Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Brussels, Belgium 2004

Workshop 7: Communicating with the Press and the Public

Led by Oliver Haslam (UK); 8 Participants

3.7

Report by Gertie Brammer (Germany) 

Purposes of communicating with press and public:

These purposes we can achieve in the press (news articles, feature articles) or in raising attention at events. 

A: Press:

Types of journals and how to come in, for positive mention:

National Press:

Regional and Local Press:

Important are:

B: Public

Don't be shy – be effective! Let yourself be seen, be heard, and let your message be clear and focused! Let actions be funny and have quality!

1. Demonstrations and Street Theatre

At demonstrations our clothes should differentiate us radically from other demonstrators and we should do unexpected, surprising things.

Oliver told about a demonstration in the neighbourhood of an arms fair. He went to the participants of this fair, being clothed like them in banker's suit and with a banker's briefcase. No problem to come close to the VIPs! Then he opened his briefcase and distributed false banknotes dirty money). Immediately journalists were at the spot. His message was twofold:

  1. x-millions of pounds go to the military;
  2. with this amount of money we could indeed do better things: ----.

In the same clothes he went to a festival and attracted the attention of the young people. They were surprised, quickly interested and ready to get involved in immediate action. Here fun is the opening to raising  consciousness.

2. Printed materials

If folders etc. look attractive and professional – people will take them. If they are easy to read – people will go through the whole text. Work with photographs and graphics (scanner) – here also quality wins. If you try to put your message into the newsletters of other organisations:

3. Website

It should be very easy to get in and to grasp the message and the main themes immediately. Good examples:

Indymedia; Jubilee 2000 (Jubilee Debt Campaign).