Grassroots and word-of-mouth communications are the oldest form of communications. That’s because they do not require the use of mass media like advertising or public relations.
So when communication networks break down, grassroots and word-of-mouth communications are often the only communications tools left standing.
The recent situation is Haiti is a good example. According to an article published by Voice of America, grassroots communications are playing a vital role in the dissemination of information and helping people connect with their loved ones.
Brooklyn-based Radio Soleil is on the leading edge of this effort. “The communication system has broken down entirely in Haiti,” says station manager Ricot DuPuy. “The phone has been ringing non-stop” with people looking for information about their loved ones. Radio Soleil then broadcasts the names of the loved ones they are looking for, hoping that somehow they will find a way to tell [family members abroad] ‘I am still alive.”’
DuPuy says many relatives, both living and dead, have been located in this way and the station continues to act as a clearinghouse for listeners and walk-ins from the community. Click here to read the complete article.