Monday, October 10, 2011

Campaigning to Save a Source of Entertainment

This is adapted from a post I wrote on the Comixfan forums on trying to save the Marvel Index series (more on this soon, hopefully tomorrow). People, when they try to save some sort of entertainment they enjoy sometimes e-mail people involved in the show, comic etc or they do an online petition. These allow people to vent a bit but I don’t think they normally do much good, unless, say, a petition reaches Betty White on Saturday Night Live numbers.

Here's what I think would be a more effective approach:
1. Use snail mail. It takes a lot more effort to write something up, put a stamp ion it and put it in the mailbox than it does to send a quick e-mail or visit a site.
2. Keep things as positive as possible. Go out of your way to thank them for whatever’s being cancelled (this is something you'd also want to do if you see the relevant personnel at a convention, etc.).
3. Conversely no insults or overly negative comments towards the people in charge.  Remember, we want them to like everyone enough that they'll want to put out something that’s a relatively low seller or struggles in the ratings.
4. Obviously a little negativity is unavoidable given the cancellation news. But you can still be nice about it and use soft words like "disappointed" and "saddened"
5. Be creative. Roswell fans saved the show from cancellation after the first season by sending the WB bottles of Tabasco sauce, the food of choice for the aliens.  Maybe we can do something comparable: it's not too hard to find books that are damaged beyond repair. To use the Marvel Index example, maybe pull out the index section of these and send them to them so they know it's an active campaign (before we go tearing up books though, maybe we should ensure everyone's on the same page.
6. Actively visit relevant entertainment news sites and e-mail them about the campaign (in this instance e-mail might be okay, as long as the people involved with the show, comic, etc. get the snail mail). Use the same etiquette you would with the pros and if we agree upon a hook, maybe wait until that's in play. Remember, news is a form of storytelling, so if you have a hook, being it sending index pages or something else, it'll increase the chances of them wanting to cover the story.
7. General news is also a possibility, but those aren't as likely to pick the story up (even more so with comics than TV shows), so make sure you can make a big splash if you try that.
8. Whatever other ideas you come up with, bring your A-game.  Don’t be hostile, but collectively form a group of obviously passionate people.

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