Review by Mary Bahl
Imagine you’re a high school student and you disagree with your school administration on a particular issue. You want to change things, but you don’t know quite where to start. Or, you wonder what tactics you need to use to have the higher-ups take you seriously.
Now imagine you’re a community activist and you’ve volunteered to organize a rally or demonstration. You want to make absolutely sure you plan carefully enough to make a real impact and keep your fellow activists safe if things get hairy in the streets.
No matter what your experience in the world of activism, getting your hands on a copy of Josephine Bellaccomo’s new book, Move the Message: Your Guide to Making a Difference and Changing the World, will give you a powerful tool in determining goals, messages and outcomes for you and your organization.
What’s great about Bellaccomo’s book is the structure. If you need to figure out precisely what your cause is and what you want to accomplish, start at the “Define It” chapter. If you need help with creating a great visual presentation to the powerholders, go to the “Spell It Out” chapter. You can follow the whole book from the beginning to take you step-by-step through a particular event, or just focus on areas of activism that are challenges for you.
Bellaccomo uses her extensive experience in animal rights activism as examples throughout the book, but Move the Message is a valuable resource no matter what your cause.
My favorite part would have to be the chapter entitled “Celebrate It.” It reminds all activists to celebrate their successes and support each other. No matter where you or your organization are on the journey toward a better world, this book contains the tools to help you get there.
EarthSave News, Fall 2004
Review by Caryn Hartglass
Move the Message is an absolute must-read for all activists of any degree. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE BOOK! It is phenomenally well-written, thoughtfully organized and thoroughly complete down to the simplest details. Bellaccommo provides step-by-step procedures for effective presentations, letter writing, press releases, rallying, protesting, etc. Her approach is extremely sensible and positive.
I recommend reading the entire book and then using it as a reference for specific activities. Even the most seasoned presenter will find new, valuable ideas that will bring his or her effectiveness to a higher level. If you are a hardworking activist feeling the burnout and frustration of putting in lots of energy with little apparent payoff, this book is for you. You will find ways to freshen and focus your approach with rewarding results. If you are moved to make a difference but are fearful of being in front of people and negotiating with the opposing side, this book is for you as well because the method to prepare yourself is so easy to follow, with very small, manageable steps.
Move the Message does not eliminate the work that you need to do but it provides a meticulous format to guide you all the way to success. There are numerous examples of actual events that Bellaccomo uses to illustrate her points. Not only are they useful, but they are interesting as well as informative. Many provide inspiration, showing how a well-planned activity can demonstrate the desired result.
There are numerous tips on how to deal with the media, the police, the crowd, team members and those she terms the “power holders.” She gives advice on what to do and not do if you are arrested. The book provides instructions on how to use your eyes, hands and feet with explanations why and what the affects will be in different situations. Some of the information may seem obvious but we may not have given much thought to its impact. Bellaccomo makes crystal clear the importance of your appearance.
The author actually follows her own recommendations and is an excellent speaker, communicator and trainer. Inviting Josephine Bellaccomo to give a talk or workshop on effective activism would be a worthwhile venture.
If all of us followed the procedures outlined in Move the Message I truly believe we could move mountains, making a powerful difference to change the world for the better. For more information, visit: www.movethemessage.com www.josephinebellaccomo.com
Review by Patti Breitman
Attention vegetarian activists, environmentalists, animal rights activists , peace activists! If you want to change the world for the better, this books is required reading.
Josephine Bellaccomo is a professional coach who teaches corporate executives how to communicate in high-risk situations. She also works with community, national, and global activists to help them achieve recognition and to affect change.
Now she has organized her invaluable advice into a powerful book that will help us write more effective letters, give more motivating talks, hold more productive meetings, garner more effective media coverage, and achieve he changes in the world for which we work and pray.
How can we identify, reach and influence the appropriate power holders? How can we empower others to act? How can we negotiate successfully? When the media pays attention, can we respond with captivating sound bites? Will we enlist our audience to work for change? Can we persuade our representatives to introduce bills and write better laws:
This book explains how to achieve all this with power, poise, and focus. The methods, strategies, and insider tips for overcoming obstacles, politics, and difficult adversaries are spelled out, step-by-step, in this essential manual for success. Bellaccomo shows us how to get positive results with our integrity intact, no matter what good cause we are dedicated to.
All-Creatures “Book and Video Review Guide”
Before you write that next letter or news release, before your next speaking engagement, no matter how you are trying to change the world for the better, get a hold of Move the Message by Josephine Bellaccomo. This book helps you to use your time and energy in the most effective way possible to achieve maximum positive results.
Reading this book made me aware of improvements I can make in my own efforts. For example: I became more aware of the tactics that opposition groups employ; how it is preferable to remain silent during an interview than to feel compelled to keep talking and risk saying something I’ll regret, and many, many other essential points. I feel very strongly that this book can help activists make a world of difference.
“In Move the Message, communications coach and activist Josephine Bellaccomo delivers a step-by-step process, complete with tips, tactics, strategies, examples and exercises, to ensure that your message is focused, powerful and unstoppable.”