How do we create a local movement? – A “one-letter-that-looks-like-lots-of-letters-to-lots-of-editors” campaign

We’ve been thinking about a project that intends to change the behavior of lots and lots of local businesses.

Of course the client has asked for “a grassroots movement.”

As part of our thinking, we ran across this from our files. It is a tactic that got revealed during the ’04 Presidential campaign. The RNC wrote one letter and asked members of the Republican party to submit it, as if they wrote it, as a “letter to the editor” to their local paper. The RNC got over 50 people to do it because they set up a points/rewards program.

RNC special “letters to the editors” campaign.

This is both clever and dubious and interesting, and yet another reason not to trust the media.

This reminded us of a tool we use with clients called “The Movements Tool.” We researched the components and timings of social movements (how they actually happened) and constructed a tool that helps marketers design a marketing and communication program that (hopefully) can create a similar dynamic.

For example, movements do have a grassroots communication network. This can be local back room meetings, twitter feeds or, as the RNC is trying to do with this tactic, evidence that the people are speaking up against something or someone else.

Think what you want about the tactic, no one can argue it isn’t a creative communications idea.

"How do we create a local movement? – A “one-letter-that-looks-like-lots-of-letters-to-lots-of-editors” campaign" by Scott
Posted in Questions Collaborators Answer on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011