‘You make change happen, or change happens to you’ – it may sound like a thought bubble from a self-help book, but it’s also the guiding principle behind EMC’s latest initiative ‘Essential Vision’.
Change is happening everywhere, but in the media environment we operate, it is becoming exponential.
Where EMC used to support the organisations we believe in by issuing media releases and refining key messages, today we are working with them to campaign over all sorts of new media platforms and in ways we could never have imagined just a few years ago.
This project is driven by a number of changes we see intersecting to rewrite the rules of public debate:
– Technology is changing: the convergence of internet and TV means that within a few short years most people will be accessing TV via the web – downloading the content that interests them rather than relying on the limited programming choices of a network.
– The media is changing: concentration and falling consumption of traditional media means that it is harder for many organisations to get their message into the public domain and when they do they can’t even be sure it’s reaching their members, who are less likely to be tuning in.
– And people are changing too: we are reading less, accessing different types of content when we want them, sharing and seeking rather than just being told – and we need to be finding new ways to help our partner organisations communicate with them.
Pulling these threads together, we have come up with Essential Vision – a new way of telling stories and engaging members based around seeding debate through launching little bullets of produced, intelligent, video discussions.
Our flagship show will be 3Q – Questions That Count – it’s an attempt to do a number of things at once – showcase the opportunities these new technologies offer, build a model of compelling content for member organisations and, hopefully, create a space for a new type of public debate.
What’s the show? Well, think TED meets the Drum – or maybe even the Footy Show without the boof-heads – we want to foster intelligent, but not too earnest, discussion from people who know their stuff.
And we have another guiding principle – call it respect: instead of picking fights between people with different views, we want to understand issues, draw out our guests to find out what they think – not convince them they are wrong until the whole thing degenerates into a shouting match.
Because we are unashamedly working for our partners, we don’t need to set up some contrarian battlefield to show we are balanced – let’s trade balance for curiosity and see where that gets us.
We also don’t want these debates to occur in a vacuum. By mixing our launch partners up and inviting them to participate in each other’s conversations we are also helping them expand their networks among like-minded organisations – when a trade union, industry super fund and aid agency really put their heads together we think we’ll get some interesting stuff.
The show will also help us build a model of member engagement, providing an anchor point for the social media strategies of all our partners – giving them quality content to share and build their own debates around, share knowledge and get their advocates doing what they do best – campaigning for a better world.
Spreading the Vision
These are not traditional TV shows – think of them more as bits of vision that can be distributed across multiple platforms.
You can watch the shows in full via the Sky Network -we have snared the 8am political junkie slot on the Australian Public Affairs Network – ch 648 if you have pay TV.
But we hope this Essential Vision hub – that will house all the vision, the background to the questions as well as the discussion we hope it will prompt – will also become a meeting place for everyone’s ideas and issues.
And if you are visiting this site for the first time, we hope you sign up and get a chance to access all the content we produce –and better still like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and help us spread the word through your networks..
Our vision doesn’t end with a weekly talk show – we want to see this site grow to house a whole range of member-focussed idea shows, a home base for progressive people to dig a little deeper, share ideas and have the space to participate in public debates.
As you will see we are also opening up our EMC Blog – which we are renaming ‘This Is Not Right’ to all our partners, staff and any contributors who want to share their ideas.
And the weekly Essential Report will also join the Vision, meaning subscribers will have access to the latest Essential Research questions which are charting and, increasingly, informing the national political debate.
And a Big Thank You To …
You are meant to say that putting together something as ambitious as a new medium would be a tortuous project, like climbing an Everest.
The reality is it has been more like a stroll in the park, it’s been amazing the number of people from across EMC’s friends and clients who have embraced the thinking. They get it.
Our production guru Ben Gregg and his team at Cornerstore have moved mountains to build a studio we can be proud of. Now they have the challenge of making the visual content just as compelling.
A fantastic group of member-based organisations have signed onto our initial program – super funds, unions and NGOs who will help us pioneer this new model of communicaticons.
And when we started looking for talent to host and produce, who would have thought we could snare a respected broadcast like Sarah Macdonald and a Walkely award winning producer like Anne Connolly.
The whole thing is the start of a new adventure for EMC but we hope it is something that our fantastic bank of partner organisations – and their members – embrace.
If they do we really could be starting something special.
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