Final Words from Joseph Phelan for July Communications training group:

In relation to organizing communications does not get done effectively by any one individual. In order for communications to be effective and strategic it must be integrated throughout the organization. This goes from leadership development/ political education of members, skills development around comms work for members and staff, as well as integration into the entire function of the organization. Comms has to be taken up and scene as a value added by the entire org. This then leads to practice. It is easier to point to me and say i get all of the comms done at MWC (secret weapon!), it is also false and dangerous. All orgs would have to do is hire a comms person.

The strategizing, framing, messaging, writing and even design happens through a collaborative process. With strategy we have strat meetings where organizers, leaders members and I are present. As we develop organizing strategy we develop frames and messages and tactics for comms. Our writing process is very collaborative and includes members, leaders and staff. Propaganda (from yard signs to t-shirts) go through a highly consultative process with members, and leaders primarily. Sound bites for press are more often than not developed through a highly participatory media training process. Everyone in the organization needs to be thinking of comms the same as they think about organizing.

This clarification is crucial when we think about messaging and framing. I am white kid not from Miami (although working class), even with the most right on politics i can only imagine and guess at lived experience, language, cultural references, etc that will move a message with resonance in the communities we organize in.

I just want to really pull out this point, not to be humble, but to be real about what it takes. My roll is not passive. I have to 1.Listen 2. Synthesize 3. Train 3. Coordinate 4. Implement.

So it isnt about the numbers of hours I work, it is about how those hours, that work, fits into an organization.