Start A Movement (Not A Campaign)

Campaign = Bad
Movement = Good

At least that was one of my take-aways from the Socialize conference - sponsored by MediaBistro, Social Times and All Facebook - in San Francisco on the 20th and 21st of October.

Geno Church, a dapper man with a delightful Southern accent, took the stage for the Friday morning keynote about integrating social media with offline engagement. In others words, how to create a movement rather than just a campaign. The basic principles apply to almost anything: small businesses, big brands, politics and, yes, even start-up blogs.

Fiskars, an old Finnish brand that created a word of mouth movement by creatively engaging the crafting community. Photo courtesy of comedy_nose.

Campaigns, as Church pointed out, have a negative connotation. There are “military campaigns,” “political campaigns,” and “advertising campaigns.” They are a one-way communication. Movements, on the other hand, have a populist feel. Movements require engagement by customers, fans or voters. Movements involve passion and conversation. Creating a movement requires that an organization cede a certain amount of control to the community that has a passion for its brand or cause.

Shepard Fairey created these iconic posters independently of the Obama campaign. Photo courtesy of Thomanication.

One of the most moving examples that Church gave was of a non-profit organization, called Love 146, that works to end child sex slavery and trafficking. Love 146 allows its supporters to take ownership of the brand and act creatively on its behalf. He showed us a video that was created by supporters without any prompting or support from the organization. It’s a flash mob in London’s Trafalgar Square and it will make you cry.

Please join the Lipstick & Politics movement! Participate in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. Comment on our stories or email me a guest blog for potential publication: Katrina (at)

To learn more about Geno Church and his company, Brains On Fire, visit

Go to for information about their publications, classes and programs.