Aida, ActionAid’s new chatbot that has an answer for everything (even for insults)
5 July 2018 | Written by Chiara Boni
ActionAid Italy has launched its chatbot, Aida, which allows users to obtain information about the NGO in real time: Paolo Chiovino, Head of Digital Communication of ActionAid Italy, at the last Web Marketing Festival explained to us how it works.
It can interact with users, collect their requests and provide the most appropriate answers: Aida is the new Messanger chatbot launched by ActionAid, the international organization that operates in Italy and in 40 other countries around the world, to fight poverty, injustice and social inequality. The name of the bot, Aida, is not only a clear reference to the name of the NGO itself, but is also a tribute to the commitment that ActionAid takes every day in defense of women’s rights.
To start a “conversation” with the bot on the ActionAid Italy’s Facebook page it’s very easy: for each question asked by the user, Aida offers preset, but always precise, answers. It’s also possible to activate the notifications of the page to receive updates from ActionAid, for example the news about the commitment of the association and its activists in Italy and in the world, the opportunities to engage in person, by becoming an activist or by offering support through donations.
Aida, that was created thanks to the support of the web agency Imille, is therefore the fastest and most effective way to reach the 30 million users in Italy that access Facebook on a monthly basis: 24 hours a day, you can get detailed information on the NGO’s activities.
At the last Web Marketing Festival, Paolo Chiovino, Head of Digital Communication of ActionAid Italy, intervened to explain how this chatbot works and how a tool like this can be useful for the non-profit reality. “For many aspects, those who work for the change of society are the first to be conservative: we struggle to innovate, to experiment, to test”. – explained Chiovino – “The non-profit world needs to learn that there are many innovative solutions to discover”.
Aida’s immediacy is definitely one of its strengths: taking advantage of the fast and extremely volatile times of social networks, the chatbot brings an ever larger number of users to the ActionAid’s table: “Social media is a very useful tool for us because we can reach a very large number of people. In addition, they made possible for us to introduce increasingly interactive content, allowing us to break down many borders: today we can put in contact a donor with the supported community, simply through a smartphone”.
This solidarity commitment isn’t immune, however, to the “dark side” of technology: Facebook, such as every social network, is too often the scene of a series of attacks on ActionAid, on its volunteers, on the activities of the association. A danger that has been taken into account in the creation of Aida, which is perfectly capable of reacting to the most critical attacks: “The insults are faced by trying not to be afraid; we try to explain – if there are margins for dialogue. I am also for the hard line: we are not afraid of banning someone from our page in the most serious cases, when it is clear that there is no dialogue” – Chiovino explains – “Our aim is not to protect the ActionAid brand (by now we are used to this!), we are more interested in protecting our community, in defending as much as possible the experience that our true “fans” do on our social networks and on our website”.
And what about the future of Aida? “First of all, the idea is that soon Aida will also become vocal. In the meantime, our idea is to be more and more present on all the media, even the physical ones, possibly on the paper. We will certainly continue to work to ensure that the chatbot experience is always better, for example we are thinking to improve the graphic. In the future we think there will also be the possibility to donate via Messanger: this will also open new marketing and fundraising scenarios”.