Micronationalism has its pillars and its references which still enjoy the same notoriety after years of existence. They are the pioneers of what we could well call contemporary micronationalism. Whether they are mostly in America, Australia or Europe, these “flagship micronations” continue to attract attention like today’s legends.
For most of them, this media perpetuation came about following the work “Micronations” by Léo Delafontaine, published in 2013.
In terms of media coverage, micronationalism had a “before” and an “after Léo Delafontaine”. His book “Micronations” was so successful at the time that his photos are often the first ones you come across when you do a Google search on micronationalism. We can therefore speak of the colossal impact of Léo Delafontaine's book on the media coverage of pioneering micronations.
It is clear that since its publication, the visibility granted by the media to our
dear pioneer micronations often stems from this heritage rather than from in-depth new research on the subject. SO goes the world. For subjects considered “entertaining and light” as is the case for micronationalism, the press always appears much more opportunistic than industrious. Especially when looking for subjects during the summer when half of our fellow journalists are on vacation. Good for some and too bad for others.
You will have understood, if you have become a micronationalist to be famous, revise your objectives downwards because you have missed the “Delafontaine express”. At most, you can become a regional glory in the eyes of your local press if you are lucky enough to live in a region where not much is happening, even nationally if you live in Australia.
Should we be offended? Is it so serious? Quite the contrary, because the least we can say is that at the time, Léo Delafontaine had made an excellent selection to illustrate micronationalism, because that is what it is about.
The micronationalists of the time remained just as touchingly poetic and benevolent. It is to them that we owe the first micronational conferences which gave birth to a spirit of camaraderie transcending borders, cultural differences and political opinions. They are rightly the guardians of this universal base and they always represent it with the same authenticity. So let's give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and thank them for being such good benchmarks and such a beautiful image for the micronationalists that we are. This is all the more important at a time when we face an increasingly individualistic and conflictual world.
Is it inevitable not to benefit from as much media coverage as the micronations embarked on the “Delafontaine express”? Can we succeed in the media? Yes, this is possible of course but it also meets several criteria according to our observations.
At the MicroCon EU conference in Ypres last summer, Sultan Randy D. Williams of Slowjamastan explained to the micronationalists present that to get noticed and grow, among other things: post regularly on social networks, find what you could bring to a person and create a story.
This process was extremely successful for him but unfortunately the same cannot be said for certain European micronations who had not waited for him to try this method. For what reasons ? The first is cultural, investment for “fun” is not expressed at all in the same way between an American audience and a European audience. The second is that not everyone has the same financial means or the same connections with the media, whether local or national.
Slowjamastan benefits from all these assets and has been the subject of an unprecedented media breakthrough. Of course, there are much more important means but it would be unfair to say that it is the latter which have enabled such results. Basically, there is work, creativity, humor and a real intention to do something positive that can be shared. If the basis of the project had been bad, Slowjamastan, despite all its resources, would not have achieved such success.
You don’t have the means or the finances or the imagination for Slowjamastan? Did you miss the “Delafontaine Express”? Do you think your micronation deserves better media coverage? In this case, first work on your story, your meaning, what you offer. Once you have what sets you apart and a clear identity. Create an event for example.
Creating an event allows you to communicate to the media about a concrete action. This means of arousing media interest has proven itself on several occasions. Particularly in France with the Microfrancophonie summits. For each of them, the organizing micronations received significant media coverage. This was also the case for the Polinations conferences which partly contributed to the notoriety of Emperor George of Atlantium.
Finally, if you do not get media coverage, do not be discouraged, but above all, never lose sight of the fact that a micronational project must first and foremost be yours. The creation of a micronation is above all the expression of an ideal, of a society, of a world resulting from the imagination of its founder. It must be an element of personal satisfaction throughout its creative process.
What matters is the pleasure you get from bringing it to life. This happiness will always be worth much more than any press article. Because the pleasure is real, the recognition very subjective.