Wednesday June 19, 2019

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NY Convergence ORIGINAL

Town Hall Meeting: The Social Media Implications of #OccupyWall Street

(l-r) Yetta Kurland (Kurland Group), Alan Brody (Convean), Andrew Weinreich (meetMoi) and TJ Walker (Daily National) discuss the role of social media in movements (credit: Lauren Keyson)

By Lauren Keyson

iBreakfast/ Convean: NY’s Digital Media executive meeting group held an industry-wide discussion on the social media implications late last week on the Occupy Wall Street movement.   A worldwide audience of experts and commentators used live streaming and videoconferencing to start the conversation on the new shape of society.

“Experts have been talking about the possibilities of social media, and here we see it unfolding before us,” said organizer Alan Brody, who brought the group together to understand how the Occupy Wall Street movement will change the adoption of social media. “We think it’s the biggest advertisement for social media that ever could have been imagined. So every business, political and administrative institution is on notice to absorb or make a relationship in some way with social media. Some will be threatened by it, and some will have to change dramatically and may actually change the way they do business. “

Host TJ Walker of the Daily National described the movement in terms of how social media has framed it, “In my opinion, the fundamental message is busting up the power of the big banks – it’s Occupy Wall Street –not occupy pharmaceutical companies in NJ, not Occupy Congress in D.C. It’s about the symbol of financial power in the world – the huge mega banks. A few years ago these too-big-to-fail banks said give us $100B dollars or we’ll destroy the hold world. So we had no choice — we had to bail them out or it would otherwise you could have destroyed the whole economy.  It’s not fair.  People are angry and legitimately upset that they weren’t bailed out on their mortgage, their neighbor wasn’t bailed out, yet we are bailing out people who two months earlier were getting $25M bonuses.”

Also engaged in the conversation about social media, Occupy Wall Street, and the fire it’s created is Stephen Greene of Sperlingreene Marketing. “Social media is a battleground at this point in which everyone has the weapons, but they need to be used smartly and cleverly in order to achieve results,” he said.  “They have to be recognized in that way as a part of any advocacy outreach and marketing efforts, and the ones who use them the most effectively are the ones who win.

“In the case of Occupy Wall Street, they weren’t used effectively down there by the forces of New York and by the police department; instead the people on the ground level used them most successfully.”

On the forefront of using social media for the movement is speaker Yetta Kurland, one of the attorneys on the National Lawyers Guild New York City Chapter Mass Defense Committee that is doing legal support for the Occupy Wall Streeters. She believes that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are keys to social media victories.

Kurland’s four tips for people who want to use social media for their causes:

  1. Develop your knowledge base:   People need to make sure you are up on the new media —they think that if they have a Facebook account then they don’t need a Twitter account.
  2. Go outside the box: We have to get outside the normative ideas around media and think more along the lines of about blogs and alternative media sources.  It really is the adage that grass roots organizing also applies to media technology.
  3. Quantity:  It can be more sites the better, or it can be having a good relationship with a couple of folks; one media source will do a story and another will pick it up.  Have a good base where you have the email addresses, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of your followers — if you get it out it will grow exponentially.
  4. Be timely: Take that extra moment to send out to your press list whatever you are working on.  They may or may not cover a story that time that you are doing it, but they may cover it a second or third time you are doing it.

Walker summed up the new social revolution best when he said, “It’s a matter of ‘being social media.’ It’s not which platform to use, or which side you are on, or which blog you are using. It’s constant communication — it’s spreading that communication