We’ve been involved with the national labor coalition Jobs With Justice and its local and regional chapters for years. We’ve most recently been consulting with their national office as a part of their technology assessment committee, assisting JWJ with planning and implementing technology-based solutions to their communications strategy.
We’re also working with the Northern Illinois chapter of Jobs With Justice to build their communications capabilities and help them grow their chapter. That includes helping NIJWJ implement Salsa — a leading online member database, fundraising and mass e-mail system — by training NIJWJ members aged 16 – 70 on how to use this new technology how to employ best practices to extend their reach.
Norelco – A pdf of an e-mail we helped NIJWJ to write — one of their first uses of Salsa to help get the word out about their support for Norelco workers.
HammerHard MediaWorks principal Matt Muchowski has been working closely with labor leader and published author Amy B. Dean, the former President of the South Bay Labor Council and a fellow at The Century Foundation. Mary’s been published in the Nation, the Boston Review, and the Harvard International Review, and her book The New New Deal outlined how regional activism is shaping the future of the labor movement.
We’ve assisted in her online communications and social media strategies, making sure that Mary’s work gets read, shared and ‘liked’ by a wide and influential audience. We maintain and curate her mailchimp, facebook and other online communities, and also create and purchase targeted online advertising.
We also track her reader statistics and establish best practices to maximize the number and quality of her readers, and we’ve worked on research for many of her articles.
Hammerhard MediaWorks Principal Matt Muchowski helped create and mobilize the community group “Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum.” Santorum, a former Senator from Pennslyvania and a Republican Presidential candidate known for his anti-LGBTQ equality positions had graduated from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Illinois in 1976. Muchowski helped mobilize alumni to speak out against Santorum’s hate.
After Santorum had a good showing in the Iowa caucus, Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum was instrumental in changing the media coverage from a ‘local pride’ story to a ‘controversy at Carmel’ story. The group of Carmel alumni united for LGBTQ equality effectively showed how Santorum’s views do not represent those of Carmel alumni, or Catholics.
Muchowski created a facebook page that gain over 600 followers, more than twice as many as the “Carmel Catholic Alumni For Rick Santorum” group. Opponents of Santorum led a war of words in the media against a former Republican Senatorial candidate who supported Santorum.
Muchowski developed press releases and acted as spokesperson on several positive television appearances. Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum became a national story, with features on In These Times and Perez Hilton.
Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum involved the community in a large way, trained Carmel alumni in talking points, and created an open environment where many alumni from the school were able to come out of the closet. When Santorum visited Illinois before the primary election, Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum mobilized hundreds to rally against his views outside of his appearance.
HammerHard Principal Christine Geovanis was one of the founders and key organizers of Chicago Indymedia — the Chicago Independent Media Center — launched in early 2000 as one of the earliest local hubs of the global grassroots Indymedia network.
Indymedia first launched in Seattle in 1999 to provide progressive coverage of the WTO protests and, more broadly, to give grassroots activists a chance to end-run corporate press spin and air news that for-profit outlets refused to cover. The volunteer project had its roots in ‘CounterMedia‘, a 1996 project to provide alternative coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Geovanis coordinated CounterMedia’s newsroom operation, along with partners from projects that ranged from Kartemquin Films to SmartMeme.
Years before social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter launched, Chicago Indymedia’s newswire offered ordinary people the chance to share news and dialog about about economic and social justice issues. The project became a central online gathering spot for Chicago activists, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors and thousands of articles, photos and videos posted. Over the years, Chicago Indymedia has provided breaking and live coverage of anti-war rallies, police brutality cases, labor strikes and more that get short shrift or negative coverage in the corporate press. Content providers have ranged from neighborhood residents to corporate photographers and videographers who are just as frustrated as the rest of us by their outlets’ refusal to cover issues that matter to local residents.
Beginning in 2004, Geovanis began working with Chicago Indymedia to produce Chicago Independent Television — a community-based TV show that covers local and global news from a progressive perspective. The show broadcasts monthly on CAN TV and nationally on the Free Speech Network through Dish Network and DirecTV. Geovanis also supports Chicago Indymedia’s monthly audio podcast, From The Trenches, and — since Indymedia operates without corporate sponsors or advertising — has helped keep Chicago Indymedia up and running by organizing a round of successful fundraisers. Today she’s working with a new crop of volunteers and partners at projects that range from GLN to Multikulti on a major reset of Chicago Indymedia’s software platform and on reinvigorating the project as part of the global network’s retooling effort.
When Ohio Governor John Kasich passed Senate Bill 5, a law that restricted labor union rights, HammerHard MediaWorks principal Matt Muchowski was ready to organize with local unions and repeal the law.
Muchowski coordinated with a team of media professionals to help turn a state-wide election into a nation-wide story. Muchowski also led several earned-media events, trained community members on media talking points, acted as a media spokesperson, and wrote for national publications about the elections.
Muchowski’s focus on grassroots organizing led him to train hundreds of community members to talk to thousands of their neighbors in order to repeal the law.
The election was a landslide victory for organized labor that sent a message, that Ohio will not allow union rights to be taken away.