What do Gap, Netflix, Verizon, Congress and Komen all have in common? The written word changed the way they do business.
In 2010, Gap launched a new logo design. It was slammed in social media circles for being worse than the original, and Gap dropped it. Last year Netflix and Verizon wanted to change they way they charge customers. Customers revolted and the charges were dropped. Last month, Congress was trying to pass the SOPA legislation, and after what amounted to a 24-hour internet sit-in and letter-writing extravaganza, the bill was withdrawn.
Last week Susan G. Komen for the cure made a decision based on politics instead of women’s health, pulling funding from Planned Parenthood, and enraging women everywhere. So big, so loud, so immediate was the noise and the hit (negative PR to Komen, positively to Planned Parenthood who raised over $650,000 in 48 hours), even Komen executive Karen Handel heard it in the end.
What I loved most about watching all these scenarios wasn’t seeing big organizations and muckety mucks cower under the power of the little people (okay, I did enjoy that a smidge). What I loved most was it showed how much influence the written word still has, and the potential for positive change it could have. All the above instances show how we made a difference reactively. Now, pick any topic, cause or need, and imagine what we could do if we collectively used our words proactively instead.
What will you write for change?