How do you start a campaign? I mean how do you get people to really listen? How do you get people to ultimately act?
When I first started asking myself these questions I was ultimately drawn to the literature. In critiques of past successes and failures I read anecdotes that told me what to do and what not do. I attempted my own categorization of why certain historical campaigns worked and I tried to identify the parameters when they didn’t. Through a lens that might affect my ability to campaign for environmental issues I analyzed King and I was inspired by Severn Cullus-Suzuki. I read “Why David Sometimes Wins” by Ganz and “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Friedman. I also tried reading Hunter S. Thompson and about gonzo journalism. Many others were on the list and I found insight through recent contributions by Nancy Durate in “Resonate“, Naomi Klein in “This Changes Everything“, and James Cameron whose work was examined in “Avatar and Philosophy“. “The Art of War” was on the bookshelf too and I dodged in and out of “Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga“. In “How to Win Campaigns: Communications for Change” I found a soup of acronyms that I thought might be one way I could memorize the recipe for success.
I still continue to try and synthesize the right formula.
But, in this pursuit, I’ve come to appreciate an ingredient that might be consistent among all of the above and the other campaigns that are positively changing the world—what matters is the people who you campaign with, what matters is the people around you.
See this realized in our upcoming work featuring the Haida Nation of Gwaii Haanas.