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KONY 2012: A Lesson Learned in Lessons Learned

Every once in a while, a communication campaign comes along that grabs the world's attention. Perhaps none in recent memory did so with the speed and volume of the Kony 2012 campaign by the organization, Invisible Children. Unless you were unconscious and on life support in the past few weeks, you could not have avoided the campaign, which is designed to draw the world's attention to African warlord, Joseph Kony, with the intention of bringing him to justice.

The campaign caught fire when the group released a 30-minute video on the Internet. Within two days, it had 30 million viewers and became the talk of politicians, pundits, prognosticators and plain people. On the one hand, the carefully planned, sophisticated communication strategy from which the video grew, provides a case history that brings gasps of admiration from the likes of us who make a living thinking about such things. On the other hand, it brought intense scrutiny to the organization, in ways that may or may not derail its very purpose.

Whether you were moved to contribute to or to boycott Invisible Children as a result of this campaign, the lessons to be learned from it are profound, especially to people who plan and executive communication programs, like many of my readers. I hope you'll set aside 30 minutes to view the video. Then, dive into the collection of articles I've pulled together in this issue, from sources that are rich and varied. If you'd like to share your thoughts, add them below or use the Facebook plug-in to share your thoughts with your friends.

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