Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Ripple Principle

by Antonio C. Antonio
April 22, 2014

How do we make something patently unpopular popular?

Advocacies are often met with difficulties and challenges as they are not the “in” things… and are not too popular either because, more often than not, they dwell on controversial matters and issues which are not part of people’s day-to-day conversation.  Although largely regarded as important, there is still less attention and concern for them.  Popularizing advocacies remains to be the single-biggest and most important hurdle advocates will have to face up to and leap over.

There are no set rules, procedures nor patterns in popularizing advocacies.  Whatever works well to individual advocacies are normally followed and adopted as strategies.  The underlying consideration will be and only be the effectiveness of transferring information from one individual to another.  Towards this end, I could only recommend “The Ripple Principle.”  A “ripple effect” is a condition wherein water will form ripples and such ripples form circular waves that increase in circumference as they move outwards.  The initial catalyst of such action comes from an object being dropped in the body of water and the subsequent waves this produces grow incrementally as they move outwards.  An increase in the number of objects dropped in the body of water will cause more waves and agitation.

How could “The Ripple Principle” apply to advocacies?  Let’s consider the following parallelisms:
  • The “body of water” could represent people;
  • The “object” could represent the advocacy being dropped in the “body of water” or the consciousness of people; and,
  • The “ripples” are the pieces of information about a particular advocacy that are transferred from person to person.

Like most advocacies, an environmental advocacy remains largely misunderstood which is the sum effect of the lack of knowledge and awareness among the populace.  Advocacies could only be successful when enough meaningful knowledge and information is successfully communicated, understood and appreciated, and internalized by a majority of the populace.  Information dissemination, therefore, remains to be a big challenge and sustaining this flow of information (because of logistical considerations) is the bigger challenge.  But advocacies could also be inexpensive.  It probably was a nightmare before but with the advent of advances in telecommunications and information technology, popularizing advocacies are easier nowadays.  But another critical element to the success of advocacies is the commitment of advocates to their chosen advocacies.  The Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging, etc.) has improved our communications ability and has given us better access to a greater number of people too.

Even when access to media (broadcast and social) is not present, advocacies could still be pursued on a personal level.  But how will this work?  We should be aware that we actually have varying circles of influence:
  1. Our immediate family;
  2. Our relatives and close friends;
  3. Our classmates, co-workers and business associates; and,
  4. Our peripheral acquaintances. 
And these circles of influence have their own circles of influence too.  Several ripples in a still body of water could eventually agitate this particular body of water.  An advocacy has a better chance to succeed when there is more agitation or noise being made… therefore, more flow of information.   “If we are “noisy” enough about what we want to see happen, somehow-sometime-somewhere, this will eventually get to someone who could actually make it happen.”  (Antonio, 2013)

Just my little thoughts…

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