How to develop a digital plan to make change

Rosa Parks wasn't just some kid who decided to defy white authority and relinquish her seat on the bus.

For one thing, she was a bit older than a kid. For another, she carried out this defiant act as part of a larger strategy to cause necessary and urgent change in the rules of society.

When the 106th Congress awarded Parks a medal honoring her activism, they called her the "the mother of the freedom movement." Never mind that today, one member of the Republican party, which again controls Congress, thinks it is "Time for another Kent State ... One bullet stops a lot of thuggery." We have in fact come a long way, and most of that progress can be attributed to acts of individual heroism, group action, the occasional moment of great oratory, all that, embedded in a less obvious but carefully constructed plan.

Without the plan, it doesn't work. Random acts of unplanned activism can waste resources, and can even have negative consequences. In a simplified version of recent history, the #Occupy movement energized and invigorated a lot of people who were already energized and invigorated, and produced almost no change. From within that movement there emerged a more thought out plan, the "Draft Warren" movement, which made much more of a mark, and from that, more or less, came the Bernie Sanders bid for the presidency. Sanders didn't get the nomination, but he could have; his was not a candidacy of conceit. One might conjecture, in fact, that if #Occupy was more purposefully organized and carefully planned out, with the idea in mind of eventually putting forward viable candidates for various offices, that Sanders would have gotten the nomination, or at least, somebody anointed by millennial progressives, and that the movement would have resulted in a very different situation than we have at the moment of this writing.

I know, that's a pipe dream, but the point is real: organized activism produces results, having a plan matters. Not having a plan is little more than "raising awareness" and that is not a suitable objective. Raising awareness by itself can eventually lead to an inured population. That's the last thing we need as we tweeter on the edge of civilization's collapse.

I wonder what Rosa Parks would have tweeted when she was being carried off the bus? I wonder what the bus driver would have tweeted? I wonder what the blogosphere would have said about this? I wonder what the petitions would have looked like? The truth is, any and all of that digital yammering would have had little to no effect on the progress of the civil rights movement, at that time and that place.

Unless, of course, they had a plan.

Brad Schenck has a plan, or more exactly, is prepared to help you get your plan together, with this newly available book: The Digital Plan: A practical guide to creating a strategic digital plan. It is inexpensive as a soft bound volume, free as a Kindle Unlimited book.

I became interested in this book because of its use in political activism, but once I got a copy of it I realized that it has much broader uses, including general marketing or selling a product, perhaps a self published book, or a new technology project idea, or whatever.

The fundamental theory behind this book is first that without a plan you are very unlikely to make the change you want happen, so you need a plan. Believe it or not, regardless of how straightforward that sounds, it is very difficult to get people to accept that idea. The second key concept presented in the book is this: one you know you need a plan, don't expect to just think up the ideal plan on your own. There is a long history of development of strategy in general and a somewhat less time-deep history of strategic digital planning. For the price of this book, you can access a healthy dose of that hard earned knowledge.

From total beginner to technical expert, you will be digitally empowered by engaging with The Digital Plan. Whether you’re the director of a digital communications department or you’re a member of any team wishing to wield or understand the power of digital, this book will provide you with the tools you need to plan and execute digital strategy with ease.

Using his many years of experience directing digital strategies for campaigns and organizations, Brad A Schenck outlines everything you want to know about digital planning, utilizing digital tools and making the most of your collaborative efforts.

In this book, you should expect to find: Expert guidance framed with thoughtful questions you should ask. Bullet points of the most up-to-date tips and lots of them. Templates that will help you frame your plan, whatever your goals may be. Stories and anecdotes from someone who has advised hundreds of digital plans at the highest level. From the very technical to the more artistic, The Digital Plan covers everything from design and social media to data and analytics. This book is a must-have for anyone wishing to make the most of their digital presence to create powerful impact by driving community action.

This book started as an Indiegogo campaign, which was fully funded.

Brad Schenck worked on the Obama campaign's digital strategy (2012), the Digital strategy for Organizing for Action, oversaw the 2010 regional digital strategy for the DNC, and several other major projects of note. Most recently, he has worked with the Rainforest Action Network and

I highly recommend The Digital Plan: A practical guide to creating a strategic digital plan. for your digital organizing edification!

The website for the book is here.

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Free? $17.95 on Kindle.

I added the book to our neighborhood activist library, and we'll make good use of it! A lot of common sense mixed with personal experience.

By Matt Warberger (not verified) on 04 Feb 2017 #permalink

Sweden is planning to go 100% fossil fuel free by 2045.