Seth dug up an old post about Scarcity. As usual his advise focuses on blogs and widgets, minivans, modern snake oil to feed consumerism etc. However, Seth understands what grabs peoples attention better than almost anyone and he has laser insight on why advertising fails. Seth is a good guy and works lots of issues (I have seen him speak (excellent speaker ..at Npower NYC and PDF.)
His riff on scarcity is "on the money." What is unique about your issue? Is the way you approach your audience provide them with value and a connection? How do you treat people that engage with you? Even Wal-Mart has greeters and says thank you. Is giving people a "click here" for our issue 12 times a year and then ask them for money unique? Are the dire conditions of the poor, children, animals, rivers, etc unique or is it really in the big picture a "knock off" of another campaign?
What can you do to be unique in building a constituency? What scarce community can you bring to the people that want to do something on an issue that makes you unique and valuable?
Ways for Campaigns to be unique and offer something scarce... (things you have that others don't in a mass marketing world)...
1. Real stories.
2. Genuine passion.
3. A base of real people that care about the issue.
4. Staff that have insights on the science, politics, policies and dynamics at play that keep an issue form being solved.
5. The ability to convene people that care.
6. Clarity and purpose in a world of shallow consumerism
7. No need to make money while solving a problem ( can do things that solve problems and loose money by design)
8. you have fun working on an issue most people would burn out on.
9. maybe truth and science to support your claims.
10. faith and confidence in your work.
How does your strategy play with those things that you have which are scarce to provide the most communications value in today's world? Do you leverage those things or do you try to compete with the same brand strategy and PR tactics that could also be used by toothpaste?
So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. Long-term relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So to that list I'll add this: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster and cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does.
Ultimately, what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can bring to the market.