So, the Fellowship I have been doing is coming to an end.  I've been really slack with my reflections due at the end of every week of seminars because it's getting to the end of the year and I really, truly, am struggling.  I'm struggling to get over the line, I'm struggling to stay focused, I'm struggling to make it to next week where I will be flying away, off to Japan.

Here are all the reflections I haven't done, that I should have done.

Changing the public narrative

Sometimes I wish I had X-Men like ability to just change people's minds with nothing more than my mental super powers.  It would just be so much easier, but then again, I don't think I would like a world where I could control how people reacted to me.  It would be fun for about three days I think.

So, I have learnt something I think I already knew, but like the lesson I learnt, it needs to be repeated over and over until it sticks.  This is what I'm going to take:

  • To shift the public narrative you need to have: 
    • a resonant message
    • repeated consistency
    • trusted voices 
    • volume and 
    • be repeated over and over.

Seems really straight forward right? Well, yes and no. I suppose first you need to have a message that needs to be repeated consistently, loudly, repeatedly that is resonant.  In the Aboriginal rights movement and the many campaigns there is none of that. At the moment there are a lot of voices yelling over the top of each other and usually into the wind.

This method of changing the public narrative is going to be super important as the Recognise campaign gains momentum during the next two years and my org has to be ready for it.

Organising and Mobilising Communities

I don't consider myself much of an organiser.  Sure I'm persuasive and I'm a good communicator but I think, no, I know, that I'm petrified of rejection.  I am completely and totally in fear of being rejected, or made a fool of, or of failure that I try and avoid organising.  Well, that is until I can be sure i'm going to get a predictable outcome, and because organising is never predictable then, well, you can see why I don't enter this field often, or at all.

Anita Tang spoke about the brilliant success the NSW Cancer Council has had in mobilising groups of people to act as ambassadors in a way, particularly with their politician engagement program.  one thing resonated with me though, and that was that when she invited Cancer Council supporters to step up and take more leadership she was upright about the commitment level required and people then self selected if they wanted to take part or not.  

This is genius! As I have stated above and... well, to anyone that knows me that I hate rejection.  So when I ask someone to do something I will reduce the task and then give people plenty of opportunities to back away and let me down lightly and then when they do, there's no disappointment because I expected that to happen. 

Well, being upfront about commitment levels (and honest too, mind) is such a simple and genius solution.  I think because we're all so busy (and I challenge that, but that's for another day) that we just assume that other people won't be interested in committing and we make that choice before they've even had time to consider our request. Well, how about we put all the cards on the table and let people self select. Genius. Win, win, win.

Digital Campaigning


Also, that I really need to look at these portals:

  • Nation Builder
  • The Action Network
  • Control Shift
  • Blue State Digital
  • NGPVan
  • Mailchimp
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Action Sprout

Media Practical

Oh, this was awesome. Partly because the practical session by my fellow Fellowship Fellows was brilliant, but also because I had no idea, well, no real idea, in what would be involved in coming up with a media strategy; and this, ladies and gents is what I learnt:

  •  The media strategy is a subset of your broader campaign strategy
  • Understand your goal, values, tactics, aims and objectives beforehand.
  • The media is a great tool to influence people you don’t usually reach, so think about what sort of media you want to use as there are a lot of different communities so choose the best media for your aims.
  • There are whole varieties of media, mainstream, online only, niche, trade only publications etc.
  • Think about what your pitch is, what are you offering the journalists? You can offer the media real stories, a different angle, a scoop, etc.
  • Also think about what you want to do for them, do you want to write an op ed piece or are you giving expert comment or an interview.
  • Choose your spokesperson, it’s not necessarily you or someone from the organisation you lead.  It could be someone you’re advocating on behalf of, sometimes it’s a patron or someone quite high profile.  Don’t automatically assume it’s you, think about what is the most effective messenger.
  • Think about what your messages are, what are you crafting for your campaign, what will suit your audience and then use this information to feed your media campaign and strategy.
  • Be prepared for things to go wrong, it happens. You may be misquoted, or an angle may be wrong, whatever happens include troubleshooting and risk management in your media strategy.
  • Think about your timeframes, what is happening around your issue, are you having an event or releasing a report, etc.

Using Social Media

I learnt that I want to have Jesse's magical power of turning and using social media into a very sharp, sharp, well honed tool.He had some brilliant tips for social media content and I've already started trying to make some for my organisation's social media pages along these lines, and frankly. So far, so good.  Except that unfortunately, I wish I had cute baby animals as my subjects like Jesse does.

Social media content needs to be all of these things, all of the things!

  • Simplicity
  • Unexpectedness
  • Concreteness
  • Credibility
  • Emotion
  • Stories