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Tips from a Marketing, Advertising, and PR Professional for 9/11 Truth Activists

Report from a Grassroots Development Conference Call by 911Truth.org

911blogger
April 24, 2008

Expert on the call was Mr. Tom Monahan one of the nation’s top advertising gurus.

Here is a partial bio:

"Tom Monahan has trained over 200,000 people in the US, as well as in Canada, Europe and Asia in creativity and advertising. His company, Before & After, serves major global companies such as HP, Frito-Lay, AOL, Virgin Atlantic and Dunkin Donuts, as well as many other companies large and small, plus numerous professional organizations and educational institutions internationally.

During his former career as one of the top creative directors in advertising, Tom was a founder of Leonard/Monahan, an agency that served major marketers, was one of the most highly awarded ad agencies in America and was a launching pad for many of today's top advertising talents. Tom was featured in The Wall Street Journal's creative leaders series.

He was also named MVP of the New England Creative All-Star Team and honored as one of the top 10 copywriters in the country. He has been published in many periodicals, written The Do-it-yourself Lobotomy, published by John Wiley & Sons, was the regular ad columnist for CA and has won an Emmy for television editorial writing."

Mr. Monahan fielded questions from Paul Deslaurier and Jason King of the Steering Committee for 911truth.org. Some of the topics and questions covered included:

* Provide a fundamental overview of marketing, PR, and advertising. And how is it used on a grassroots versus regional level

* What is the psychological component in the science of marketing, and how can we use this in our promotions?

* If someone has formed a deep seeded belief about a product or story, like a pattern of buying the same brand your mother bought, what is the science to change the belief? How can we apply this to the truth movement?

* How does branding of products work and how should we apply this to grassroots activism?

* What are marketing “target groups” and how do we craft communication to the different groups?

* With hardly no budget what is the best way to promote local events like speakers, movies, workshops, street action ….

* How do you make a good marketing plan?

* If you had a mandate to market a national event in September, where you would like all citizens to participate as a show of democracy, like a general strike, what strategy and process would you propose?

NOTE: The conference call was recorded and will be available for download at a later date from 911truth.org

In the meantime, here are some of the short answers and themes that Mr. Monahan provided (paraphrasing) from notes we took:

"If people don't know your issue or product matters, it doesn't matter how good your product is".
"PR is far more affordable than advertising"
"Don't worry too much about the MSM, the new media is more important"
"Don't go too heavy too fast"
"Don't slap people around with your method or your message"
"Don't alienate"
"Forget the hard cases"
"Go light (no more info than necessary) to get them to buy in"
"Marketing is to get people to sample the product"
"You are trying to raise awareness and get them to look"
"Loyalty to a product or service requires simplicity"
"Using a big hammer does NOT work!"
"Find something that they can embrace most easily"
"Don't say things that sound too incredible (even if true). People want to believe in their governments, political systems and values like democracy"
"If you do use the MSM, don't try to score a touchdown with a Hail Mary pass. Be methodical and gain yardage"
"Being right is not important. Being credible and believable is more important"
"Don't over-state your case"
"Appeal to the widest possible audience or lowest common denominator"
"Segmenting may work (different target groups) but you must assess how realistic it is to convince them and how much time or resources you may need to spend (and whether or not it is worth it)."
"Networking with other groups on issues of commonality can help"
"You have to earn your way in with people with respect and not force your way in to the market"
"Don't be confrontational"
"Show respect and don't call them an asshole because they don't immediately get it"
"Incrementalism is what governments do, so we should do this too"
"Aggressiveness or too much info does not work"
"Don't discount entertainment"
"Keep it simple"
"Repetition is important"
"People not only need awareness, they need to identify with you or your message"
"A national ad campaign is probably not worth it"


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