Luck favors the prepared. Build it and they will come. Pithy statements like these are recited on the belief that it takes movement to start action. Shortly before the “It Gets Better” campaign took off on Facebook and YouTube in response to the increase in teen suicide and bullying of GLBT youth, The Trevor Project – one of the main beneficiaries of “It Gets Better” – worked with Sensis on a complete redesign of their Website. Sensis approached Trevor as a pro-bono client and worked with them on increasing their focus from one of traditional development to digital outreach. Sensis and Trevor engaged hundreds of GLBT youth in an online research panel which helped the organization recognize the increasing popularity of digital and social media. The new look and feel of the Website and increased focus on social media in turn created a push for an institutional rebranding that breathed new life into this critical organization. With almost miraculous timing, the site launch and new digital focus coincided with the launch of the “It Gets Better” campaign. Hundreds of individual testimonials have been seen and shared by hundreds of thousands online. Google, NBC Universal and President Obama have all contributed videos with messages of hope and encouragement. In turn, this movement has helped galvanize the Trevor Project’s suicide prevention efforts and transform them as an organization. This panel will discuss how timing, perseverance and forward thinking with digital media helped give prominence to a pervasive problem in the gay, lesbian and transgender community.
9th–13th March 2012