Some thoughts on how to best organize a response to the KPRDSB decision to close PCVS:
For a protest to work, i think it has to be multifaceted:
1. Get letters and petitions to City Council, Jeff Leal, Leona Dombrowski, Dalton McGuinty, and, yes, Trustees.
2. Get bodies in front of City Hall. Protest. Daily. In large numbers. We want intervention. Council is not barred from making recommendations to other levels of government or government working groups.
3. Get bodies in front of Jeff Leal’s office. Protest. Daily. He is in the middle of an election. He will NOT want protest happening. I believe that he will be motivated to act by bad press and protest. And the Liberal Party will also not want to see a seat in jeopardy.
4. Get a PR campaign started. This will include local media, but also Provincial/National. Talking point: “Places to Grow” vs. the action of an agent of the Province: KPRDSB. Peterborough Master Plan vs. actions that will harm the core and, as a result the city. The fact that by choking our economic and social sustainability, we don’t entice new families and businesses to the city. That it will only cause for an increase in the downward trend of local school enrollment. Get someone who works in PR to lead some of this.
5. Students, stay out of school.
6. Get everyone you know involved in steps 1-5.
7. Lastly, there should be a plan: Make sure you are getting the right messages out there. Stay on message. Have your talking points ready for all media interviews and appearances. Emotion is a part of this, but reason will make as much or more of a difference. Have someone be a spokesperson, or have a group of spokespeople. And make sure that you have a list of media that you will be approaching. Do so in an organized and systemic manner.
Good communication planning is essential.