Saturday, March 15, 2008

NOI Summit Session 2 -- Building Coalitions and Moving an Agenda

11:25: This session is being led by Adam Green of and Matt Stoller of OpenLeft.

Matt Stoller and Adam Green

11:27: We can shine the spotlight on places it hasn't been shined on before and creating media narratives that don't currently exist.

11:29: It isn't just about getting people angry about an issue or an injustice, it's about giving them the opportunity to do something about it. An example of a successful campaign based on blogs was the activism used to get the Fox-sponsored Democratic debate canceled.

11:32: Constant pressure, through regular blog posts, phone calls and other actions are the most effective way to hold people accountable and get them to do the right thing.

Adam Green

11:34: Solo activity, even by one organization, doesn't work very well. Building a coalition is necessary and planning together and in advance of the campaign is key.

11:35: One of the key strategies is to show decision-makers that they are disjointed from the base is the set of circumstances that is most likely to succeed.

11:36: Fights that you engage in should be realistic and have a chance of success. Often, this means pressuring your friends -- people who care what you think -- to do the right thing.

11:37: When you give people opportunities to do the right thing, they are more likely to do it, particularly the second time around. Consistent campaigns that approach the same people are likely to have a growing impact over time.

11:38: Politicians want to say certain things, but don't have the ability to do so. But if bloggers create the space where the topic becomes more acceptable, then politicians gain the opportunity to say it once someone else (us) has already said it.

Matt Stoller

11:42: You can also create a domino effect. After the first politician makes a public statement in support of your issue/agenda, then others can follow up and it can create momentum.

11:43: Creative use of video can be very inspiring and get a lot of action. Blogs can help shape the message. Organized groups such as MoveOn, DFA and others can provide the troops for phone calls, letters, e-mail's, etc.

11:44: Just working as a commentariat isn't as effective as working as part of a strategy that coordinates with others.

11:46: Can possibly work as an embedded blogger working inside a particular campaign. Since campaigns can't coordinate with interest groups or activist groups, a blogger covering the race closely can provide the information and messaging to the outside groups. If the blogger isn't an official member of the campaign, then they can pass information along without violating the laws.

12:07: To help control the message, bloggers should establish communication and connections with interest groups in advance of an issue coming up, so that an established link is already in place.

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