DON’T YELL – SELL!
A Formula for Effective Protests
Here’s what we’re yelling:
No War for Oil! Drop Bush not Bombs! Impeach Bush!
Nobody is listening - because nothing relevant is being said. Protesters are expressing their rage and frustration, but slogans do not sell ideas, - commercials do. The message must be changed. The protest movement must start to inform the public. It’s time to advertise.
Reverse the situation. Would a repeated slogan cause you to change your position about anything? I suspect not, because slogans are marketing tools used to reinforce a product in the minds of consumers. Without first selling the product, the slogan has absolutely no value. People do not change their purchasing habits because they hear a slogan. They may, however, consider a new product once they have been exposed to good advertising techniques that explain and promote the value of that product. Similarly, the anti Bush protests have to clearly explain to others what we are selling. Our signs and flyers have to emphasize how our candidates and ideas and are relevant to the quality of their lives. We must always put ourselves in the position of the people we are trying to reach. Then, we can focus on the sell that might shift their positions.
Learn from past mistakes. Watch news coverage of any protest, (if you can find any), and you will hear how reporters talk in generalities about protester’s concerns. They report that the groups were against the war or that they wanted to impeach Bush. Specifics that explain these sentiments are never mentioned. In illustration, if protesters had signs that said No War Based on Forged Evidence, World Intelligence Says No Iraq/Al Qaeda Link, PNAC Planned Iraq Attack in ‘97 and Are Using 9/11 as an Excuse, and other such provocative signs along with explanatory leaflets, perhaps people would start asking questions. Instead of antagonizing we would be encouraging curiosity about issues about which the public has little truthful information.
Get others to listen. The goal of a protester should be to raise public concern about an issue. Protesting should not simply display opposition to a person or a policy. It is important to establish the reason(s) for taking any position. Protests have to educate others. If they do not, they will have little more effect than that of a child throwing a tantrum.
Think about those well mannered, mild, people who ring your doorbell to sell their religious beliefs while you are watching a game in your underwear Do they shout Believe in my God, the only real God! in your face when you open the door? Of course not, - they come prepared to inform you about your choices about the hereafter, and try to convince you that this is a terribly vital decision for you to make. They always open with a well rehearsed phrase designed to spark your interest. Do you care what happens to you after you die? is a standard and often effective approach. Bad timing perhaps, but few people slam the door in their smiling faces. Think about the response of most people who opened the door to a group screaming religious slogans.
* * *
Anti Bush slogans have become distractions that are simply ignored, if not mocked by the public and the press. Protest slogans must not become fodder for the opposition. Hard facts will be more difficult for the opposition to slap down. We must send a powerful message when we protest. We can earn the respect of the public by showing our knowledge of the issues and we can win supporters by sharing that knowledge. No one responds well to being shouted at. Our slogans must become creative ads that sell this nation back to the people.
We have to get the opposition to switch teams; it is not enough to just try and beat them!
Don’t Yell - Sell!
Jesse, Editor, TvNewsLies.org