Take Charge and Tell the Occupy Story
Occupy Writers and Media Coordinators Organize and Use all Aspects of Modern Media to Get the Occupy Story Out.
How we write for journals and blogs, publish articles and commentaries, communicate with media editors, use social media, all combine to make the Occupy story available to our audiences. When we work together to inform the ninety-nine percent of how their needs and conditions affect their lives and those of their friends, family, and neighbors, we help fashion a broad message worthy of so broad an audience. Below are some points I covered on May 9 in a Fire Dog Lake webinar.
Blogging from the Occupiers Perspective
“We are the 99 Percent” defines our point of view a Occupiers. We may also speak directly to important allies and affinity groups representing specific approaches, solutions, and proposals, but we need also remember to address the full audience to remain true to the ninety-nine percent audience we seek to empower.
1. A general point of view, POV, looks to broad agreement on core concepts, ideals, solutions, rather than on narrow proposals.For instance, health care is a basic human need, but we lack consensus about any single solution. So, we can achieve consensus on the goal, empower a process for decision making, and then advocate for our specific ideas to bring health and better life to our people.
2. A specific point of view focuses on affinity-group proposals. These need not have broad consensus, but serve to build relations with key allies and affinity groups.Consider health care again: Some groups may favor a mix of private and public approaches such as medicare and private plans, others favor more public options, and still others favor single-payer systems. Within Occupy study groups may come together to advocate proposals without common agreement either within the local Occupy group or nationally among the broad range of people.
In short, remember to address and acknowledge the ninety-nine percent, but allow narrower groups to focus on specific proposals as we build better decision-making into our process.
Regarding consensus. Always look to the purpose or “statement of purpose, mission statement, etc. for defining reasons why your group exists. The Mission Statement or statement of Purpose identifies a group’s legitimate concerns. Some people violate those basic conditions; some have no opinion, so stand aside automatically. What is left determines how much consensus exists. Then the assembly may clarify questions so the proposals are understood and resolve legitimate concerns.
Focus on purpose for both general and specific approaches to communications and media. Apply the idea of consensus building when you write or address your audiences. This helps the Occupy writer or speaker to remember responsibilities to the broader movement serve our purposes, but our own individual preferences may not.
How to tell your story
Relate Your Actions to Your Audience
Blog to the PublicTake responsibility for each and every word you use. this does not mean you have any so-called correct reasons for your choices, but you do have reasons behind them. Be aware of your audience, and communicate to them in ways they can appreciate and understand. Be respectful, listen and respond.reach out. Know when to inform and when to write a “convincer. When writing to inform, summarize all your points at the onset, but when persuading or convincing, hold back” important points for use to achieve maximum effect as the argument develops.
Blog to Elected and other public Officials and Journalists to Help Them Understand Our Message.
Focus on core principles,See 99percentgreentea.wordpress.com “What is Occupy”I will be posting to Demotix, my OP ED piece, less than 400 words, “the Seven Habits of Highly effective Citizen Occupiers” and also, a longer version as a article — news analysis. (more than 800 words).
These Seven Habits are:consensus, nonviolence, decentralization, fairness, responsibility, freedom, and sustainability. When speaking to anyone, use these or similar points to retain a 99-percent POV. It works very well when speaking to someone of different political orientations.
Use Online Resources to Publish About Occupy and the Occupy Story.
Use FDL, firedoglake, to post journal articles, pictures, and communicate with others interested in the Occupy movement.com
Register with alternet.org to sell articles and images about Occupy. Use their site for information.
Use Demotix.com to post your articles, images, and blog entries for people to read. In addition, Demotix will represent their writers and photographers to get them published by alternative and mainstream media.
FDL offers blog space with opportunities to network and reach out to potentially large audiencesAlternet requires writing samples and pays for articles, even gives assignments. alternet.org
Demotixhttp://www.demotix.com/Markets stories and images you post. Post 10 and get affiliation and press ID.
Each of these have specific uses and advantages.
Use Social Media To Amplify Your Message
When using a Facebook page read their use policies and issues. Facebook claims copyright, privileges on anything stored on their servers as a condition of use. While the account holder may have rights to their own materials, so does Facebook. So, caution should be exercised when using free services online. Always check terms and conditions of use for any content provider. Facebook now tries to restrict any contacts to those the user knows outside of Facebook. This means if you want to contact someone or request friendship, you should already know them. Simply contacting them outside of Facebook satisfies this condition. Also, if you work for the same organization, this also seems to satisfy this condition of use on Facebook. Best Ways to Share information Try listing your Occupy among your projects or employers.
Also consider asking common friends for introductions to those you do not already know outside of Facebook, and never click on the response to a Facebook query if you know the person who sent you a friend request. When you do send a friend request, also consider messaging the person to introduce yourself. Sending e-mail outside of Facebook is preferable. Of course, anyone is free to ignore these privacy violations by Facebook as they seek to restrain use of their site to lower their operating expenses.
