Power of the personal

We are rapidly moving away from the old impersonal world of broadcast media. This has important implications for getting our messages out to people. It means that we need to discover the power of the personal.

One person who really got this – or at least whose advisers got it – was Barack Obama.  He used the power of the personal to drive his election campaign through email, social media and MyBarackObama. Even now the election is a distant memory emails are still coming out to his supporters.  And each of these emails is personally addressed, includes some information update and a call to action.  Each email is signed by a person – Barack or Michelle Obama, David Plouffe, etc.  The calls to action are personal and local.

It’s all about the power of the personal – that means engagement, connection & participation on a person to person level. These are the keys for digital.

Let’s just consider what the power of the personal does when combined with the reach of social media and social networking. Suddenly we have interlinked networks capable of mobilisation by people who know the peculiarities of each group, who already have established links, and who are already known and trusted by the members of the network.

Now we can be approached, not by a faceless company, nor by its celebrity talking head, but by someone we already know. We can be approached by someone to whom we might already turn for an opinion on product selection or advice in daily life. And, even more imporantly, that person probably  already knows our stance on life, politics and the universe.

We are already seeing the power of this kind of personal connection in such things as the Facebook group for The 12for12k Challenge where:

The concept is simple:

* 12 months of the year
* 12 charities, 1 chosen every month
* $12,000 per charity
* $144,000 raised overall by December 31 2009

Using the power and outreach of social media tools from Twitter to Facebook to blogging and more, we can show that social media can make a difference.

The 12for12k Challenge – changing the world through social media.

Website: http://12for12k.org/

Or another great example of this is JobCamp Australia where a bunch of people have got together and decided to do something, saying:

“We want to “get Australia Working”, and we want you to help us! JobCAMP ONE09 is the first in a series of 2 day events to help arm you with the right tools, information and connections to get working! Whether you be looking for work, looking to make more connections or simply want to help out to get Australia WORKING, then we would love to see you at JobCAMP.”

How did I find out about these things? A friend told me. How are these campaigns being activated? Friends are telling friends. In the past individuals could only activate campaigns like this on a small scale unless they had the support of commercial broadcast media like radio or television. Now, with the power of social media and social networking, individuals have the ability to gather and activate participation and engagement on a much grander scale than ever before.