In addition to being a force to be reckoned within the racial and social justice arenas, Black Lives Matter has helped usher forward a new era in online advocacy and organizing. With their prolific use of the hashtag and highly-sophisticated cross-city media and communications strategy, Black Lives Matter has demonstrated an aptitude for developing well-crafted and tightly-controlled messaging, even as its organizational infrastructure remains largely decentralized.
This week PR Week profiled BLM’s Lead Strategist Shanelle Matthews, who shared insights into the purpose and mission behind the organization’s communications strategies and goals. In the Q&A, Matthews is very clear about BLM’s intention to shift and take control over the narratives about Black communities in relationship to the issues they face, in particular police violence and institutional injustice. When asked how communications will advance BLM’s goals, Matthews’ answer was spot on:
Strategic communications is three things: a blueprint for creating visibility for our work; a manifestation of our goals and vision; and our approach to maintaining dialogue about what ending state-sanctioned violence against black people looks like.
Our strategy is to organize and mobilize people, actively working to broaden international conversation about the impact of state violence on black people and communities, drive critical conversations from the ’hood to the White House about authentic transformation of American democracy, and ensure policies reflect and prioritize the needs of black people.
To read full the full PR Week profile on Shanelle Matthews, go here.