By John Mansanti
October 2, 2018 - The importance of mining is not fully understood by the general public. Here are some thoughts on the issue.
Also, during my time as president, I had the opportunity to accompany Dave Kanagy to many events and during our travels, we obtained new insights regarding public perception campaigns. Combined with my knowledge of SME, these new insights influenced my current thoughts about SME's role in improving the public perception of mining. Barbara Arnold, your 2018 SME president, and Hugh Miller your 2019 SME President, also share these thoughts which may be summarized as follows:
Improving the public perception of mining is important and SME's ability to engage with newer campaigns has been limited by budgetary and staffing restraints. However, there are several inexpensive things SME can do while transitioning into the next strategic planning cycle. The Society can continue its commitment to be the information resource for the mining industry, e.g., MEC. It can continue to support small, inexpensive, high impact programs such as Move Mining. It can utilize the SME community to become the dispatch center for all efforts associated with the improvement in the public perception of mining, and through the SME community, it can mobilize the membership to disseminate information or to participate in events that improve the public perception of mining.
I like to describe this as a "thousand points of light" approach. Instead of a major public relations program that I would compare to a beacon of light, SME's ability to identifying diverse, cost-effective programs, to disseminate them across the country and to mobilize our members to share and to participate in these programs creates the thousand points of lights. For these sharing programs to work, they must be shared outside the mining industry as well as within.
Ken Reid developed an important message around public perception that I did not circulate to the membership last year. I would like to share it today. With the support of you and the rest of the SME community, it has the potential to become one of those points of light.
Here's a way that you, as a concerned SME member and industry supporter, can help:
You can take this flickering ember and transform it into a point of light by broadcasting it throughout your social media network. Please check out this VIDEO and share with your Facebook or other social media friends.