All posts tagged: direct action

Hooks & messages | grassroots communications tips pt.2

If you’re reaching out to the news media as part of your grassroots social justice campaign, it’s important to know the difference between your hook and your message.  Your news hook is whatever you use to get reporters to show up in the first place (e.g. hanging a banner on Mount Rushmore).  A campaign message is what you actually want to communicate to the public, through the filter of the news media (e.g. “America needs real leadership from President Obama on the issue of global warming.”).

Do I see Beyond the Choir co-founder Madeline Gardner up there?

Hooks and messages are rarely the same exact thing, and it is important to know the difference.  An attention-grabbing tactic (which is the hook) can all too easily become the entire story, without any reporting about why activists might go to such lengths.  More times than not this is what contemporary mainstream news coverage of protests and direct actions looks like.  I have helped to plan actions that were only covered as part of the traffic report because the news desks had decided that the only thing relevant to their audience about our action was the potential that we would disrupt the smooth flow of traffic!

one for the best headlines ever file…

originally published on September 13, 2010

Sometimes direct action really does get satisfaction.  Think Progress brings us this great headline:

Texas Skateboarder Stops Christian Extremist From Burning The Qur’an

In Amarillo, Texas, David Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo, “which aims to deter promiscuity, homosexuality and non-Christian worship practices through confrontation and prayer,” planned to burn the Islamic holy text at a public gathering. But before he could set the book ablaze, a 23 year-old skateboarder named Jacob Isom swooped in and grabbed it.

Isom, who was wearing a t-shirt that said “I’m in Repent Amarillo No Joke,” snuck behind Grisham while he was arguing with others and confiscated the Qur’an, which he then delivered to a leader with the local Islamic center.

And the golden direct action quote award goes to Isom:

Then I snuck up behind [Grisham] and told him, “Dude, you have no Qur’an,” and took off.

Read more and watch the local TV news coverage at Think Progress.