Make full use of messages, friends, notes,status updates, and other user interactions
Facebook groups are now intended for small groups of people. They allow “docs” or documents to be posted containing useful information. Photo albums may not be created for Facebook groups. Once again, remember, Facebook will claim copyright rights to anything posted on their site. also use event pages.
When you host a Facebook page, read through the page management options to set up how the page should be configured and administered.
You as a user, a group or page administrator, Admin, may create event pages. An advantage to page administration is the larger number of people you may invite to an event in a message. Pages you jointly administer with others, such as your state or local Occupy pages allow any page dam, administrator, to act as an admin for any event pages created for that page. This can make event announcements easier to organize and manage.
Page owners may add event pages, photos, photo albums, videos, links, and other special features to both shared and personal pages.
It also appears more people may be invited at any one time to a page’s event page than to a Facebook group’s event page. So, consider migrating your groups over to page formats in Facebook if you plan to use it to coordinate among larger numbers of people.
When you move around Facebook, also remember to click Share and select pages you admin or groups you belong to and post useful notices and resources to them along with any specific comments that seem appropriate. These will still show up on your Wall as recent actions, although check your profile to see if they contain all the information you want to be on your own Wall.
Two Other Valuable Resources
Occupy groups should also make use of twitter.com for 140-character text messages. These provide fast messaging for events, alerts, and general information. Even major news sources regularly post news using twitter feeds. Assigning one or more people to your twitter account can significantly add to your Occupy’s presence on the Web. These messages are ideal for people who use smart phones and other small-mobile devices to monitor online information.
Another useful place for building networks is LinkedIn.com, particularly for volunteer, professional, and career relationships.
Coordinating Media: Getting the message out across multiple Occupations
Be conscious of broad-ranging contacts, friends, and geography. Facebook allows you to create lists of friends according to any criteria you find useful. These may include political, social, or cultural interests, languages, or geography.
Occupy Oregon Media Group
Time has come to take charge of the Occupy message. This requires Occupy developing its own media volunteers to cover the full range of writing image-capture, and production needs. The best way to bring all these necessary skills together usually requires a regional approach. so develop regional and state media groups to marshal your often considerable human resources and begin to take charge of presenting the Occupy message to your communities. Most news outlets lack sufficient employees to quickly gather and present the flood of incoming news events and information, so prepare digests of information along with media alerts, bulletins, and press releases to make their jobs easier and empower the Occupy message.
In January at the first state-wide General Assembly held near our state capitol, two working groups began to emerge: General Assembly and Media. While we are slowly developing others, in Oregon, these two receive most of the organizational energy and focus. For information about “The Oregon Model” see the blog in Firedoglake at: http://my.firedoglake.com/salembard/2012/05/08/were-not-back-we-never-left/
The Occupy Oregon Media Group, OOMG, is developing a number of working teams of volunteers within Occupy Oregon, including: artists, artisans, craftspeople, journalists, av work, communications & media training. The Media Outreach Team develops personal connections and relationships with alternative and mainstream media. OOMG also has a growing local network of Occupy correspondents gathering information about local groups, actions, and events. The information is regularly featured in briefings for The Media consortium, Public Radio, Free Speech TV, and the Associated Press.
When contacting media representatives, remember to listen, digest, deliver easy-to-absorb and use information. Local newspapers, community radio, and local-access stations require specific focus to meet their needs. A small amount of focus by Occupy groups opens doors even to news outlets initially skeptical of Occupy.
When developing teams of writers, editors, photographers, videographers, and media volunteers, recruit both experienced people and those new and needing training in journalism, communications, media, and IT. Reach out to People In different Areas around your state and communities. Broaden you coalitions as much as possible, but still allow affinity groups to develop their own specific proposals. “We are the ninety-nine percent” should be the great-unifying principle, not merely a chant for public consumption. Recently one of of our Occupy Oregon organizers was elected co-president for the Klamath County League of women Voters. In this conservative, rural, Oregon county, the trust in Occupy’s message of broad appeal is being well tested.
Use Telecommunications Media to Stay Connected and Informed!
There are several important tools available for increasing interoccupation communications and keeping informed about issues and events within the Occupy movement world wide and in the United States. These tools make it easy and inexpensive to keep in touch and network with others throughout the United States and beyond.
Telecommunications Conferences Form the Backbone for Occupy communications
Participate in Web conferences, FDL “Go to Meeting Webinars”. Mumble Web conferences, with audio-visual or chat modes available, used by Pan Assemblies internationally,. The software is a free download and quite popular in Europe, but also used around the United States, i.e. OWS, and Occupy Wisconsin. Interoccupy.org “Mumble” calls, audio only.
Finally, for now at least, remember to take advantage of basic tools like Google Voice and Skype for audio and video communications. These can turn your computer into a personal communications system for domestic and international audio and video calls. Google Voice may be used with conferences to save on telephone charges. It is particularly useful for interoccupy calls from international callers.