Advice for Campaign Leaders
Is there something that you want to change? Maybe it’s in your community, in your school or for the good of the whole planet. Then do something about it!
What Is a Campaign?
People often think of two things when they hear the word campaign – either:
① election campaigns; or
② massive, nationwide (and sometimes global) efforts, like Children in Need.
But campaigns don’t have to be huge television events to work. Small campaigns to solve the problems right outside our doors can be extremely powerful too.
So a campaign is really just any organised effort to achieve a goal.
We can all sit around complaining about the things we don’t like, but running a campaign gives us a chance to get rid of those things we don’t like. It just takes a good idea, some courage and passion.
What a Campaign Is Good For
Campaigning is about:
making a change;
raising awareness about a subject; and
sharing ideas with people who are like you.
A campaign is good when you have a pretty solid idea of how things will be different when it’s over. For example, Nothing to Do for Young People in Antrim wouldn’t be a good campaign, because there’s no goal. But Start a Monthly Teen Disco in the Town Hall would be, because you know what you want to see happen.
What a Campaign Is Not Good For
A campaign is not good if you just want to:
complain – there is nothing wrong with complaining, but it’s not the same as taking action;
make other people look foolish – even if in your mind they are; and
expect other people to do things for you.
How WIMPS Can Help You
We are a community of young journalists, filmmakers and campaigners. We are ready to support your cause. We can help you:
work out what you need to do;
decide what your campaign is;
get supporters; and
Naming Your Campaign
Start the title of your campaign with a verb. Verbs are action words, and campaigns are all about action, so they’re a match made in heaven. They also immediately give others an idea of what you what to see happen. Look at these examples to see what we mean:
Without Verb With Verbs
School Uniforms Ban School Uniforms
University Fees End University Fees
Peatlands Park Get More Benches in Peatlands Park
Here are a few verbs you might find useful: ban, end, boycott, stop, reduce, remove, increase, start, begin, make, create, build, improve.
Taking Your Campaign Offline
On wimps.org.uk you can create a campaign homepage. Your homepage is a handy place to share your plans, announce and record how things are going, and allow others who feel the same to show you some support.
But this is just the start. If you want to see success happen in your real world, then you have to make efforts in the real world. Maybe this means talking to people and finding others who can help you, forming a team, and giving them roles and tasks to do to help you reach your goal.
And remember your online supporters. Are there ways you can safely allow them to get involved offline, maybe through rallies, protests, volunteering, making stuff, researching, putting up posters at school, etc?
The British Library has produced a helpful and easy-to-follow student guide
on how to plan and carry out a campaign. It covers 7 key steps to help organise your thinking:
identify your issue;
set your goals;
become an expert;
create a resource pool;
know your opponents;
plan for success; and
develop campaign tactics and get your message across.
It also includes worksheets and also gives advice on staying safe during your campaign.
The British Library