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On Freethought Groups, Good works and PR

 
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Old 21-Jun-2013, 05:04 AM (05:04)     1        47367
BrenWeb
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Default On Freethought Groups, Good works and PR

As I'm sure you are all aware, Oklahoma has been experiencing a rash of severe weather lately. We do live up to our nickname of Tornado Alley. There has been, and continues to be, a massive clean up effort. This effort is mostly staffed by volunteers from civic groups, schools, churches, and individuals who simply show up at staging areas. As you can imagine, those volunteers from organized groups generally show up in buses touting their affiliation and wearing shirts with their organization's name on them.

The members of Oklahoma Atheists (AOK) spontaneously organized themselves into several work groups, but without the organized "branding" some other groups did. Since these efforts were not organized by leadership but instead by general members, there was no direction to wear matching shirts or to publicize the efforts we put in, since everyone was mostly focusing on what work needed to be done and not how this might reflect on the organization as a whole (that's usually leadership's job).

After the first efforts toned down, it came to our attention that many religious leaders were using these events to tell their flocks to look at the lists of organizations helping out and notice the lack of non-believers on them. This started a discussion about what the appropriate level of PR groups like ours should engage when doing good works.

Some think that tying the name of our organization to these works is crass and open us up to criticism along the lines that we are only doing these things for the publicity. Others think that attaching the name to the good works and publicizing our efforts not only help raise awareness of the group it also helps dispel some of the nastier stereotypes of atheists as selfish and uncaring.

I was wondering what you fine people think of this? Have you had positive or negative experiences in publicizing your group's "good works"?
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Old 24-Jun-2013, 11:35 PM (23:35)     2        47417
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AOK has received nothing but fond utterances from the Regional Food Bank and it is because we do tend to wear our shirts and reserve our spots under our Oklahoma Atheists name. This is the first time that we've been organized enough to volunteer for disaster efforts so there are definitely bumps. I think that we should implore our volunteers to wear their shirts proudly (although, they are nice and I would hate to tear mine) but if they don't want to then just forget it and let's get to work. If it comes down to spending money on branding instead of tools then screw the PR.
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Old 25-Jun-2013, 05:40 PM (17:40)     3        47424
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"There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn't care who get's the credit" - Bob Woodruff (attributed)
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Old 27-Jun-2013, 02:05 AM (02:05)     4        47433
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Is it possible for there to be value in increasing the publicity freethought groups receive when doing good works? I'm thinking as a way of combating the ugly stereotypes of atheists that some seem delighted to spread.
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Old 27-Jun-2013, 04:49 AM (04:49)     5        47435
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So I pulled the trigger on the blog post. http://wp.me/p2Gown-1U
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