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campaigning toolkit

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Philippa Faulkner

on 1 February 2013

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Transcript of campaigning toolkit

Involves activists buying shares and then:

1) Putting consumer pressure on the company and lobbying to improve practices. Focus is on maximum influence with minimum spend

2)Electing activists to the board at the AGM and influencing company policy


3)Or using the company AGM to stage a one off protest/action The following document is a toolkit of campaigning.

Effective campaigning requires picking the right tactic at the correct time and for this reason I have separated the tools into six segments.

1)Digital and online
2)Print and visual
3)Traditional lobbying
4)Protest and direct action
5)Other new tactics
6)Network building Innocent supplied knitting patterns and ran a weekly 'hat of the week' competition which was campaign was backed by social media and website activity. A group of activists staging a protest/campaign stunt in the middle of a busy street or at a particularly poignant location for the campaign.

Could be obviously a protest e.g. people could be holding placards.

Could people carrying out some other activity related to the campaign message which appears incongruous and therefore draws attention.

Does not usually require permission as long as the group does not obstruct the pavement or harasses people, although further legal clarification should be sought because activist have been arrested under breach of the peace for these sorts of actions. RSPB Campaigning Toolkit Web pages Using web and digital Visual and print Visiting MSP surgeries Traditional Lobbying Small scale protests Protests and direct action Other tactics Network building and people engagement People tend to be a bit scared of protests and direct action because they wrongly believe it can result in violence or is illegal. It is true that some activists use these tactics to cause civil disobedience, which RSPB could not replicate. However the right to peaceful protest is clear in UK law and there are elements of direct action protest which we could use to make a bold statement and media coverage at a low cost. Direct Action Marches Instillation art Types of protest flash mob Occupation Banner drops Corporate Activism Boycotting Shareholder action Ethical Consumerism A report in 2009 by NCVO suggested that increasingly people wanted to engage with campaigns in a more fluid way.E-campaigning presents great opportunities to engage with a wider audience who might not necessarily be members but are interested in supporting our issues based campaigning work. Online petitions QR codes An emotive image can effectively communicate a campaign quickly.These techniques can also be combined with web and social media campaigning to extend the number of people who are exposed to the message. Poster images Photographs video Guerrilla marketing If we are to encourage more people to make a bigger difference and create mass support we need to build networks, think about who might want to support us and how we could interact with them face to face. Very effective when an issue has gained significant momentum/enough people who agree with it.

Great symbolic statement on the day of a particular vote etc.

Consideration of the route is important. Where will we march to? What symbol is that/ what does it say about the campaign?

Often combined with a rally at the end with speakers, a great way to engage new supporters in the cause. Consideration of who will speak is important.

All these considerations result in a march being a lot of work to organise. It isn’t something you can do at short notice as you have to seek permission from the council for a route and plan stewarding with the police etc. There's also no guarantee that lots of people will turn up and a lot of promotion effort is needed or great enthusiasm from the public for it to be successful.

However the publicity coverage from a well organised march can make the money worth it This could take the form of: An exhibition For example:

Bristol Zoo’s 100th Birthday campaign where they commissioned life size gorilla models to be displayed around the city raising awareness of wildlife conservation.

The models were then auctioned off to raise money for the charity. http://player.vimeo.com/video/30392705" A protest action Guerrilla marketing Delivering an object/art to a particularly poignant location and either displaying it there for a short period or giving it to a decision maker.

Could be accompanied by leafleting to inform the public about the campaign or a small scale protest People expect to be able to access information about a campaign quickly and easily. Many organisations are putting significant staff and financial resources into either building distinct website for campaigns themselves or commissioning a design agency.

For example Greenpeace's dark side campaign against WVs lobbying for smaller green house gas reduction targets. The website had all the information about the campaign and a place where people could sign the petition The web page had:

Information about the ask of the campaign
Video and interactive elements for people to watch and share
A supporter e-action for visitors to complete. A barcode technology which when scanned using mobile phone app links a to a webpage or visual content. Used increasingly by advertisers to give more information about a product than will fit on an advert Also been used by protest groups.
e.g german NOAH campaign against animal testing. Many people turning up in the same place at same time to do a performance or stage a visual display which can then be filmed and put on social media. Examples include Baby milk action’s campaign against Nestle, the boycott of South African goods during the apartheid and Move your Money.

Boycotts are generally used in reaction to a single issue and have two aspects. One being the economic impact on sales and the second the publicity that that generates. In many examples it is the negative impact on a brand which causes a bigger financial problem than the actual boycott.

Ethical consumer an online magazine publicises boycotts: ethicalconsumer.org/boycotts

Boycotts are very quick and easy to organise but over a longer time period they can be quite a negative way of campaigning and in some cases a boycotts continue even though companies have improved their practices. http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk/ http://www.babymilkaction.org/pages/boycott.html Collecting signatures or pledges online is much quicker that doing it manually. The internet reaches many more people than face to face engagement, resulting in a much larger number of signatures.

Not labour intensive.

