Tonight is take ACTION! night. Our eight week advocacy training course. We’re going to be talking about remote communication tonight. Covering things like press releases, business letters and various social media outlets (twitter, facebook, skype, etc.). Last week we covered audience consideration as well as formal and informal types of advocacy.
All of these various methods got me wondering about which method of advocacy makes the most impact. Traditional media (television, newspapers, etc.) used to be the most powerful tool for spreading a message. It seems, to me, that this is less the case now. We see people turning to Twitter and Facebook to both support one another and spread their message. Uprisings in Egypt, the UK and even Occupy movements worldwide rely on the Internet or methods of communicating with each other more directly rather than depending on the traditional media to pick up their message. New media is quickly gaining a foothold in the halls of advocacy. Now you can quickly take a video, upload it to YouTube and then distribute it to mailing lists, online forums, or Twitter where it has the potential to reach thousands, and if it goes viral, millions of people. And it costs nothing more than a monthly dataplan and a smartphone.
By using new media we are able to keep the message we’re sending more “pure.” We don’t have to worry about being censored or having the message altered by another’s political agenda. It’s more direct and personal, the editing may be rough sometimes, but the message is generally clear.
I still feel that traditional media can make a powerful impact, it just feels that being able to produce our message and distribute it can be more immediately rewarding and meaningful. I view using the Internet as a remote form of peer support, we share a common struggle and offer support and advice to our people.
What do you think?