Solo Information Worker
The Vocation of an Information Worker
Assemble and display to the public the information and eye-catching material from the larger animal activist organisations. This is sometimes called tabling. Obtain a foldable table on which to arrange your goods, pick a site where to pitch it; this is your portable information centre. Try tabling at street markets, fairs and festivals, wherever you can lay out your ‘shop’ and lots of people pass by. Collect booklets, brochures, CD’s, videos, pamphlets, posters, newsletters, stickers, badges and petitions for people to sign and many organisations will give you their donation collection tins.
Practical items to take with you are a tablecloth, a transparent waterproof cloth for when wet weather threatens, paperweights for windy days and victuals to sustain you. Get a portable chair unless you intend standing all day. Ask the appropriate authorities beforehand if you need permission to set up where you intend, there may be restrictions, and get the official’s name in case you have to refer back to them because of any problem.
Chit Chat With the Public
Engage in polite conversation with people who approach your information centre. Should they be particularly interested in animal rights, you might convince them to take on a practical role of some sort (with you at your centre or with an animal rights organisation). In this case do not let them go without getting their contact address or phone number and soon get in touch with them again or their initial willingness may cool. Do not waste time disputing issues with convinced detractors or by converting the already converted when you might miss other people standing nearby who may be sympathetic. Be friendly, helpful and patient to win ‘hearts and minds’.
The Tabling Portable Display
Portable display panels bearing pictures, text and documents will make an attractive background to your centre. Arrange your display panels around the back and sides of the table. The panels could treble the working area of your information shop. They may be single or double width, hinged together with plastic or tape, and be single or double tiered (one on top of the other) and made of laminated plywood for lightness and strength. Suitable dimensions are in the region of 0.5 thick x 65 wide x 100 high in centimetres (about 0.25 x 25 x 40 in inches) that you are able to carry comfortably and that your local art or hardware shop can supply.
Cover the panels with coloured cardboard and pin or stick your material to them. Place a heading in large letters over the top of each panel, like ‘Factory Farming Tortures Animals’, or ‘Veal Calf Outrage’, or ‘Animals Made Into Fur Brushes’. Add pictures with simple and concise text next to them for the passing people to read. Passers-by may not want to hang around long to read much, so make text brief. The less text you write, the more people will remember! Let the pictures carry the impact and it is the pictures that people will recall most vividly.
This Be Your Motto?
At times it is appropriate to offer a payment or donation to your suppliers for your stock of information material, especially if your suppliers are among the smaller charity organisations. Their material can be expensive for them to produce, so work hard to distribute it to best advantage. ‘Persuade to Convert’ could be your information centre’s tabling motto!
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