This Tips and Tricks post perfectly aligns with the case study I’ll be posting later this week on #BlackLivesMatter. That, and this, will be given our current circumstances quite difficult topics. As much as possible, as this is a blog about online activism we will try to separate our academic theorising from the politic and emotion surrounding this topic. To preface, this is not because we don’t think those are important, it’s actually because we think the politics and emotions involved are so important, challenging and necessary to discuss that this is just simply not the right forum for it. I’d need thousands of words, thousands of open hearts and ears, and a ridiculous amount of strength.
So what we’re focusing on here in Tips and Tricks, is making sure you tell your story.
With any campaign for social change, you need people. You need them on your side, you need them invested, and you need them to care. How do you do that? Well picture you’re in school or university and you attend lectures every week on the same topic. Do you remember the exact words your lecturer used to explain something they are telling you is incredibly important? Maybe, but probably not. Do you want to share that with anyone you care about that isn’t also taking the course? Almost definitely not.
What are the things you do remember? What are the things you want to tell those you love? See here for a whole chapter on how this works.
Stories. You want to tell your family a funny joke, something witty, incredulous, fascinating, unbelievable… Something that sticks. Anything that stuck with you. Think about telling ghost stories around a camp fire. Somehow those stories we tell we can remember word for word, and we LOVE telling them.
This doesn’t mean you campaign needs to be full of funny stories, jokes or fear, but it does mean that it needs to have something that will make your audience care. Think about all the social problems out there and what you might want to change. Nothing funny or entertaining about that. In fact most problems are truly heart wrenching and tragic. Just like the stories being told in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
These aren’t stories we want to share, these aren’t stories any of us want to hear, but these stories are real, true and necessary. And the people in these stories deserve the whole world to know the pain and suffering that is happening. People care about stories. So find them. Chase them. Tell them. Make them memorable.