Public attitudes towards YesCymru can be heavily influenced, positively or negatively, by our social media presence, so it is important that we do it right.
We live in an age where comments on the web can quickly receive a lot of negative attention, and sometimes even sharing, liking or retweeting someone else's material can attract criticism. It is therefore important that we try our best to adhere as closely as possible to the below - it is relevant to what you post yourselves and to sharing other people’s material.
Remember that you are speaking on behalf of YesCymru - the organisation - not as an individual. On this note, use 'We' rather than 'I'.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is, don't say anything online that you wouldn't say face to face.
Stay clear of any issues that are not directly related to the campaign for independence, issues that may cause disagreement between supporters of independence. As YesCymru is a non-partisan organisation, we do not normally have a position/policy on specific issues other than the belief that Wales will be a better country by managing its own affairs. Some people may try to use YesCymru as a platform for their own beliefs/ideology, and ask YesCymru to express a viewpoint or comment on specific issues. Being dragged into external issues will only weaken our core message, and give some people a reason not to support us. You should therefore ignore any such request unless it relates directly to independence, or unless YesCymru has decided to support the cause. In most cases it will be possible to answer the request by reminding them that the people of Wales will decide on this after independence. Here are some examples of issues that may cause arguments between independence supporters:
- Membership of the European Union - of those who voted in the 2016 referendum, over half voted to leave the EU. Recent YouGov surveys show strong support for independence among those who voted to leave the EU. So don't give an opinion on whether Wales should be a member of the EU - just say that Wales will have the right to decide on that after independence. Being critical of the way in which the Westminster Government has managed the process of leaving the EU is acceptable, since this is a matter of competence, not ideology.
- Immigration - this is at best a controversial subject, and certainly not one that YesCymru should be expressing an opinion on. Again, immigration policy is something that the Government of an independent Wales would decide.
- The monarchy - not everyone believes that an independent Wales should be a Republic, so we don't want to alienate these people from the idea of independence. We can visit this issue post-independence, as did Ireland.
- Others - the military, socialism/capitalism, nuclear power.
Political parties and organisations
We are a non-party political organisation. We should not show bias to one party for supporting independence. Likewise, do not attack another for not. Winning the support of Wales' main parties is vital if we are to achieve our goal. One may have an opinion on how quickly the Welsh Government is progressing with devolution, but if we are critical of how they run our country with the powers that they actually do have, one could easily ask "Why do you want independence and give them more powers?", thus undermining the case for independence.
Likewise, do not attack other organisations, groups or campaigns. We are likely to need their support in the future.
Do not aggravate followers of organisations on the other side of the debate by demonstrating at their events. This will only serve to draw negative attention to our cause, and could eventually lead to retaliation, where our own events are being attended by opponents to independence. This could cause YesCymru events to depart from the happy and positive events that we want them to be.
We want to keep the independence debate free from hostility in order to keep everyone engaged. For the same reason, refrain from using YesCymru campaign materials to cover that of other organisations. YesCymru works because it is seen as a true alternative, rather than there simply in opposition to other things.
Do not promote or glorify any illegal activity, past or present, even in the context of campaigning for independence. Doing so will only undermine our cause.
Don't be patronising or sarcastic towards others - it is important that we remain professional and polite, whatever their beliefs. Do not attack individuals who have a different opinion, or join others whom are doing so. It is important for YesCymru's accounts to remain above that, and not to be seen to promote negative behaviour. Rather than considering these people as enemies, we should try to change their minds prudently with the right information. No-one should be blamed for having 'British' views - many people have been receiving anti-Welsh information throughout their lives. Our challenge is to educate them.
Forming the message
Don't be negative. There is a better response to positive messages.
Use the languages you are comfortable with. If you can speak both languages, then use both. We recognise that some material can sometimes be more suitable in one language over the other. We are happy for the communication of the local groups to match the linguistic practices of the local community.
Please use the form YesCymru in all cases, rather than Yes Cymru. If using the shortened version of your group's name, use the form YesCaerfyrddin rather than Yes Caerfyrddin.
Don't post your message hurriedly - it's worth taking a minute to make sure there are no typing/spelling errors before sending.
Because of the way Facebook and Twitter handle links in messages, it is recommended not to share more than one link in a single post.
If you’re not sharing a link, it's a good idea to share a picture with a message to attract attention. On Twitter, an image ratio of 2:1 works well. A regularly updated guide is available here. When adding an image you can link up to 10 more Twitter accounts under the who is in this image? button. This is a good way to ensure that the message is also seen by other YesCymru groups, or interested groups.
It is good practice to use the #indyWales or #annibyniaeth hashtags periodically. But don't use too many hashtags in one tweet or it can seem too busy.
We have a Twitter list of all YesCymru groups https://twitter.com/YesCymru/lists/grwpiau-yescymru-groups. The list combines everything that these groups have tweeted. It's a good way to share the activities of the groups, but also to share all the web-based material the groups have discovered - articles, stories, opinion pieces - so share as much as you can.
Twitter DM or Facebook Messenger
Sometimes a member of the public contacts privately via Twitter or Facebook. These messages should be treated as emails, so we should answer everything that is relevant. If you are unsure how to respond to anything, ask for help. In Facebook Messenger, use the 'Mark as done' button (top right) to complete a conversation and keep your inbox organised.
If you are in doubt as to whether you should send something because it may be in breach of the above, then better not send it, just in case. Or contact other members for their opinions.
But, importantly, enjoy the process - we want the experience to be fun for you and the audience.
YesCymru Central Committee