IABC leaders shouldn't feel too bad about the trouble they've had communicating change. Communicators at the egalitarian Occupy movement bolloxed it up pretty badly themselves, according to a great Wired story, "A Eulogoy for #Occupy." Here's the operative excerpt from Quinn Norton's piece:
It’s the job of a media to tell the truth to its society, but Occupy’s homegrown media refused to tell itself the truth about what was going wrong in the camps. That let the arbiters of truth become a few young men who figured out how to stream video from their cellphones. The livestreamers got drunk off their modicum of fame, behaving as tiny entitled prophets to the movement. Their ethics were incoherent, what they filmed was arbitrary, but they mistook randomness for truth. They had just discovered documenting events, and thousands of people flocked to see them do it. But without any traditions of narrative, they didn’t see their own commentary enter the story, how every shot and angle and word overlaid was editorial.
There was no critique in Occupy, no accountability. At first it didn’t matter, but as life grew messy and complicated, its absence became terrible. There wasn’t even a way to conceive of critique, as if the language had no words to describe the movement’s faults to itself. There was at times explicit gagging of Occupy’s media teams by the camp [General Assembly, Occupy's governing body], to prevent anything that could be used to damage the movement from reaching the wider media. Self-censorship plagued those who weren’t gagged, because everyone was afraid of retaliation. No one talked about the systemic and growing abuses in the camps, or the increasingly poisonous GAs.
Journalist Adam Rothstein showed up on the day of the first march in Portland and was there every day until their eviction, two days before Zuccotti’s. He started off with sanitation and doing the dishes, moved to media, and eventually started their paper, the Portland Occupier, independent from the General Assembly. …
His original idea was to tell positive stories from the camp. He worked with media teams from Boston, LA, Chicago, and New York, and traveled to other camps to get the stories out. In time, Rothstein came to see that Occupy’s media needed to tell all the stories of what was going on: the wonderful and the terrible. By then it was too late.
I asked him if the movement’s media had failed it. “Yeah,” he replied …