Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Tea and Occupation

2011-10-15 09:15:52

The Tea Party and the Occupy [wherever] movements have at least one thing in common. They're really bad at messaging. The signs with cryptic phrases and creative spelling transcend any political bias. The simplification and just plain old mistakes about historical and current facts... The fashion sense... well, that might just be an American thing.

But we've gotten so accustomed to having a communications expert manage a movement's message that when regular folk get out there they just sound nuts, whether they drove a monster truck or a Prius to the event.

Which is to say they are nuts. These aren't rational campaigns organized by members of a management team with Microsoft Project and whiteboards. They may have email, blogs and a million friends on Facebook, but all they know is that they're mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore.


The sales and advertising world learned long ago that all you really need is a strong emotion to grab hold of, and people will do amazing things. Grabbing hold of a movement has sold a lot of t-shirts. It's let companies relabel their old products and make them seem new (100% organic chlorine).

Knowing how to not just ride the wave but direct it has propelled both good leaders and evil dictators to power. Tapping into anger and frustration brought us the Civl Rights act, just as a hundred years earlier it brought us the Civil War.

Unfortunately, I think we're actually living in the classic 1976 movie, Network. When Howard Beale gave his famous I'm mad as hell speech, he tapped into unfocused anger and the TV Network he worked for immediately created a show around him, let him rant for ratings, and then had him killed because they weren't getting the ratings anymore.

It's a question of goals and focus. People who run corporations have goals and focus, maybe bad goals and myopic focus, but they will keep moving towards those goals.

If you have a movement, it needs to move somewhere. Otherwise it's just running in place... it's untapped energy. And if you're not careful, someone will tap that energy for you and you'll find yourself running somwhere you never meant to be.



And, be sure to read my tongue-in-cheek address to the members of Occupy Amnesia over on Joke index:

My Address to the protesters in Occupy Amnesia -- http://jokeindex.com/joke.asp?Joke=4118




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Eric Weaver: Re: Michael Bissell: Tea and Occupation
2011-10-15 09:58:48

The thing is they're not *for* any one thing. They're *against* a few common things, such as financial-services people making so much more money than they do, presumably at their own expense (see bail-outs). This leads to a large message dispersion.

Dunno what to do about that.



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