Nov 24, 2009

Report Card for John Legend and the Show Me Campaign: A

Promoting values such as hope, compassion, sustainability, independence and growth, the Show Me Campaign, founded by John Legend, does a phenomenal job of appealing to many different audiences.

One of the things that this campaign stresses, and inevitably aids in its success, is the value of action and community involvement. They promote a message that change isn’t easy, it takes patience, but it is possible. They also encourage people to stop talking so much, and instead start looking for ways to incite tangible changes through action. The encourage people to work together and share their success with each other to help provide inspiration and motivate each other.

What really pushes them towards the top of most coalitions is that they provide substantial and sustainable solutions that promote growth within impoverished communities that only leave them reliant on themselves. Initiatives such as providing fertilizer, free school meals to children (which increases attendance rates to 100 percent), local clinics and Internet connections, help provide the people of Mbola, Tanzania with the tools they need to succeed on their own. Which is something, regardless of political party, culture or gender, that most people can get behind.

And for that, the Show Me Campaign gets an A.

Nov 10, 2009

How to Unite and Conquer: Go ahead and vote with your money

I definitely believe in clean elections, but I think that as consumers, we can cast a vote with every dollar we spend.

Ben Jelen, a musician and friend of the earth, talks about sending companies a message about how they treat the environment with your money. If you feel strongly about an issue, whether it be gay marriage, health insurance reform or eco-consciousness, cast your vote via your purchases.

Find out what companies support the same issues as you and start to support them. If we all united together on these fronts, we would start sending an extremely strong message to companies about their practices, either forcing them to change their ways or deal with the consequences.

Nov 4, 2009

It all starts with you

I think we often underestimate ourselves; thinking that just one person can’t make that big of a difference. While it’s seemingly irrelevant to politics, this at&t commercial does a great job of showing just how much power one person can have – if we just reach out.

Decades ago, getting a group together as quickly as the college students do in this commercial, would have been nearly impossible. But, now, being more connected than ever, we can easily reach out to friends, family, past classmates, coworkers and even a few friend of a friend’s, to create a large network of supporters.

So, how come we don’t see examples of this happening on a daily basis?

Because we often limit our thinking to just ourselves, thinking that singularly, we only can do so much on our own, instead of expanding our horizons to a large network of people who are ready and willing to help.

The next time you, or your coalition, are looking to reach an exponentially growing network of people, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Create something worth sharing. Ensure that your message is worthy of people sharing with their friends and family (who will then pass it on to theirs and so on). That might include creating a sense of urgency, communicating values in a creative way (videos, photos) or using emotional anecdotes (such as a lost puppy…).
  2. Encourage sharing. Provide viewers with the tools to share these messages, whether it’s including a share bar on your website’s content or allowing them to forward emails easily.
  3. Show them how big the network is. No matter how independent and self-confident a person is, we often look to other people to see how we should act. Thus, explaining why full tip jars get more tips than empty ones, because we feel a social pressure to conform. If someone can see that a group or cause has thousands of supporters who are mobilized and taking action, chances are, when they join, they’ll start acting the exact same way.

Above all, remember, it only has to start with you.