However, having many people sign a petition doesn't necessarily mean that they are all very informed about the issue http://www.38degrees.org.uk http://www.fishfight.net/ A billboard A poster from the British Heart Foundation's award winning 'doubt kills' campaign which used posters, leaflets, press online and radio. In the first week of the campaign, the average between a person experiencing chest pain and phoning an ambulance had decreased by 4 minutes. An Oxfam advert Many campaigns use shocking images to communicate their message and provoke a reaction. WWF are particularly good at using manipulated photographs to communicate complex campaign messages. This is an example from a campaign called 'Give a hand to wildlife' which was developed by the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi. To view more WWF campaign images see:http://thedesigninspiration.com/articles/50-creative-wwf-campaigns-that-make-you-think-twice/ A poster could contain:text,a drawing,graphics,cartoons or photographs which may have been digitally altered. Additionally, photographs can be used in an interactive way.
For International Women's Day 2012 the student wing of ActionAid asked people "when will we know men and women are equal?" and took a picture of them holding their answer. The photographs were then displayed as an art exhibition and shared on social media. The campaign for same sex marriage in Scotland asked individuals to show support by taking a picture of themselves and sharing it on facebook. Digital advertising boards Definition: A strategy of advertising something in an unconventional, sometimes interactive way. Unicef Finland wanted to create more awareness of the 144 million abandoned children in the world. They planted prams in 14 major Finish cities, which played crying noises. From the subsequent media coverage it is estimated that 80% of Fins heard about this campaign. An exhibition Instillation art as a protest action. The focus is creating visual maximum impact on a low budget. Used to sell a product... Or a campaign...e.g. Oro verde, a very small organisation in Germany who needed to recruit more activists and increase funds but didn't have a large budget for advertising. These signs with wooden fingers were placed on trees in parks and shopping parades. A homelessness project in LA where life size cut outs of homeless people were displayed in upmarket shopping centers. Newspaper adverts:this example from Oxfam contains a QR code directing readers to the donations page. Flyers with a short, memorable or amusing campaign message. Other promotional materials Banner pens: a pen which contains a coil of paper inside it. This can be pulled out to read the information. Please see the box of promotional materials which accompanies this document for examples Methods of
advertising A video by Move Your Money, an NGO which seeks to persuade the public to move their bank accounts in order pressure banks to be more ethical. Used to present a lot of information in an engaging way which can be integrated into a webpage or shared on social media.

A professional looking video requires sufficient funds and takes time to produce. RSPB 'Wake up George' campaign has collected 845000 signatures so far. http://hackinginquiry.org/petition/ Hacked off, the campaign for implementation of recommendations from the Leveson report, has collected 147000 signatures Hugh's Fish Fight-a campaign to end fish discards- 38 degrees is an online campaigning community/membership organisation. Members are able to discuss issues and campaign ideas online through the website, facebook page and blog and then vote for what issues are taken forward.

Although not the sole method, the majority of their campaigning is through online petitions which then may get delivered in person to parliament.

RSPB cannot completely control whether 38 degrees would support a campaign but anyone can join 38 and we could ask individuals to contribute to these forums in order to build further momentum for a campaign.

Recent campaigns that 38 degrees have been involved in include a petition against Donald Trump's golf course and one for the protection of bees. Writing to decision makers Writing to newspapers Petitions and pledge cards Leaflets with detailed information. Projection Using lights or projection equipment to put an image on a building or in public place. World Aid's Day works with major buildings across the world, to project red light
and campaign messages onto them, on 1st December each year. Projections by Greenpeace onto Battersea power station and the Forbidden city in Beijing. What is Direct Action? The use of demonstrations or other public forms of protest rather than negotiation and lobbying to achieve one's demands. A protest by Nottingham Age UK. A protest by Edinburgh people and planet against sweatshop labour. Friends of the Earth protest. A trade union protest for fair wages to shop workers. Object, a women's rights campaign, delivered this giant card to News International; protesting against Page 3 and the portrayal of women in their papers. E-actions An occupation is the entry into and holding of a building, space or symbolic site.

As such, occupations often combine some of the following elements: a challenge to ownership of the space involved, an effort to gain public attention and the practical use of the facilities occupied to plan further actions or hold events.

The result is a redefinition of the original uses of the occupied space.

Occupations may be brief or they may extend for weeks, months or years. Using a pre written email, sent via an organisation's website, to lobby MP/MSPs. Similar to online petitions in that many more emails/letters can be sent in short amount of time with a low resource implication.

However most people will not change the pre written text and so in some situations e-actions may lack the impact a handwritten constituency letter would. An advert for a coffee company. A poster from Barak Obama's
2008 presidential campaign. An advert by PETA, an animal rights charity, who regularly use people dressed as animals in their campaigns. Parliamentary lobby PQs 2010/11 occupations by UK uncut, a grassroots network who campaign against corporate tax dodging and cuts to public services.

They formed after 10 activists read an expose in Private Eye about Vodafone dodging tax and decided to occupy Vodafone's Oxford street store, successfully caused its shut down.

