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Creating a winning campaign strategy

Deciding what you want to do and how you are going to do it, requires planning. Take the time to plan your campaign. Make sure you know exactly what you want to do and what it’ll take to get there.

Finding your focus

Every campaign has an aim. This is a statement of what you want to change and the solutions you want to achieve.

Summarise your aim in one sentence to make sure it is clear and easy to understand.

Steps to achieving your goal

Once you have your aim, it’s time to plan the steps to achieving it. It’s good to start with your objectives.

When deciding your objectives, keep them SMART.

S. Specific

M. Measurable

A. Achievable

R. Realistic

T. Time bound.

It’s helpful to plan the groups of people that might be interested or should be targeted by your campaign. This is called an influence map.

Your influence map

Your influence map shows the people or groups that hold the influence to make change happen. This can help you see which people to target and the tactics you might use to reach them.

It’s often more useful to target a person who has responsibility for a specific issue, rather than someone with power over many broad issues.

Example:

Campaign aim - more support for disabled students at my college.

Target influencers - leadership at the college.

Audience - students, teachers and support workers.

Deciding what you want to do and how you are going to do it, requires planning. Take the time to plan your campaign. Make sure you know exactly what you want to do and what it’ll take to get there.

Audience and messaging

Your audience are the people that need to see and act on your campaign. Audiences will have different interests, beliefs and experiences.

Consider how you will talk about your campaign to reach those audiences.

Creating your message

Frame your evidence and stories so that they encourage others to support your campaign. Try different messaging to gauge which works best. You can use your influence map and audience to help.

Give your supporters information about your campaign and ways for them to support it. You could ask them to take part in different activities. But always give regular updates on your progress.

Communicating about your campaign

Tactics, activities and resources

Your tactics are the things you want to do to reach your objectives. These are the core activities of your campaign. Campaigns are rarely won using only one tactic, they usually use a range of activities to achieve their goal.

Common campaign tactics

  • Petitions
  • Digital and social media campaigns
  • Letter writing
  • Freedom of Information requests
  • Public meetings and events
  • Formal complaints
  • Private meetings or lobbying
  • Legal challenges
  • Protest or direct action

Tactics usually have varying timescales depending on their complexity. For example, writing an email to your local MP will be quicker than making a Freedom of Information request.

Resources

Your resources are how you are going to make it all happen. These can be split into:

  • time
  • money
  • people
  • skills

It’s important to think about these when planning your campaign. Don’t just jump in, consider:

  • how much time you have outside of study or work?
  • how much money you can spend, if any?
  • other people you may need to help at busy times
  • and the skills you might need or bring into the team

Our campaign planner

If you need income, think about fundraising. Having a sponsored activity is a great way to raise those funds.

Crowdfunding is also a good way to raise funds for a campaign. But be aware that some of these sites take a commission. And will require you to be very specific about what the money will go towards.

Evaluation

Take a step back and look at what you have achieved. This will allow you to see what impact you’ve had and where there is room for more change.

Tracking your progress

Track your progress and measure your success against your campaign’s goals and objectives.

Evaluating your campaign throughout, can help you reflect and make improvements, like:

  • changing your messaging
  • using different tactics
  • targeting your audience better
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