child soldiers, Election 2012, invisible children, joseph kony, kony 2012, politics, PR planning, public relations, slavery, social justice, social media, stategic planning, strategic communications, uganda
At the time of this post, the following video has already had more than 11 million views. Non-profit powerhouse, Invisible Children uploaded the video on Monday and already it is dominating the conversation on both Facebook and Twitter.
I find this campaign both professionally and personally interesting.
Personally, I am very disappointed by the criticism that has already arisen as a result of the launch of this campaign. Some say that this is a multi-dimensional issue and that the issue is, “not of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow.” Woah. Really? Since when is silence a more effective strategy than speaking up when evil is being committed? When in the history of the world has that ever worked?
First, many of the blogs linked to above were posted anonymously. To be frank, those who post anonymously online are cowards. Own your comment and if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.
Second, I’m not going to claim to have advocacy experience, but claims like the one above, upon examination, collapse under the weight of history. Those who truly invoked social change were ordinary people who had the courage to do something extraordinary. The Civil Rights Movement is a great example. How did change come? It came from ordinary people getting on a bus and sitting in the front, riding a bus from DC to Jackson, marching down the street, starting conversations with friends and family, or gathering on the Washington Mall during your lunch break to hear a inspiring young man share his dream. I believe that as human beings (regardless of race or class), we have a responsibility to stand up and fight for social justice.
Professionally, I find this campaign to be impeccably planned. As a University of Oregon PR instructor identified in his book Writing Winning Proposals and PR Cases, “In public relations, we influence behavior through strategic planning and communication.” From a strategic planning perspective, this campaign is brilliant. It has all the necessary ingredients: problem, situation analysis, goal, focus, objective, strategy, evaluation and time line. Each of these are clearly identifiable on IC’s website.
I am personally inspired and convicted to act. I encourage you to sign the pledge, contact policymakers and “culturemakers” and rally your friends to act as well. What can you do? There are a variety of ways to get involved.
Piers Morgan said on his show tonight that, “this is social media at its best.” I couldn’t be a bigger fan of this campaign both professionally and personally. That’s my perspective. If you haven’t already, watch the video and decide for yourself. I would love to hear what you think and if moved to do so, how you will act.