Up next in How to Enact Political Change (20 videos)
Enacting political change takes more than good intentions -- these Howcast videos will help you get down to brass tacks.
You Will Need
- A compelling cause
- A computer with internet access
- A profile on a social-networking site
- An extensive network
- Business cards
- or baseball caps
- Iron-on transfers
- A computer printer
Lay out the movement’s basics
Figure out the story you’re trying to tell. Make sure you can articulate why people should join your cause.
Pick a name
Decide on your movement's name and motto. It should be short and self-explanatory. Consider whether it will be easily understood in other languages.
Choose your site
Choose which social-networking site to use. If you’re a member of several, pick the one where you have the most connections.
Design a group page
Create a group with its own page on the social- networking website, and include pictures, videos, and an area for interactive comments. Explain the movement as clearly and briefly as possible. Don’t exaggerate--let the facts tell the story.
Build a website
Create a stand-alone website dedicated to your cause and provide a link to it on the social-networking site’s group page. You’ll be able to offer more information here, as well as attract anyone who isn’t a member of the social-networking site.
Invite your contacts
Include as many different social and professional circles as you can in your network. Then, invite your contacts to join the group. Personalize the invitation with a message that emphasizes the importance of your cause.
Encourage discussion and debate on the group page's discussion board. You might get new ideas from recent members, and you can also (politely) address any detractors.
Don't limit yourself to online publicity--promote your cause on the ground. At a party? Steer the conversation to your movement. Meeting someone for the first time? Don't be shy about bringing it up.
Use IM and microblogging
Augment your reach by linking to the group page in your instant-message or microblogging status update.
Take advantage of momentum
As your cause gains steam, take advantage of the momentum. Contact media outlets for press coverage, seek support from political and cultural leaders, and plan an event, like a rally, to increase exposure.
Start locally; think globally
The fastest way to start a grassroots movement is in your local community. But don’t limit yourself to the surrounding area--thinking in global terms will help you reach more people as your movement builds. You never know how big you can get!