Want to increase your reach? Here are a few tips based on Metamorphosis research.
1. Look beyond the mainstream to geo-ethnic media. Too often, we presume that the best mainstream sources are the largest. Sometimes this is true. But many geo-ethnic groups do not read the New York Times or the LA Times. Instead, they read geo-ethnic media. Pitching these local outlets should actually be the top priority for some campaigns.
2. Study your storytelling network. Sometimes research is actually worth the trouble -- and this can be one of those times. If you can't say what kind of stories your network prefers to retell, it will be hard to optimize your distribution. Visit our tools section to delve into ways to document your neighborhood storytelling network.
3. Give voice, don't repackage. If you are trying to give voice to the disenfranchised, sometimes the most important thing you can do is go beyond telling their story, and actually let them do the storytelling. Taking this seriously is radical, because it means giving up control, and risking stories that are not exactly on your message. Corporate media training warns against this, but then again, their advocacy goals are rarely about giving voice. For an example, consider the Mobile Voices platform, a participatory platform developed by some of our friends at USC Annenberg and the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California, which gives immigrant day laborers in Los Angeles a place to tell the stories they think the world should hear.
4. Different visuals. Same old charts, same old stories? Audio-visual tools can be a key way to get peoples' attention, but we need to continue to be creative in this process. Check out some of the audio-visual slideshows the MetaConnects team created with local South LA residents as an example of a different way of expressing community life. These types of visual stories can attract attention, provide context to other quantitative or qualitative data, and the process of creating them can be a lot of fun.
5. Use the MetaConnects network. There is a growing network of people sharing data and news between like-minded communities. Sign up for our mailing list or contact us to find out how you can get involved in some of our collaborative work.
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