Let’s say you have volunteered for a positive cause because you are a firm believer that the well-being and safety of our ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world depends on the well-being of every other human being on the planet because, well, we’re all in this together.Â Maybe you have even donated money to a nonprofit organization that tries to make the world a better place.Â At times, you might feel likeÂ your positive contributionÂ to society is reallyÂ making a dentÂ towards solving the problem.Â You might even be an activist when the need calls for it and go join a protest or sign a petition.Â Yet at the same time you might feel like your message is not getting across people or that it is not being communicated in the local newspaper or on the local TV newscast as it should be.Â Powerful moneyed interests that might have as their only interest the maximization of profit without any regard to yourÂ community’s healthÂ in mindÂ have whole PR/Marketing Relations teams working for them.Â Indeed, you might feel like your side is facing a gargantuan foe with unlimited resources while yours struggles just to survive.Â For this reason, it is always encouraging toÂ run across PR/Marketing Relations people that choose toÂ lend your side a hand.Â
I recently discovered the site http://waterwordsthatwork.comÂ thatÂ focuses on helping environmental activistsÂ win the message wars.Â Â The person that manages the site, Eric Eckl, is a PR/Marketing RelationsÂ specialist whose focus is to help activists that fightÂ water pollution become more effective at communicating theirÂ pro-environment message and thus become more successful at racking up wins for the good guys.Â Here’s a still shot of the site:
Mr. Eckl has a section titled “The Method” that is just filled with invaluable information on what communicating techniques to use.Â The Method lists four steps: 1) begin with a focus onÂ behavior, 2) use photos/imagery that have familial wide appeal, 3) swap the shop talk (jargon) for words that resonate more with the public, andÂ 4) Mr. Eckl even gives you a list of terms that you can use in your narrative to fit the occasion.
He gives very clear-cut advice: always offer suggestions on personal behavior (the action item).Â In the case of water pollution, a suggestion might be to use a reusableÂ non-plastic container instead of buying water in a plastic bottle that will only be used once and end up floating in the ocean as trash; join a beach cleanup; or maybeÂ provide the public with instructions on who to contact to put pressure on aÂ local official to do something about the water pollution.Â As far as theÂ use of imagery, Mr. Eckl recommends to useÂ photos of seemingly average people (preferrably families)Â in action, doing something toÂ combat water pollution instead of just using pictures of say, trash floating in the river with no people around.Â The point of this is to get the message across that the action item is relatable to the average person and that, yes, even youÂ canÂ do something about it.Â Perhaps the most powerful advice that Mr. Eckl gives isÂ that one should choose the words one uses carefully.Â For example, he recommends toÂ avoid the use ofÂ words like â€œwater conservationâ€ and instead use â€œwaste preventionâ€ orÂ â€efficiency measuresâ€ because â€œThe public does not associate this term [‘water conservation’] with long term, institutional scale efforts. It associates it withÂ short showers, brown lawns, and other personal sacrifices that are acceptable as a temporary emergency measure but not a real solution to a long term problem.â€Â Finally, as mentioned earlier, he even has a set of terminology to use for each appropriateÂ occasion, like when you want to introduce your work, explain the importance of anÂ item, encourage people to act, or ask forÂ someoneâ€™s agreement.Â Â For the complete list of terminology, be sure to visit: http://waterwordsthatwork.com/the-method/ it is aÂ jewel of instructions in the sea of PR/MarketingÂ techniques!Â Â Â Â