Apr 26, 2007

controlling the message

Ryan laments:
1) Those who fought the battles of the '70s and '80s know how hard the profession had to fight to get collective bargaining and earn the gains we have. Many new teachers don't have that background--the association has always been there and always been powerful, to them--and as a result there's not the fire that you see from some of the experienced folks.

2) A side effect is that the WEA narrative becomes passe, because it's the only one they know. If a group like the EFF comes along and presents a good case, visually appealing, accessible through the technology that the new teachers use....we're setting ourselves up for a fall.

The WEA has the resources. They have the personality. During a legislative session like the one we just had I think it's criminal they don't do something like a weekly podcast to get the message out. Give us interviews with our elected WEA exec board, where they talk about the union and why we're still vital. Bring in the experts on ProCert, National Board, retirement, and all the other things that really matter.

Where is the voice of the WEA?
The WEA has people like Brooke Mattox and Rich Wood who have ramped up the union's web presence--but mostly for members, not for the general public. Rich in particular is hip to the new media, and his sentiments are shared by some in leadership, but Ryan is right: we're second-rate. Sure, bloggers like Ryan are beating the drum daily, and the "Take the Lead" concept is a step toward progress, but until the WEA starts aggregating blogs, starts getting bloggers signed on, and seriously develops an instant response team, it's going to keep getting pantsed by the more prolific.

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