Idealists have a problem with marketing when it comes to spreading their message. For people who focus on doing good in the world, spreading messages via ads and media can seem like a dirty business. According to their thinking, marketing is the exact same sort of manipulative behavior that corporations, lobbyists, and other big evil bodies spend their dollars on.
Marketing may be ugly, but it’s a necessary evil. People who improve the world can’t get their message across if they keep their thoughts in their heads and among a small circle of friends. Effective change can only happen if activists and other progressive community members spread the good word to people outside their social circles. Here are a few easy DIY ways to whip up discussion and awareness for any issue.
Organize Your Message!
When people get together, they make things happen. And luckily, people love getting together. Clubs, activists communities, and other organizations (both formal and informal) are crucial catalysts for change. Form a group if you want to stir up energy for change. People will bring exciting new ideas for protesting, message spreading, community building, and activism.
It’s easy to form a group. Ask a few like-minded friends to put aside a few hours a month, meet at in a living room or coffee shop, bring what they’ve got to the table. Doing so in public has the advantage of offering some free (albeit minor) publicity—you never know who’s going to be sitting at the next table, and chances are you’ll meet allies if you gather in the right place.
Don’t Neglect Social Media!
People down put social media as frivolous. Sure, social media can be frivolous, but when used well, socially aware users can elevate their online posts above the standard array of cat videos and pictures of fancy food. People spend most of their time on the internet these days, and there’s no way you can get your message across if you don’t reach those web-based citizens.
The other obvious advantage of social media is that it’s mostly free. Anyone can start a Facebook group with a few flicks of the wrist. Befriend a few influential people, and you’ll gather momentum and followers in no time. Good social media advertising can get your ideas and actions heaps of attention with no work at all.
So don’t be a snob about social media. You need it if you’re going to attract everyday people. And everyday people are who every movement needs to attract if it’s going to move beyond small meetings among similar-minded people.
Keep Your Message Real!
Don’t get stuck online. Social media are important, but you can’t rely on your Instagram account to ignite revolution. The world is tired of empty online ideals and ineffective slacktivism. Make sure that you and your groups leave the basements and march out onto the real world. Posting flyers at coffee shops, performing street theater activism, and marching in public are essential ingredients for real change. A digital revolution occurs in the mind; a real revolution occurs in the streets.