What idea will help you achieve your purpose? A great idea is beyond a tactic and has a long term life - not simply a viral video or a one-off event. A long lasting idea should spread naturally and beyond the creators. An idea is owned by everyone, can be remixed by anyone and is fuelled by insight.
Ideas do not live in presentations, post-it notes, or boardroom tables. They should live in the hearts and minds of people - and ideally they should be handed to people to play with.
With the proliferation of ways to get an idea out (tumblr, instagram, YouTube, facebook...) there is no longer an excuse to stay quiet about an idea. Only an idea in the public will live.
A great idea is for all and not just the creators.
Platform, not a campaign
We wanted to create a platform - a large scale movement and online community where Irish people could come to do something - rather than a campaign - a series of activities which drive demand to the platform. A platform has an ambition to live longer and possibly be self-sufficient, managed by the community itself.
Our platform idea - Straight Up for Equality - was interpreted in two ways:
- The "straight up," up front, abrasive tone of "just being up for equality."
- as well as the "straight allies" who supported a more equal Ireland.
Keeping the idea really simple and clear when launching was crucial. The most important thing was to get the idea out there. If it is concise and compelling, people will get behind it. Once you can explain the idea in a poster, video or web page, you have an idea.
Once we were clear as to what we wanted to achieve (conversations about equality) and with who (straight allies), we went about explaining this to anyone willing to listen. We launched a short two minute video which was developed with stock footage edited for a few hours on iMovie. This video called on people to get involved and join our movement.
Initially we asked the Agility network to share this with peers, and over the course of a few days over 40,000 watched the video and hundreds from every county began to sign up.
Who cares about your idea?
While we aimed to reach people who might already be married, and therefore consider their own privilege, we did not know what age groups, gender or geographic segments would join.
Understanding the initial people who engage with your idea will provide a great insight into who else might get involved. If the idea is only connecting with a young group, can or should you make it more relevant to an older group. If an idea is solely focused on one geographic area, is there a need to encourage it spreading outside that region?
We were determined that our community would be from across Ireland, as the referendum would only pass with a majority of support from across the country. We analysed where people were signing up and drove attention to areas where people were not.
Percentage breakdown of community
As we got to know more about the 10,000 + people who joined our movement, we were able to tailor messaging and mechanics which would help spread the equality conversation.
Key questions to ask your team:
- How would you describe your idea on a poster, in a video or on a webpage?
- How will you quickly get your idea out to the world?
- What do you learn about the people who like or dislike your idea?