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Campaign Message ?
Interesting pithy short suggestions....

This came into me, and I want to share

[INDENT]Before the Rescue meeting and as ammunition in coming days I think it would be helpful and interesting - in best cornflake packet competition style - to ask you to complete this phrase:

Archaeology matters because...

  • ...2 million viewers tune in to Time Team each Sunday?
  • employs ?? people?
  • tells us who we are?
  • ...the police use our skills to find murder victims?
  • " pays my mortgage" isn't what I'm after, nor is "it embodies the epistemological discourse surrounding agency in the human past"

If you saw Samuel West's speech to the TUC Rally on Saturday you will know why I ask this question. In 5 minutes he went from William Morris to Billy Elliot via the local art gallery.

Keep Calm and Carry On and the Atheist Bus campaign have both grabbed the public imagination with pithy messages and few words. Easy to remember, easy to use!

Something to do at coffee time or over lunch!
So be sensible... thin about it... and get some ideas that I can pass on.
There are quite few posts in:

Constructive thoughts on the effects of cuts to archaeology and heritage
Open Letter on Cuts and working together

that relate to "Archaeology matters because". Perhaps these posts can be forward to ? Might I politely suggest "we" refrain from indulging in the pithy and sarcastic Smile. Does that approach really serve our purpose?
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Can I ask? Who is this message about the purpose of archaeology for? The politicians at Westminster? They are devolving so much cutting down the ranks to LA's. The elected members in LA's? Well, their attitudes haven't changed at all even during the tough but comparatively leaner era of the previous couple of decades. The public? Well, perhaps they already know what archaeology is worth - good entertainments and treasure rewards.

I know I am not being very helpful, I am sorry, but I think we should be aware that we might only get one shot at this. We must know what the 'other' side really think of archaeology. They don't care - that is likely to be the fact. They might see archaeologists as a self-promoting lobby group. The Tory-led coalition and the elected members in the LAs appear to be only short-termists - as always is the case in council chambers around the country.

My feeling is that we need to get the public especially to start reacting to all that is and will be happening. We need them to be shaking their heads and saying - it's a shame what is happening to archaeology. It isn't all that expensive, when push comes to shove, but so much of interest, entertainment and yes of value is going to go down the pan if all what is proposed happens. We need the public to say - why on earth are you threatening the country's archaeology! It isn;t expensive to get the archaeologists to do what they have to do. In sum, we just need them to look askance at the politicians as if they are a bunch of bullish oafs.

So - go for the public mood. Go for those 2million + Time Team viewers. Get Tony Robinson (like him or loathe him - he IS the questioning public voice of archaeology and he is popular) to front a campaign. raise some money to get adverts in the newspapers and something with his voice on radio - TV probs far too expensive. An advert in the style of the anti-piracy DVD thing - would you allow a medieval house in your street to fall into ruin? WOuld you allow an ancient burial ground to be ploughed up? Would you allow builders to machine away the streets and houses of your ancestors? Yeah, pithy and sarcastic perhaps and a little trite - but we need to engage with people who will support us. Also, Is anyone asking Tony Taylor and Tony Robinson if Time Team could do an 'archaeology under threat' special this or next year?

So, we must get the public tut-tutting! And, largely of our own making (discuss) we must emphasise that what we do does not cost the earth, but once it's gone - it's gone. Get the public even more on our side, on the side of archaeology - however they might see it (Time Team, PAS, MD etc) and then, with a groundswell of public support start lobbying the opposition. Yes, I said Opposition. Because the damage is being done - we are being ignored. But we need the opposition who, I for one hope, will be in power in the future to implement the changes in an integrated fashion.
I think most of us are probably largely in agreement with you, Madweasels, although the specific modes of implementation might be up for discussion. Am I wrong in thinking this is simply an advancement of the conversations we've been having across various threads recently and hopefully the broader discussion is leading up to something specific and not to another flat, archaeo-pancake! But we do need to focus our own discussions and thinking into useable tools including slogans and specific ways of attracting and inspiring prospective supporters and capitalising on those that are already onboard to some extent, which I assume is the point of this thread (I personally think a well designed ad campaign and some celebrity support, including by Mr Robinson et al would indeed be a great way of inspiring the populace if anyone can convince him to step up to the plate). It would be good to keep this focused though, and hopefully we can come up with something worthwhile.

I'm still mulling it over, myself........:face-thinks:
Your heritage in ruins? Archaeology matters!
You will be glad to know that Tony R is being contacted about this. and the focus will be on the public. Their support is important, therefore it is the aspects of archaeology that directly impact on the public, and the loss of which will impact them.

So think carefully.
Protect the past: enhance your future. Corny, but maybe corny is what's needed.
Corny and snappy. Its a good side slogan to accompany a campaign but the question it raises is, Why?

Which is the dilemma I can't get around with anything I come up with......
Sorry, Knapofhowar. that wasn't intended as a criticism at all. Smile
Don't worry none taken. I think you have indeed asked the pertinent q with WHY..and as you say, really need to mull this one over.

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