Yesterday, as I was reading one of our local papers, I ran across a stellar example of someone who knows how to deliver their message effectively.
And I think it worked for her because she cared so deeply about her cause and her purpose.
Here’s what happened:
This article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press talks about how more and more city parks in Minnesota are going smoke free. More importantly, it shows how one young lady sold her local city council on the idea of making their parks smoke free.
First, she went to a local park by her house in North St. Paul. She gathered up hundreds of used cigarette butts that smokers had thoughtlessly tossed on the ground and she put them in plastic baggies.
Second, she brought both the cigarette butts AND her four month-old daughter to the next city council meeting.
Third, she showed the city council people the cigarette butts she found at the park and told them:
“This summer she’s going to be crawling around. When I take her to the park, I don’t want her picking up cigarette butts and putting them in her mouth.”
The city council passed the smoking ban in their parks and it went into effect immediately.
What I really like about this is the simple, yet powerful way she delivered her message.
She showed the problem. Note, she did not just TALK about it. She physically brought the dirty, smelly, filthy problem to the city council members.
It’s one thing to listen to someone talk about cigarette butts in the park. It’s another experience completely to have them dropped in front of you.
Very effective way to make a point.
But, then she drove the point home. She made it very clear WHY the cigarette butts were a problem. They presented a potential threat to the health and safety of her young daughter.
Again, notice how she didn’t just talk about the threat to her daughter. She brought her daughter to them.
Think of how powerful the message is when you have a cute little four month-old baby in front of you sitting next to a bag of dirty, stinky, cigarette butts.
What a great visual message.
Then she tied the whole thing up in a neat package by reminding them that babies pick up things and put them in their mouths.
Which is reasonable.
So, in the end, what human being could argue with such a well-delivered and powerful message?
Clearly the North St. Paul city council members did not. So, they did the right thing and passed the measure.
More important is that this young lady found a very effective way to deliver her message with words and images. She was obviously passionate about her cause. And she did all this without the benefit of a marketing degree or years of experience selling or promoting anything. After all, she’s only 17 years old.
But passion is available to everyone. And being passionate about our message and our purpose is the best first step to delivering our message so we get the results we seek.