Social media : Can the french pigeons movement be reproduced

Every year there are breaking news on social media, that becomes case study, as Nestle. The french pigeons movement seem to get in the way. You must have heard about it, anglo-saxon press relayed it. Anyway, a quick summary before seeing further.

History class

If you work in the web or in the environment of start-up, difficult to have passed by, there is even a good chance that you know someone of this group of rare birds: pigeons.

A small collective of entrepreneurs decided to express its rumbling discontent towards the bill and finance reforms, particularly concerning the taxation of capital gains when you sell an enterprise, which according to them could rise from 32% to 60.5%. In fact, the measure was to submit gains progressive scale of income tax, up to 45%, with the CSG and RDS, could reach 60%.

Bottom line, a significant mobilization on the Interne (logic, it is launched by web professionals). Today Facebook page exceeds 68,000 fans, supported by professionals in these new media via blog, twitter (# geonpi) … and with them the political opposition and the MEDEF (largest employers union in France) trying to run behind the train. This article isn’t written to intend to support one side or the other but rather to focus on the « phenomenon » itself.

 Internet, rings a bell ?

If certain socialist members of parliament explain that a law do not have to move for few likes on a Facebook page, it is because they have once again understood nothing and underestimates the power  of Internet in term of mobilization, sound box and influence. Quite as those who during the Arab Spring, thought that Twitter alone had allowed the revolution, they overestimate the weight of it at the expense of those who fight in the street.

I have a dream

In the case of the pigeons movement what is highlighted it’s the defense of the culture of the entrepreneurship and the start-up building. If everybody wishes that France is as high as the Silicon Valley for start-up and Venture Capitalist (no worries that won’t be happening in a hurry), this law is criticized as going the exact opposite of that ambition. In the speech it thus overtake a simple  » corporatist  » and liberal frame, to defend another idea, of a modern France, which moves forward, provides jobs … Know how to sublimate a speech, I pass on the exaggeration of certain figures (when we communicate on a massive scale, it is necessary to be simple if not fully exhaustive), is a real challenge completely successful. It feels to defend the widow and the orphan againts the big bad wolf (Treasury) is going to eat you alive. It is the individual who is put forward in which many can identify with a simplistic speech (as often in the speeches anti-taxation) that everybody understands.

Obviously, with people who do not understand the web (it is usually the case as well for the right governments, as the left one), they give some free space for the explanations of the pigeons, they getting entangled later in a technical speech, which wanted educational, but incomprehensible for many. While to be taken for a pigeon (the name is really well found, in french slang means someone who is getting scammed) that speaks to everybody in front of miserable technocrat who plucks without knowing. We defend a dream in front of an administrative steamroller, a kind of David against Goliath.

Mastery of the Internet to communicate well above their opponent, but also a master of the media agenda in crisis communication it is essential. Now, it must also go beyond the myth of the internet has done everything. Certainly it allowed a large-scale mobilization and an extremely important visibility, but that’s not all (we are on the classic grassroot lobbying). Start-upeurs, entrepreneurs are people of networks and their networks go to editorial committees but also until the highest spheres of the power, and thus telephones heated as well at the level of ministries (grasstop lobbying), what was not useless far from there. That is why when I hear that the grasstop lobbying  died, it makes me smile.

Nevertheless in view of the initial objectives and the resources allocated is rather successful. Government steps backs on most points.

So a pigeon can reproduce ?

  •  In the end a speech of David against Goliath in whom everybody can project himself. Difficult for company to hold the same speech  » public interest, national preference ». I do not defend a brand, but a dream. Complicate speech for other pressure groups.
  • Internet relay spontaneous and corporatist, no company can try to enlist as well. No relay has been paid, but all the people that are related to the Internet dreamed at least once to have the right idea « that will do a home run. » It’s like the American dream … you can not kill a part of dream
  • At best, we can reproduce this mastery of social media and the address book that goes with it, but also difficult to reproduce this master of the media agenda

And especially lightning never falls twice in the same place. You dreamed too you as a lobbying campaign like this, you’ll have to find something else. Guerrilla warfare, which is digital or not, is whether reinvent, be agile, fast (one off criteria of a company) and especially nothing is worth of the effect of surprise … and right now it’s over . As on a market, the bonus to the first incomer.