Sunday, March 16, 2008

World Peace Incorporated

Up all night last night, thinking my favorite thought: We really could have world peace, in my lifetime. But how can I help?

I thought some thinks and thinked some thoughts and realized that "World Peace" suffers from very bad PR and less than effective management. Since nobody in particular is running the World Peace Campaign, it also has a pretty lackluster business plan. Seriously. Mission, Vision, Values are pretty well in hand, but what about economic projections on the 1, 2, 5 and 10 year marks? What about logos, branding and marketing? What about target audiences and demographics? What about organizational health and management effectiveness based on good implementation of a great game plan? SYNERGISTIC OFFICE MEETINGS FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! Okay, we can cut the corp-speak, but the rest of it is serious.

As a member of the steering committee for world peace incorporated, I think we really need a few good top level planning meetings and some tangible deliverables by Q4 of 2009. Let's do some brainstorming in the meantime, shall we?

So, the BHAG is pretty clear, world peace by 2020. That's more than doable, but it does require that we get our acts together before then. One of the keys will be to prove with some serious statistics and research that Peace is Profitable. That's one major marketing thrust this year. Economic woes are deeper than most can remember right now; with a huge trade deficit, massive jumps in home foreclosures, $110/barrel oil, major layoffs and underemployment, we've got to really make our case that we can provide financial results in short order.

Taking a page out of Barack Obama's playbook for a moment, we should really focus on the hope and dream of peace while making sure people get the picture about how much work needs to be done by every single person on the planet. That's our target audience, really, every living person on Earth. They need to hope again, they need to have faith again, they need to realize they are not alone in struggle and that when they join together they can accomplish seemingly impossible things. When Obama announced the millionth donor to his campaign, I thought, "people sure will put their money where their hopes are if they really believe". That's where we need to be, folks. Lots of subscribers with a lot of hope.

The marketing campaign is a tricky one. Now that we've incorporated World Peace, given it a position as umbrella support for all the other peace organizations, we do need to make sure we've got a solid brand that won't turn people off. "Give Peace a Chance" was a great marketing strategy, but it's a bit passive in this day and age. We need a campaign with more bite, a solid foundation of success, and results-driven action. I've toyed with some motto ideas that I'm not sure would fly: "PEACE OR DIE" says what I mean, but has a sort of threat implication. "PEACE SELLS BUT WHO'S BUYING?" was used during our last campaign by a small group of Tibetan Monks called "Megadeth" so we can't use that if we want to stay fresh. I'm leaning towards "PEACE WILL MAKE US ALL UNIMAGINABLY WEALTHY", but it needs some cleaning up. Anybody can chime in here, okay people?

On to logos and street-cred branding: FUBU already has a lock on the concept of collective (albeit somewhat reflexive) action, so we need something like that but stronger. Visually, the original Peace Logo that we thought worked so well in the 60's turned out not to be that motivational to the working class. The Hammer and Sickle was certainly working class-0riented, but we know where that went... Perhaps we need a nice new elliptical logo or a Helvetica-level font. I'm partial to Star Trek font myself, but the Roddenberry estate won't let me use their kerning. I'll need some suggestions by next Monday at noon. The printers are waiting for the proofs.

Our online presence is all over the map. Buddhists and B'hai' websites aside, we've got to get some top-level domain action going. A solid website will be essential to the corporation's visibility, so let's get our best people on this. We'll need innovative design, interactive localized content, some cool Web 2.0 social networking tools (natch!), and I'm really excited to have some mobile app interaction as well. Let's make sure we've got the language people cracking on the localization, and whoever is in charge of the cyrillic stuff should come and see me about ideal font sizes. Listen to your project managers and we'll get this thing up by Q1. If World Peace is to launch on time, we'll definitely need a global contact setup, anyone familiar with the so-called "series of tubes"?