Yes, this post inspired by the first line of the old U2 song “Beautiful Day”.
The heart is a bloom…shoots up through stony ground…
I haven’t posted in Pro Bono Bono for a while as I’ve been busy working as Deputy News Director for a commercial television network in Australia.
We sit in meetings deciding what stories to cover and what to ignore – and as we discussed the usual menu of mishap – fires, car smashes, stabbings, murders – I thought how we needed a few stories of goodness and hope – the occasional bloom shooting up through all the stony stories of a hard, hard world.
Maybe I’m soft. I like to think it’s ‘strategic softness’ – and I’m sure Bono has words of wisdom on this. Businesses are finding out they can benefit from tapping into social responsibility and nurturing (or being seen to nurture) some blooms. The business term is CSR – Corporate Social Responsibilty. In a world of competition between like products – businesses can ‘differentiate’ and win customer loyalty through supporting ’causes’ the audience supports.
In my news job, I deliberately visit and hang out at the places our audience hangs out at – and I think what stories would interest this audience. I see decent, hard-working and honest people trying to do the best for their families. Sure, people need to see the hard news – but they also need to see the occasional, encouraging bloom of human decency.
Anyway, my point is organisations ‘doing some good’ can gain more attention to their causes by giving news organisations (TV, radio, print, on-line) a few blooms to balance out the bad. And in this tough time for over-worked news organisations, you improve your chances by ‘making it easier’ to cover your story.
I’ve been lucky to work in print and radio and TV – so my next Pro Bono Bono posts will include how to best ‘sell’ these stories to modern, busy news organisations.
Have beautiful day!