FIRST THOUGHT: Finding Your Political Voice
Being political is where it’s at, my ladies. We’ve had the right to vote for, like, awhile now, and if you haven’t exercised that privilege yet, now’s the time. No matter which way your political wind blows, nothing will change unless you do something about it. For instance, if your partner always embarrassingly blows her nose at the table, she can’t see you grimace in disgust, so you probably need to speak up about it. Speak up, people!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1942
First lady Eleanor Roosevelt turned her position into more than just picking out china patterns; she advocated for human and women’s rights across the world. Eleanor also abided by our mantra, “empowered women empower women.” According to the Smithsonian, the first lady asked a Ukrainian-born woman who arrived in the states in 1942 (and who just so happened to be the most successful sniper at the time) to travel across the States and share her experience as a woman in combat. Unsurprisingly, the information reporters often relayed back was the woman’s lack of makeup and dreary attire. Ugh.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Shannon Coulter, Co-founder of Grab Your Wallet
If picking up a phone and cold calling isn’t your style, there’s another way to support or oppose a political candidate: with your wallet. Donating to a cause is one way to show support, but another way is to purchase—or boycott—products. Today’s Woman to Watch, Shannon Coulter, is the woman behind the viral campaign called Grab Your Wallet, and we’re here for it.
Shannon was online shopping at Nordstrom, as one does, and came across Ivanka Trump’s line. Her shopping stint just so happened to be about the time of the release of the notorious Access Hollywood footage featuring President Donald Trump, which motivated her to tweet an emotionally charged response, with the now famous hashtag #GrabYourWallet. That tweet became the name of her company.
While Grab Your Wallet boycotts many organizations like the National Rifle Association, Shannon notes the company isn’t as much a political movement as it is a cultural one. Grab Your Wallet, she continues, is about using your power as a consumer to create a more inclusive society.
Being a political rabble-rouser hasn’t always been on Shannon’s resume; she admits to accidentally falling into consumer activism, not planning it. When she was in college, she says, she was more politically minded, and her political mind has been rejuvenated with her new company. Shannon has outsourced the client work from her small marketing firm to go full time at Grab Your Wallet, and her marketing background is hugely helpful to her new role.
What I love about Shannon’s campaign is that she knows how we real folks are; we’ve got opinions but we don’t have any dang time to figure stuff out. Because Shannon refers to herself as more of a branding specialist than an activist, her branding and PR skills have helped her do the work for consumers. Grab Your Wallet is essentially one scrupulous spreadsheet that gives consumers and activists step-by-step instructions on how to contact companies they’d either like to boycott or learn more information about, as well as how to use social media to make a statement.
Shannon’s story shows the power of social media as well as the power of just one person’s voice. She refers to her success story as “a tweetstorm” turned movement, and advises that every single success campaign, whether in politics or branding, begins with one smart, succinct and powerful idea.
Shannon’s cue: Grab your wallet and make some noise!
Follow Shannon on Twitter at @shannoncoulter.
In today’s tech-heavy world, you’re more likely to promote your products or ideas over Twitter rather than tacking flyers to a tree. While both methods are efficient, you’ll probably reach a wider audience using social. Check out our three tips on how to make your post go viral through social media by clicking here or, if you’re listening via podcast, head over to OnTheDotWoman.com!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Are you hesitant to take action? As Shannon Coulter said:
“It’s so important to me that this not be tied to any desire to make money. … I feel a seriousness of purpose that I’ve never felt before in my life.”