If you need to attract attention for your cause – you can learn a lot from Bono and his social activism work.
I know that Bono inspires many people AND he can annoy lots of people too.
I say to the people who find Bono too “preachy” and annoying – even if you don’t like him, YOU can learn from his techniques.
And you don’t have to be a celebrity like Bono to use these techniques.
In Bono’s recent talk at the TED 2013 event in California – he used lots of hooking attention techniques.
The video isn’t released to the public yet – if you want more detail of the talks, here’s a link to theTED blog:
1. Word play.
Bono’s use of the term FACTIVIST (fact-based activist) was amusing AND got quoted in several headlines. The media loves “new” catchy expressions.
I don’t think he was the first to use the expression FACTIVIST - but he certainly made the term more popular. This was the first time I’d heard the expression and as a journalist, I found it clever and catchy and I would have used it in a headline.
I’ve just discovered (thanks to Bono’s popularising the term) that there is a factivist blog with all sorts of videos and tips on spreading the word about your causes!
2. Poetic Devices (such as rhyme and alliteration) and
3. Short, memorable phrases.
Bono has a poet’s ear and a preacher’s tongue.
If you’re a fan of Bono, you’ll know HE is a massive fan of MLK and how MLK used his preaching skills in the civil rights movement.
MLK used poetic devices:
not by the Colour of their sKin – but by the Content of their Character (I have a Dream speech)
Bono in his TED talk used poetic devices:
“The opportunity is real, but so is the jeopardy.” – the memorable sound of the words opportunity-jeopardy.
Other memorable bits of Bono “poetic” lines that stick in my head:
My Resume read like a Rap-sheet.
Where you live should not decide – whether you live or whether you die.
Freedom has the scent - like the top of a new-born baby’s head.
Just the bang and the clatter - as an angel hits the ground.
(onomatopoeia – where words SOUND like the words they are describing)
You can read more in about the power of poetic devices:
He describes himself as a jumped-up Jesus and this got headline attention too in NME.
It’s a catchy expression – plus it captures attention by describing – how many people think of Bono AND it’s interesting that this is the way he describes himself.
Bono also uses the power of contrast: Rock star – statistics, sexual arousal – number crunching.
See more about how Bono makes numbers sexy:
Here’s how he used contrast in his TED talk.
“For numbers crunchers like us, that’s the erogenous zone. It’s fair to say I’m sexually aroused by the collating of data.”
For more see:
YES, I’m a big fan of Bono’s good work and activism and YES I know his style annoys many people too. My argument is that even if he annoys you – YOU can borrow his techniques to help spread the message about whatever cause you support.
And one more thing that Bono has that you can use – The skin of a rhino (not literally of course). He knows with attention comes criticism – he’s learned how to take the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism. He keeps sticking his big “jumped-up Jesus” head above the parapet – for the good of promoting the causes he believes in.
if YOU are going to get attention – you’ll need to also be willing to take criticism!
If YOU like to keep up with what Bono is up to – here’s a great resource:
So What is Pro Bono Bono?
In a nutshell:
1. A dedicated Bono/U2 fan who loves to help organisations with pro bono (for good/for free)
2. Communication coaching to help good causes combines professional skills with passions
Communication Coaching + Pro bono helping good causes + Bono’s inspiration and example = Pro Bono Bono
You’ll learn how to improve the way you Present and Persuade by using communication techniques effectively used by Bono.