Be a digital MS activist – build relationships and educate your public officials and others about the best interests of people with MS and their families and help drive change. We’ll show you how! Get Informed, Rise Up, Take Action and Recruit.
The surest indicator and best tool of an MS activist is information. We will arm you with what you need to fully understand activism and the issues.
- Learn how You Can Be An MS Activist (video)
Sign up to be part of the MS Activist Network and receive:
- Action Alerts: We’ll email you an MS Action Alert when an important issue or piece of legislation calls for your immediate attention. With a few easy clicks, you can send emails to your public officials about why these issues are important to you
- Our e-newsletter, the Federal Focus, will keep you up-to-date on activism successes, timely legislation and emerging issues.
- Get going in social media with these short, basic video tutorials: How to Use Twitter and How to Use Facebook
- Seek out and connect with (Follow, Friend and Like) your local, state or regional, and national Society presences:
- Know your public officials (make a list!): Federal, State Legislatures
Identify yourself as an MS activist. Connect with other MS activists and public officials.
- Seek out and connect with (Follow, Friend and Like) your public officials. Here are some tools to help you start that relationship: C-SPAN’s list of Members of Congress on Twitter
Add phone numbers, email address and/or Twitter handles to your list of public officials
To find your public officials on Facebook, use Facebook’s search function. Or, visit each official’s website and look for Like buttons or links to Facebook. If you’re concerned that a Federal official’s page or profile on social media seems “unofficial,” you can verify it online.
- Seek out other MS activists and the conversations that you care about: Activism-related posts on the Society’s blog, Hashtag #MSactivist at https://search.twitter.com, Other ideas of hashtags to follow: #MS (general conversation), #MSresearch, and #socialgood or #sm4sg (updates from all sorts of online do-gooders, short for “Social media for social good”), Trending issues – you’ll know them when you see them or when @MSactivist tweets them, for example #UNCRPD, #NIH, #MSCDMRP or #CDMRP
Facebook – update your status with something like this:
Multiple sclerosis affects my life (add a short personal note) and I want to help drive change. This is why I AM AN MS ACTIVIST. To support me and issues that affect families faced with MS please Like @National Multiple Sclerosis Society
A Facebook tag – the “@” symbol preceding a user or page name – only creates a tag if you Like that user’s profile/page. The successful tag should automatically change the name to a hyperlink – and the @ symbol will disappear. Feel free to include @National Multiple Sclerosis Society or indicate that you are “with” National Multiple Sclerosis Society or your local chapter in your posts
Twitter – send a tweet like this one:
Multiple sclerosis affects my life – so I AM AN #MSACTIVIST. Join me & support people w #MS. Plz RT & follow @MSactivist.
- Facebook – update your status with something like this:
Action – “that’s what it’s all about” (credit: Hokey Pokey).
- Act on Action Alerts (sign up) through email, Twitter and online (search by zip code to view relevant alerts)!
Build relationships with your public officials. You are the credible expert about the effects of multiple sclerosis in your life and what they can do to support the MS community.
- Call or send them a letter or email. Be brief and direct—describe MS and the impact it has on your life and how a particular policy impacts or could impact you.
Facebook – visit your officials’ pages and post a message like
As a constituent and an MS activist, I urge you to support the interests of people living with multiple sclerosis. MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease that affects the central nervous system. More than 2.1 million people worldwide, including a significant number right here in the U.S., live with MS. The exact cause is still unknown, and there is no cure. Add a personal note if you wish
Twitter – mention your official in a tweet like this one
@official (replace “official” with your official’s Twitter handle) As a constituent and #MSactivist, I urge you to support interests of people w #MS & look forward to connecting w you
A Twitter mention – the “@” symbol preceding a user handle – engages other tweeters in conversation; the tweet shows up in the mentioned user’s feed.
Continue the conversation
- Publically THANK your officials when they respond and/or support your issues (cosponsorship, votes, etc) – through Twitter or Facebook.
- Respond to contacts from your officials and their staff – ask the Society for help or advice if you need it
- Retweet @MSactivist (www.twitter.com/msactivist) and take recommended actions. Always use hashtag #MSactivist. “Mention” your officials as often as appropriate using the @ symbol in front of their user handle
- Share your story and read other activists’ stories on the Society’s blog.
- Ask others to join you!
- Recommend this page (www.nationalMSsociety.org/DigiMSActivist) on Facebook or Share (blue or red buttons above left), use this snazzy email tool or Tweet
- Share links to our activism empowerment video (ntl.ms/YouCanBeAnMSActivist) or the page that makes it easy to become an informed MS activist (www.nationalMSsociety.org/MSactivist)
Thanks for being a digital activist!
Need proof that you can do digital activism and that it reaches officials? Here:
- Real people use it: Some 60% of American adults use either social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Sixty-six percent of those social media users – or 39% of all American adults – have done at least one of eight civic or political activities with social media. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, October 2012
- While the Senate failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2012, MS activists sent tweets reaching more than 280,000 Twitter users and over 10,000 emails to Capitol Hill pushing the Convention through Committee and on to the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to hold another vote on the Convention in the near future.
- According to Twitter, all 100 U.S. Senators are now tweeting, along with 90% (398 members) of the House of Representatives. This indicates a huge jump from 2011 alone, when 44% of the Senate and 35% of the House were on Twitter.
- “Twitter generates an outsized share of attention among political professionals and helps to form the narratives that pundits, journalists, and candidates will develop during and after big events.” National Journal, Sept. 11, 2012
- Members of Congress use social media to be more responsive to and have more meaningful interactions with their constituents, and to reach new people. 64% of staff surveyed think Facebook is an important tool for understanding constituents’ views and opinions; 42% of staff surveyed think Twitter also is important. Congressional Management Foundation, “Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill”