’s been going on since the 1980s.
So how did they do it?
The group launched a campaign called “Kony 2012,” an effort to raise awareness about Kony and the small force the Obama administration sent to Uganda in October with the intent of killing or capturing him and combating his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
To get the campaign off the ground quickly, the group had users send messages to 20 “culturemakers” and 12 “policymakers” with influential Twitter accounts urging them to support the effort. The list included names such as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former President George W. Bush, as well as celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga.