From Rich Harwood’s blog:
But, for now, I want to underscore this one finding about “word of mouth” and its implications for the various efforts to “mobilize” Americans around particular issues, such as education.
Many of these efforts are laudable. But the importance of “word of mouth” is a reminder to those organizations and groups seeking to mobilize people that simply pushing out top-down, heavily messaged, highly packaged campaigns will not work. They run the risk of smelling like (and being!) public relations hyperbole, in which national or even local organizations are seen as trying to amass individuals in support of their organizational agenda.
Whether it’s the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, or the Tea Party, people are sending a clear message that they want to be heard, they want to engage on things that matter to them, and in ways that enable them to take action together. Word of mouth is at the center of these activities, and at the center of people’s lives. Our task now is to engage people in ways that tap into that and honor it.
Full post here.