The white roses of the 2020s

Leaflets and stickers get local exposure and engagement

We are not taking your COVID-19 jab it kills people

In WW2 there was a German resistance group called the White Rose who were highly effective as a result of putting leaflets and stickers around their neighbourhood. They were so effective that many lost their lives. The theme lives on today, as illustrated above. You know you should never believe anything until it is officially denounced by Wikipedia, so you may enjoy their propaganda as “mirror facts” that invert reality:

In 2021, a conspiracy theorist group known as the “White Rose” appropriated the name of the White Rose anti-Nazi resistance group to make an analogy between the original White Rose’s non-violent resistance against Nazism and the non-violent supposed “resistance” by the conspiracy theorists against COVID-19 lockdowns and other measures by national governments intended to stop the virus during the COVID-19 pandemic in the early 2020s, which the conspiracy theorists falsely claim was the secret establishment of a worldwide totalitarian Nazi-style government. … Apart from the name, there is absolutely no connection between the original White Rose and the conspiracy theorists who took their name and neither the last surviving member Traute Lafrenz nor any relatives or decedents of deceased members have joined the conspiracy theorists or publicly commented on the appropriation of their name.

So now you know Covid is definitely an official scam!

Leaflets remain a very powerful way to push an issue locally, since they bring the physical presence of others and their hand into the home. The virtual world lacks the same visceral impact, by its nature. There is a commitment needed to go around houses and push leaflets through letter boxes, and that has a potency in reinforcing the message.

I would like to share a leaflet I helped to create, so you have a structural template to work from. This leaflet has just been distributed to homes in and around Palnackie in Scotland. Some of you will have kept up to date with my writings on the happenings there:

As part of my recent visit I helped to revamp the harbour user website. Here is the flyer that’s just gone through doors:

Palnackie Harbour Wall Upgrade

I have used the Minto Pyramid Principle from my business consulting days as the organising framework (bold below) with other supporting elements (italic).

  • Visual — to locate the issue in the unconscious mind and make it real
  • Headline — grab attention
  • Situation: Three objective facts about what is going on (never more or less)
  • Stakeholders — to funnel down “who knows”, “who cares”, “who can”
  • Complication: The subjective bad thing about the situation
  • Question: What everything hinges around
  • Answer: One key change that resolves the complication
  • Call to action — visit website, attend public meeting
  • Accountable party
  • Learn more/get in touch — for those who want to participate

The trick here is to emphasise the question, not the answer. Questions are unifying, in that they are not themselves the matter of controversy, and they invite all to engage. By controlling the question you have framed the debate, and taken a higher path. So if there is one takeaway from this article, it is that you need to put the effort into deciding what the question is, not in advocating for your particular answer. It’s a bit of a paradox: you get more control of the final outcome by letting go of control over the agenda.

Hope that’s helpful in your own “white rose” local communications efforts!