Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What is an "awareness campaign" ?

Stop Global Warming. Stop Racism. Stop Bullying. Stop AIDS. Drink Milk. Start Recycling. Don't Text and Drive. Don't Drink and Drive.  If your dog poops in the park, clean it up!

What do all these sentences have in common? Where have you seen or heard them before? How did you hear them?  Why do you remember them? Do you believe in them? WHY do you believe in them?

The answers to all the above questions involve "awareness" through a "campaign." Everyday, the world around us is trying to communicate with us.  TV advertisements about new shoes are trying to get us to buy those shoes.  Billboards along the road showing beautiful women drinking soda are trying to get us to drink that soda.  Politicians making speeches are trying to get us to vote for them. Even schools making you wear a school uniform and sing a school song are trying to say something.  Generally, the world around us is ALWAYS trying to communicate with us whether we like it or not.  Most of the time, it is to gain money for a company through an "ad campaign."  But some of the time, it is a concerned group of people who want to change the way society works or thinks.  This is what we call an "awareness campaign." 
According to Wikipedia:

Consciousness raising (also called awareness raising) is a form of political activism, popularized by United States feminists in the late 1960s. It often takes the form of a group of people attempting to focus the attention of a wider group of people on some cause or condition. Common issues include diseases (e.g. breast cancer, AIDS), conflicts (e.g. the Darfur genocide, global warming), movements (e.g. Greenpeace, PETA, Earth Hour), and political parties or politicians. Since informing the populace of a public concern is often regarded as the first step to changing how the institutions handle it, raising awareness is often the first activity in which any advocacy group engages.

 During GLPS 21, YOU and YOUR class are going to form an "advocacy group," and YOU are going to be a part of an "awareness campaign."

Can you think of some campaigns?  Brainstorm as a class, and think about some from the past and some that are popular now.  What makes them work?  Are they effective? Why?

Here are some examples. Look at them, and discuss what they are trying to tell us:


Notice that "creativity" is very important to all of the above images.  Without a lot of words, the images say something and MAKE PEOPLE THINK.  That is the most important thing in an awareness campaign.   So, here is how the Global Awareness Program at GLPS works.  Each week at camp will be different.  Here is the plan!


During Discovery Week, your class has to "discover" WHAT issue you want to campaign during GLPS.   With your teacher, you will BRAINSTORM and MIND MAP some ideas, and try to come up with something ORIGINAL and CREATIVE that will get GLPS students THINKING.  Make sure it is an issue you ALL FEEL PASSIONATELY ABOUT! :)


During “Strategy Week,” you now have to plan and create the materials and activities that will bring your issue to life!  Work together in small groups called a “Task Force” that will be in charge of one aspect of your campaign! Maybe, it will look something like this:
Design Task Force: students in this group will design posters, flyers, and visuals for Social Media etc.  Remember, this is an important part of EVERY kind of campaign.

Performance Task Force: students in this group will perhaps create a song and dance, or a presentation or YouTube video, that will creatively illustrate the issue. Entire class should participate with the Task Force guiding them with their plan.  You have to work quickly! During Week 3 there will be a contest in the auditorium!

Public Relations Task Force: students in this group will organize and spread the word about the issue through social media, contacting the public (through governments, parents, and petitions etc), and basically be the brains that gets the message out!  Maybe you will even plan a FLASH MOB with the Performance Task Force!
Research and Communications Task Force: students in this group will create the slogans, do the research, and work together with the rest of the groups to make the campaign work as one group.  You may want to post things on this blog for your friends and parents to see.  Basically, you work with all the groups to make sure everyone is informed and working together!
Basically, Strategy Week is all about creating and organizing and team work. Students will learn what it is like to work in small groups that compose a bigger group.


Action Week is all about ACTION! This is when you are ready to run with your campaign and DO everything you PLANNED in Strategy Week.  The KMLA campus should be decorated with posters, thought provoking messages, and perhaps we will even see some Picketing or even FLASH MOBS in the cafeteria during lunch time! 

There will be a contest in the Auditorium on January 21st, Tuesday! You can do ANYTHING YOU WANT on stage for 15 minutes.  You can sign, dance, act, or present! There are NO RULES as long as the audience THINKS about YOUR MESSAGE! 


This has been an overview of WHAT an "awareness campaign" IS, and WHAT you are going to be doing for the next THREE WEEKS.  It isn't that much time, SO GET BUSY and HAVE FUN!


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