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How Amnesty creates campaigns with impact using the power of Canva

Today’s social movements are started online; shared images are 21st Century picket signs. Jessie Mawson is the Social Media Specialist at Amnesty International Australia. She creates and curates online content that inspires followers to action. Jessie also trains local Amnesty Action Groups (comprised of hundreds of activists) to enact human rights impact through their own social media.

“Like most normal people, our activists don’t have access to – or an understanding of – professional design software… It was a serious roadblock. Social media is a visual medium and engaging graphics are a must.”

For Jessie, this is where Canva came in. Since mid-2014, the software has been standardising Amnesty’s online visual content. The recent upgrade to Canva Pro is helping Jessie and Amnesty’s activists to immediately report breaking issues of human rights. Often, these are literally matters of life or death.

“Amnesty works in real time,” Jessie explains. “We have to act fast. Graphic content often needs to be turned around in just minutes – so the templates available through Canva Pro are great for that.”

The Australian team shares their Canva Pro templates. When Amnesty receives word of an execution, unfair trial, exposed war crimes or gross miscarriages of social justice – their yellow and black Brand Kit is ready to go. These iconic colours are already set as the default design elements in Canva Pro.

With such a recognisable online brand, consistency across social platforms is crucial. As well as Amnesty International Australia’s national channels (which reach up to 20 million people a month), there are Action Centres in each state. These coordinate hundreds of localised Action Groups – creating some online branding confusion. Jessie has been using Canva Pro to standardise the profile pictures of all these various offshoots.

“Centrally creating and distributing these new profile pics to hundreds of accounts (and keeping them up to date in the future) could have been nightmarish, but a simple Canva template – that activists could update themselves – made it super simple.”

As a grassroots organisation, it’s essential for Amnesty to empower all members in creating their own content. With resources stretched thin, Canva Pro helps Jessie share the workload for campaigns nationwide.

“I’m very grateful that Canva runs a Nonprofit Program that gives organisations like Amnesty – for whom cost is so often a barrier – access to this wonderful tool!”

For more information about Amnesty International and their work, visit www.amnesty.org.au.