A few weeks ago, the public took little notice of a collection of people gathering in lower Manhattan to draw attention to the role of financial services companies in the ongoing US economic crisis. The media was largely ignoring the couple of hundred protestors in Zucotti Park in the Wall Street area.
Then came people like Priscilla Grim.
An unemployed media savvy social media maven with a personal commitment to addressing the needs of “the 99%,” she joined a small group of likeminded volunteers in facilitating, coordinating and honing the messages of the many different people gathering around the issue across the social networks. Their rallying cry: #occupywallstreet.
There are now tens of thousands of demonstrators at dozens of #occupy efforts throughout the United States and hundreds of thousands–perhaps even millions–following it closely online. The broadcast media has also started covering the demonstrations, bringing the matter to the larger public, adopting the same hashtags so central to the communications of Priscilla and the other coordinators.
In a common Kevin Bacon style nth degree of separation story, I found that I was coincidentally connected on LinkedIn with the very same Priscilla Grim mentioned by Dan Rather on the Chris Matthews show. I reached out through Twitter and asked if she could spare a few minutes in between projects and catnaps to describe the origins and current activities of #occupywallstreet. My hope was that their story could both inform and inspire other nonprofit organizations to greater success in communicating their missions and building audiences. I got that–and so much more.
Here is my interview with Priscilla Grim, better known on Twitter as @GrimWomyn, showing that commitment and talent can and do make a world of difference: