Create your own Rapid Response GIF

10 mins read

Create your own Rapid Response GIF

South Carolina Rocked by Back-to-Back Mass Shootings That Wounded 18 – TIME

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) blocks common sense gun safety measures and takes NRA contributions. How does a small, under-funded grassroots groups demand accountability from a Senator with millions in funding and an army of slick marketing consultants? People power, the truth and innovation. Anthony Hall with the South Carolina Democracy Center created a Call to Action GIF that encourages SC residents to call Tim Scott to demand he serve voters and not just donors.

How does a grassroots groups without much money, staff and technical skills launch a rapid response campaigns? This blog explains how Anthony created a Rapid Response GIF in three hours using free apps and help from DemLabs. Read the detailed instructions on how you can use the same technique here. Apply for pro bono help with GIF for campaigns on social justice, gun violence and voting rights here. This blog explains:

  • Why GIFS are so effective in communication?
  • How to create a Rapid Response GIF with iMovie and EZGIF
  • Where to find free icons for your GIF from Noun Project
  • How to create an Action Button to make it easy for supporters
  • How to generate a QR Code for free with QR Code Generator
  • Tips to designing an eye-catching memes
  • How to spread your message with QR Codes over social media
  • How to share your GIF through GIPHY for others to find and share

Tim Scott – Call To Action GIF

Share this GIF freely with this link or as a GIF

Why you should use GIFs

GIFs work well for campaigns because condense your message and call to action into seconds. GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a series of still images in quick succession. They cannot be paused, rewound, or fast-forwarded  and do not include sound like a video. GIFs add movement to static images. GIFs make your message stand out in emails, ads, social media posts. They are popular. More than 700 million people use GIPHY to share more than 10 billion GIFs every day. 

  • GIFs are small files and download quickly
  • They play automatically on phones, tablets and laptops
  • Make your message and call to action more memorable
  • They are fast and easy to make for free
  • Easy to share your GIF with search engines like GIPHY

Designing your GIF

Anthony wanted to highlight how Scott took NRA contributions and blocked gun safety bills. He chose icons to represent this from Noun Project and uploaded the them to iMovie.

See the images Anthony used here

Storyboard your GIF with iMovie

Anthony added these images to an iMovie storyboard as individual building blocks. He adjusted the time needed for each image as appropriate for your message. Overlay the images with titles using iMovie. In this example the first image has the words “Gun Deaths Surge”. His video is 23 seconds long.

Convert the video into a GIF

Anthony played the video in iMovie on his laptop and used EZGIF (a free app) to convert the video into a GIF. This produced a file that is 625 Kb in size and has 31 static images.

Read step-by-step instructions to create the GIF here

Check your GIF

Check the GIF you’ve created with EZGIF and compress it to reduce the file size to make downloads faster. Try sending the GIF you created as an attachment in an email to yourself to see how it looks. This is how Anthony’s GIF looks:

Share with this link

GIFs with a mission – Add a CALL TO ACTION

A campaign GIF isn’t just meant to be entertaining or funny. It has a call to action. This can be as simple as ‘Call Tim Scott at 843-727-4525’. Anthony added an ACTION BUTTON to his GIF which includes: 

  • A public video about the issue obtained from YouTube, Facebook or Instagram
  • Your message with more details on the issue such as the need for gun control 
  • Call To Action button which: 
    • Makes a phone call
    • Starts writing an email
    • Sends you to a website
  • The Action Button is added to the GIF as a QR CODE. Scanning it starts playing the video, shows Anthony’s message and provides a button that calls Senator Scott’s office.

Anthony named his Action Buttons with the URL
He convert this URL into a QR Code with the free QR Code Generator app to share on social media and make it easier for others to share too.

Try Anthony’s Action Button with this link

Create memes with QR Codes

Memes are images designed to be shared on social media. Anthony generated four memes which urge Senator Scott to ‘do his job’ and serve the people of South Carolina and not just donors.

Spread the word on social media

Anthony posted the QR Code on the Democracy Center Facebook page to reach more people and encouraged supporters to share the QR Code with their friends as well.

Democracy Center – Florence, SC

Democracy Centers are local resources that support ongoing, year-round, civic engagement to achieve meaningful progress on issues of importance in underserved communities of color where the ill effects of historic systemic racism are deeply entrenched and oppressive. Democracy Centers are located in BIPOC communities where more than 55% of eligible voters no longer choose to vote. These communities are often rural and identifiable by certain common characteristics, such as high levels of race-based concentrated poverty, lower social mobility, higher rates of environmental pollution and restrictive voter suppression laws.

The phrase, “My vote doesn’t matter” reflects frustration with the lack of improvement in community pain points regardless of who is elected.

Democracy Centers provide needed infrastructure, training and digital tools to empower communities during times of accelerated change and challenge. Citizens need a place to gather, learn about national, state and local policy/politics so they can make educated decisions about their leaders and how to make change on every level.

Learn more

Community Cease-Fire USA is a non-violent campaign to stop the increasing gun violence taking place in the African American communities. We call on members of the community to advocate for changes that will allow us to reclaim our communities, so we can create new pathways that will build assets and create wealth. We seek to do this by establishing cease-fire zones where people congregate in areas such as clubs, shopping areas, parks, parties, outdoor events, and other places where the innocent often becomes the unwitting victims.

Donate to South Carolina Democracy Center

TakeAway: Use GIFs with Action Buttons to show people the real cause their problems, who is responsible and what they can do about it. Vote!



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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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