The news is slanted, and so are you.
Let’s face it (literally), we are all a set of neurons sensing and perceiving the world around us. That need not be a nihilist reason to stay inside and remain inactive. What we perceive as individuals may just be vital to the survival of thousands or millions of others.
You don’t have to be a PhD scientist, or a card carrying journalist to be observant. What you observe and share can reach more eyes and ears than just yours, so you need to be aware of how to effectively communicate your observations.
Here are a few simple tips to increase the exposure of what you are communicating:
- On social media sites, combine a brief description, link to a longer blog post or reference site, and a relevant picture. Use the photo to grab attention, tease them in the briefing, and provide access to the full information that your reader needs.
- If you have a blog, keyword it, link it, optimize it, site map it, and make it findable. I’d go on about this, but there are too many others waxing ecstatic on SEO and Content Marketing. They are doing so because they have a point. Consider it your record, your journal, your newspaper, your media source. Set up subscribers, and email them weekly or monthly digests. These techniques aren’t to make you a celebrity, but rather to validate the blog link you shared from the tip above AND ensure that your observations are getting out there.
- Don’t be afraid of local media. Yes, I know, it’s counterintuitive. More often than not, though, a particular issue isn’t covered in the mainstream media (at the local level) because of ignorance, not censorship. Media outlets have long relied on tips and citizen relayed information for their stories. They may not cover the story, but unless you tell them that there is a story, you can’t just blame them. Be The Media.
- Don’t be afraid of a politician. Did your observations inspire you to act? Then act. Most day to day issues don’t fall along party platform lines, so there may or may not be a party boss or Wall Street Executive determining the representative’s action. It is your right to demand that your employee do his or her job. They have email addresses. Send them a link. Sometimes a phone call from above is all that is needed to get results.
- Don’t be afraid to say “thank you”. Engage with those engaging you. Thank your readers for reading and commenting and sharing. We all enjoy positive reinforcement. Offer it. Not only will you be contributing to the community by participating in a following discussion, but you will encourage further sharing of your observations on a later day.
None of this is rocket science, just social science observations. For case studies, consider #JusticeForJordyn or #KnowYourRightsToledo. You will see these techniques in action, alerting local media, putting pressure on law enforcement, and educating fellow activists – both locally and worldwide. The end result is attention on issues that matter based on the observations of one or a few.
Your readers can determine for themselves if your slanted observations are valid, and with these techniques, they will continue to let you share your observations with them.
Alex Freeman is a writer and activist, a modern day Warrior Poet, who strives to bridge the gaps between art, philosophy and reality on the ground in the perennial fight for beauty and justice. Contact him directly at kbillysssr(at)gmail.com, or through the Solutions Institute.
The Solutions Institute only takes one position: good ideas do not require force. Otherwise, each article published at the Solutions Institute is chosen for its focus on the process and how-to instruction. Any opinions expressed on any other issue, by any author or commenter, are strictly their own. Learn more.