Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Social Pollution Control

Political debates, elections, scandals, the mass media, religion, an all sorts of activists spread bad ideas. Last time I wrote about community groups dedicating to fighting this social pollution. This post offers a few more details on the tools and techniques that the groups could use to prevent pollution and clean up polluted areas.

(I'll have more to say about claenup and remediation in future posts.)

Advertorials - You've seen advertisements that look like editorials. This is what I have in mind. You could write in a general way about social pollution in the community or audit the quality of thinking behind a current debate, or something else. What would you be selling? Probably, just the idea that people need to visit your Web site and get more information. You could also promote an upcoming rally or demonstration.

Open letters - About the same as advertorials, except that the aim is consciousness raising through the letter alone; could be full-page or half-page ads in newspapers

Letters to the editor - kinda like an open letter but shorter

Letter campaigns - bombard the White House or some local politician with letters explaining why a certain idea is social pollution and (maybe) suggesting what should be done instead. Remember that one aim of these groups is to create and "sell" better ideas.

Demonstrations - Peaceful protests; but could be quite creative if combined with publicity stunts

Publicity Stunts - Something harmless, tasteful, and likely to get media attention.

Public access TV - many cities have studios where people can create shows for airing on local cable television. Why not start a talk show that also features a little commentary and investigative journalism

Next time: How do you measure social pollution anyway?

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