Progressives across the country have been bemoaning the quality of coverage of Occupations by the mainstream media in regional markets. It seems that’s it’s been difficult for many of the Occupiers to make themselves heard in their local media.

This hasn’t been a problem for the folks of Occupy MN — at least, not one they haven’t been able to surmount. Consider the clever, widely reported videos recently made by Nick Espinosa and friends touting Occupy Minnesota’s efforts on behalf of foreclosure victim Ruth Murman. For far less than the cost of running a TV or radio ad even once, even in the local media, the OccupyMN folks have with their Murman videos managed to capture the imaginations — and the news cycles — of the various mainstream print, TV, and radio outlets. This is a triumph of the concept of “earned media”, without the interference of “cool seekers” who see the Occupy movement mostly as the next new shiny thing.

One of the great strengths of the way the Occupy movement is organized is that it allows for local members to take the local situation into account when planning how to get their story told to as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible. A key reason for this are the earned-media-grabbing skills of Nick “Robert Erickson” Espinosa, whose various campaigns — the “illegal European immigration” parody of the anti-Latino-immigrant movement, the “Penny Pour”, and the “Glittering” of infamous anti-gay figures — have not only reached into both the local and national media, but have become cultural memes strong enough to be worked into the plots of sitcoms like Glee. And he does all this on a shoestring, with his merry cohorts, rather than corporate Mad Men hovering over him and trying to co-opt him.

Whatever Nick and his fellow Occupiers and friends are doing, it’s working. Keep it up!

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman

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