Wael Ghonim addresses his fellow Egyptian activists & gives media training via his Facebook page
You can't deny that the revolution is currently in a very critical position especially with that the gap between the street and revolution’s activists and major part of the problem lays on the activists. We have to act as adults who understand the meaning of having a revolution and trying to rebuild their country again from scratch , we have to admit that we are part of the problem that we should solve sooner better than later if we really want a better future for this country.
Wael Ghonim wrote a note on his Facebook , a very important note to the Egyptian activists in particular to those who speak on behalf of the revolution in the mainstream as well as social media. The note is made of 12 advices like a small 101 media training.
Here is a translation to the 12 advices :
1. The media is no longer in TVs and press , the media has extended to twitter and social networks like Facebook and blogs. Any activist has now hundreds or even thousand of friends and followers that can transfer his status and his views in no time thus the views should be consistent. Now a small twitter status can be published in a newspaper read by thousands or TV show viewed by millions.
2. Determine the goal you want to achieve from your media appearance and the segment you are targeting taking in consideration the segment activists are addressing the neutral segment that has not made its mind about the revolution along with a segment that is segment the revolution. Activists must take in consideration that difference in the opinion especially that recently most if not all the interview with the activists targeting those are with the revolution as if they were speaking to themselves. This is dangerous because it makes the revolution loses its popularity in the street.
3. Address the street from its perspective and not from your perspective as not all the people have been through what you have been through. Millions of Egyptians did not go to Tahrir square during the revolution and their support to the revolution is temporary associated with their understanding to the national interest. Who saw the martyrdom moment of a young man besides him will have a different perspective as well as feelings a one who saw a clip on YouTube.
4. The loud voice was a sign of bravery in the past during the time of Mubarak regime but after the February 11, 2011 is being regarded as a sign of arrogance and may lead to distrust.The revolution needs now moderate logic voices to convince people to watch and to discuss.
5. Try to differentiate between what you are saying among your friends in the real world to what you are saying to your friends who know you personally and your followers in virtual world , in the social media networks and millions of viewers on TV who do not know you at all. You should speak in more balanced way when you address millions of viewers that you do not know and they do not know you. If you are not ready to respect the street while speaking on behalf of the revolution , it is better to leave this mission to someone does.
6. Making fun from the people and ideas that you do not agree with divides the people in to four types : A team that does not agree on these ideas and will be happy with your views yet it will not add a new thing , a neutral team that will admire your sarcasm yet will not be convinced , a neutral team that will not admire with your sarcasm and will stand with the team you make fun of and a team that believes in these ideas and will consider you an enemy.
7. Respect the elder whether present or absent as our society respect the elderly yet this does not mean the respect of an “old thief”. Recently it was noticed that a group of “Revolution Youth” have been speaking inappropriately about the older generations which helped in creating a gap between us and the old generations.
8. The more you appear in mainstream media especially if this appearance is to comment on recent event and not to try to make positive change, the more it will harm you as young activist especially that being under the spotlight changes from the nature of the human.
9. Do not be fooled with the opinions of your inner circles of your friends and their support to the escalation , for instance many revolution youth used to escalate in their language against their opponents despite the street refused this language. Escalation is not a sign of bravery in every time nor some times it can be idiocy.
10. Lately there was noticeable disrespect to the silent majority in Egypt and we have to understand that the reason behind the fall of the former regime is the underestimation of the silent majority that went in to million man protests during the early days of the revolution because it believed in the importance of demanding its right. The revolution without that majority is only 2000 activists protest like before the revolution. That majority will not mobilize as the activists’ want , it will mobilize when it feels that there is need for this. Losing this majority will make it hard for us to win the street again to endorse our demands even if they are logic demands.
11. There is a need to revise the language used in the media along with the priorities of the revolution to make sure that the revolution is on the right track. There should be focus on the economic and social issues especially that 40% of Egyptians live under the poverty line. Staying away from these issues widens the gap between the activists and the street.
12. Stop the mistrust language between each other for allegedly protecting the revolution as we all seek for a better future for Egypt.
No wonder Wael Ghonim was appointed as Google Middle east Marketing manager , mash Allah for real. I studied Marketing and PR and I know what he is talking about. The revolution needs a new PR campaign , a new marketing strategy in this critical period of the transitional period.
I hope our activists , our revolutionaries , our tweeps and all those who claim to be working for the revolution truly to read , understand , digest and follow these advices.Part of Asmaa Mahfouz’s problem today is being discussed in these advices in my point of view.
I do not know if Ghonim should have published these advices before but it is never too late. We have wasted a lot of time in side battles than to focus on the true goals of having better Egypt.
Again it is easy to blame SCAF , former regime , the States , the Gulf countries , Israel, the majority of Egyptian people and even aliens from outer space than to blame ourselves and start to fix our faults. If we stop to blame everybody , start to correct our faults and to try our best to have a better Egypt then we will be ready to lead the country for real.