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When Anti-Piracy Legislation Comes Knocking, We Are Left With One Question: What Would Hemingway Do?

DiGennaro Communications DGC SOPA PIPA Protests GoogleIt has been a busy week over here at DGC, and among the many interesting things that came through our email inboxes, two seemed to stick:

First, everyone on the Internet and their technologically-savvy mothers protested anti-piracy legislation proposed in 2011: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect I.P. Act (PIPA). Here’s what you need to know in case you couldn’t access your favorite sites to read up on it Wednesday.

Second, it is said that Ernest Hemingway once declared his best work to be a story that he wrote in six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In keeping with this theme, StudentsFirst is hosting an essay contest encouraging participants to submit six-word stories explaining what it means to be a great teacher.

This got our PR brains thinking: in a generation of hybrid cars, foods and animals, why not draft a hybrid post for The Hit Board? So, we mashed everything together into one SUPER post to bring you DGC’s six-word descriptions of the anti-piracy legislation and protests:Hemingway DiGennaro Communications DGC SOPA PIPA Stop Online Piracy Act Protect IP Act

  • “Regulated Web: Internet protests, SOPA vanishes.”
  • “Do no harm to First Amendment.”
  • “Digital power—unite! Fight for access.”
  • “Stop resistance. Send the world LOVE.”
  • “SOPA: One step forward…or back?”
  • “Access for the peeps. Powers activate.”
  • “The digital access song – blackout resound.”
  • “Anti-piracy legislation: friend or foe?”
  • “Remember reading Fahrenheit 451? Shockingly relevant.”
  • “Wikipedia protests, provides first credible references.”

In the world of PR, we not only fight to make news relevant, but also share it with the world as succinctly as possible.

With this in mind, how would you describe the anti-piracy legislation and protests in six words? Tell us in the comments section below. And if containing your thoughts in six words is too daunting of a task, you can try four words—as one of our colleagues chose to do: “Too hard. I pass.”

Blackouts and Platforms

Wikipedia SOPA BlackoutUnlike the 1960’s, a decade of mass marches and angry protests, the second decade of the 21st century has brought people from all walks of life together for new types of demonstrations – outdoor sit-ins, Twitter-fueled protests and digital blackouts. Yesterday, more than a dozen powerful and highly trafficked digital entities like Wikipedia and Craigslist blacked out their sites (or logos in Google’s case) to protest a pending anti-piracy legislation that comes to the floor of Congress next week.

Whether you’re in agreement with PIPA and SOPA bills or prefer that they crash and burn, it’s worth noting the value of this 24-hour movement in showcasing how executives can effectively take a public stand on issues that align with their business objectives. While an extreme form of thought leadership, it demonstrates how a clear message, passionate stance and strategic action can create awareness with large audiences.

Finding YOUR Voice

We understand that not all execs have the same tools or community at their fingertips to create such a powerful turn of events like yesterday’s blackout. But every successful executive does have something of relevance to say to an audience – large or small. And every day, we help executives from all types of industries to find their voice and authentic messages that resonate. This comes naturally for some individuals, and not as easily for others. Many business leaders are good at what they do, but don’t have the tools or training to look deep inside to better understand what drives their success– and how to transform those traits into a sale-able platform.

So here are a few takeaways to help you find your “blackout” voice:

  • Ask yourself — what am I passionate about? Then Google these terms and see what kind of results surface. A lot? A few? The less you see the more likely you are to be on to an original idea that others want to hear – they just don’t know it yet.
  • Think of news that affects your business or industry points-of-view that you disagree with and then put those thoughts on paper. They may not be perfect out of the gate, but a smart, contrarian perspective can be the starting point to a bigger discussion and dialogue with the industry.
  • Determine who would benefit most from hearing your point-of-view. If it’s you, then you may need to rethink your platform. But if it is you and other constituencies, then determine how to reach them. Think about your digital communities, your networking groups and go from there.

There is no exact science to finding your voice or developing a platform that will resonate. Researching, asking questions, and taking advice from sound, trusted sources will guide you to formulate a strong POV for  your business.

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