I thought I would add a topic where we can post our best idea for what I call "Guerrilla Marketing" - the kind of stuff people without money to buy ads on TV and in papers do to spread the message.
We know about writing Letters to the Editor -- which is no doubt one of the absolute best tools available to us - matters now how large or small the paper is.
But what are the other tools available to us? Let's talk about them here.
Just thought I would throw this out there:
If you have a blog, you can get artcles from your blog improrted directly into your Care2 Share blog - one more easy way to start getting tools like Google and Technorati picking up more noise about Single Payer - since reporters check those tools, it can't hurt.
If you use Google's Blogger for a blog, they have a nice little tool for FireFox toolbars that lets you hightlight a portion of an article and publish it to your blog with title and links arlready set. So it makes it pretty effortless (if you use Google Reader - there is a tool for that that does the same thing and lets you publish it to your Google Share book at the same time.)
If you publish something in your Care2 Share Blog you can add the following tag to get it shared here with this group - the astericks are required:
There may be other groups you belong to that allow the members to publish their Shares and where it may be appropriate to share a healthcare related articles.
Of course getting articles favorable to Single Payer listed in YahooBuzz, Mixx, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious help us educate more of the on-line audience.
Posting comments to articles in local online newspapers is also a good idea - when there is an article about unemployment rates - perfect time to point out how hard it is going to be for those families to keep up with health insurance and see that their health issues are taken care of. You know how that works.
During the health care summit this past Thursday, one speaker admitted that over 60% of his constituents wanted Universal Health Care - but he added that if he then asked them if they wanted Conyer's bill, HR-676, they were much less sure. While I doubt that he asked the question in the most helpful fashion, my bet that if he had asked them if they favored opening Medicare so everyone could enroll in it, the response would have been as positive as that first 60%.
So we have to do more edicating and it is pretty obvous to me that we can't count on the media to help with that. I also figure that a lot of the votes and voices we need don't live on-line. As I am finding it harder and harder to pay my own bills and anticipating that I may be completely unemployed by April - I am very sympathetic to that. Thus I try to take the info to where the people most in need of it are.
I keep a file box in my car that I call my "activist toolbox." In this tool box, I keep all kinds of material that I have created or copied from one of the health care sites.
I may have copied an article and printed multiple copies to put in my box. On most of them, I have written notes about how the article is an example of why we need HR-676 - Expanded and Imporoved Medicare for all so everyone can have health insurance. I generally frame the notes like one friend writing to another - on the back, on the sides, whatever...
I have cheap CDs I have burned full of information.
I have one page flyers and short easy to understand brochures. Most I created myself from info at PNHP and HealthCare Now.
I have bookmarks I created and printed on card stock. I use the library all the time and books I return always have bookmarks left in them or slips of paper with notes about single payer. (I sometimes slip them into books on the current new books shelf as well and in books at bookstores or stores like Target, Sams or Walmart - devious person that I am).
I live out in the country a 30 miles from a grocery store or stop light, but I still go into the city (3 hours away) every couple of months and I find places locally to casually leave my goodies where folks are waiting and might be inclined to read anything they found laying around. Such as:
- Waiting rooms - for getting your car washed or your teeth repaired - people having to wait will read almost anything - and if they think they found something personal anotehr visitor left behind they are even more likely to read - thus the little handwritten notes.
- Laundry mats
- seats on buses or subways
- the notice board at the grocery store
- in stalls in public restrooms at restraunts or stores like Walmart
I have mailed CDs full of info to the less right wing reporters at small papers around the country. Use the the Media tool at Congress.org to find papers. I've only done that about 5 times when I was really bored and I have no idea if it did any good at all. Just saying, I am not below trying just about anything to help educate folks.
Phone calls and emails to politicians are helpful, but I tend to think that there is just a bit more weight to the written word delivered on paper. Staffers generally keep daily tick sheets where they put marks beside various issues for each phone call or email or letter on an issue they get so maybe in the end only the totals on those sheets matter.
But psychologically, I think that faxes and letters get more weight in the minds of the recievers. Besides that of course, it is hard to get mail to Federal offices in a timely fashion since the anthrax mess.
So I switched to postcards with the ocassional faxes to supplement my phone calls and keep the fax costs down (for us personally and as tax payers paying for the fax paper).
I love to find nice local postcards, but I also bought some card stock and print up my own - gives me more space for my message since I can use one whole side for the addressing giving me the entire other side for messaging. And just maybe it gets read by a few other bored postal workers or mail room folks along the way. Keeps the action a bit cheaper as well.
Print out four at time with a Bold single payer message and leave room to write a quick note. Then during the week as different folks say things you want to respond to, grab one, jot a note and put it in the mail. I find that it makes me easier to respond where if I thought I had to stop to make a call and sit on hold or write out an entire letter and address the envelope I responded less often.
I think there should be some encouragement for some freeway blogging for Single Payer. Could get local media coverage. I just sent some this idea to Healthcare-NOW!
This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 18:28