Media coverage from his event resulted in the formation of a national network of groups.

Like Greenpeace they target particular big brands in order to make a statement about a wider issue. In this case why the public suffer the effects of the financial crisis and not big businesses. Greenpeace was founded on a principle of using peaceful occupation to achieve protection for the environment.

A example of this technique is: At Thanksgiving in 2004, a giant paper turkey feathered with hundreds of cards from UK citizens was delivered to the US Embassy by Friends of the Earth.

The protest was aimed at the Bush government who are claiming at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that the EU's cautious approach to GM was an illegal barrier to free trade. A banner drop is the act of putting a banner in place as a protest tactic. The banner may itself be dropped on an activists' target, or in another prominent public pace in conjunction with the beginning of a campaign. An organisation mobilises the public to sign cards/petition in reaction to a situation pressuring government or a company to make a change. Or, an organisation proactively signs decision makers up to a pledge/charter, in order to influence future governments.

For example: The National Union of Students who got 1000 election candidates to sign a pledge against increasing tuition fees before the 2010 general election. Constituents write a personalised letter to their local MP/MSP
about an issue.

An organisation might provide a briefing to help with the facts and figures of a problem. Using face to face meetings and written communications from the public to bring about change. For example: Stop Climate Chaos held
a lobby of parliament in October 2012. Stop Climate Chaos against Hunterston power station No cruel cosmetics.There is also a great website accompanying this campaign.
http://nocruelcosmetics.org Constituents can visit their MP and MSP on to raise an issue on behalf of an organisation In 2008, WWF set out 1600 paper mache pandas in Paris to make a point about the plight of the estimated 1600 pandas in the wild. A campaign by Feed SA
where emotive images were
put in the bottom of shopping
trollys. A campaign by Amnesty International where images were put in lockers which simulated prison cells. Some examples of other innovative campaign tools from advertising and NGOs. Innocent smoothie 'big
knit' campaign For the past nine years innocent have asked customers to knit woolly hats for the lids of the smoothies, with 25p from every bottle sold going towards supporting older people during the chilly winter months through Age UK. They have so far raised £1 million. The occupation in 1995 of Brent Spar, an oil storage facility in the North Sea, owned by Shell.

Shell had proposed to sink the platform instead of removing it.

The occupation was part of a larger ongoing campaign to stop ocean dumping but provided an outrage/point to focus the public on.

Result: Shell agreed to dismantle and recycle the Brent Spar platform on land.

Later, a ban on the disposal at sea of such rigs was established by the international body that regulates ocean dumping. It is by definition confrontational but not violent. It is important to note that these organisations/groups are able to carry out civil disobedience activities because they are not charities.

They do not have to follow charity law. Examples: A small march by Friends of the Earth. March against the Iraq war in 2003. A march by the English Defence League,
who use high profile,demonstrations that garner media coverage, to grow support for their extremist views. "Reclaim the night", a march which takes
place at night in various city locations
each year for safer streets and to push for
an end to violence against women. Shelter left this perspex box with 3 contortionists in it
in Leicester sq. It was a stunt for
their campaign calling to revise the statutory definition of overcrowding, which had not been changed since 1935. A campaign stunt against bankers bonuses. A stunt by a group against Donald Trump. Masks of the business man were placed on 20 statues in Scotland. Fathers for Justice, a group set up by creative director Matt O'Conner, who campaign for changes to family law and equal access to children for fathers. They have used stunts and occupation of famous buildings to promote their campaign asks, most famously spending 5 hours on the balcony of Buckingham palace. O'Conner has said he used these tactics because of the huge post 9/11 media attention associated with security of public buildings. He knew that even if the media didn't warm to their cause, there would still be a big story. Seeking to change consumer behaviour by actively promoting an
ethical product or company. Often done through a charter and trademarking process. For example Fairtrade:

Emerged from protests about unfair practices of multi national companies and has become a huge brand with estimated sales of 1.17bn in 2010.

The fairtrade foundation, a UK based charity, accredit the products in Britain and run community campaigns to build support for movement. They lobby, schools, universities and now towns to sign up to a fairtrade pledge and actively promote fairtrade products. For example: free range eggs People who are less knowledgeable about a campaign issue often feel overwhelmed with how hard or long a campaign could be.

Guiding choice by encouraging people to buy one basic thing differently like eggs is a more tangible action.

However,sometimes ethical consumerism results in the scale of a particular issue being hidden. For example global warming will not be stopped just by people remembering to switch off their lights. Organising direct action: Interrupting events: Such as "We are the intruders" Traditional The branding of the webpage was consistent with print advertisement which is important when creating a campaign strategy. Social Media Facebook A novel way of using QR codes. Twitter: Blogs Research and monitoring A campaign which used pictures posted on a facebok timeline to, highlight the dangers of drug abuse. Non Traditional Building links with bloggers and tweeters. Links with other charities Networking with friendly MSPs. links with activist groups and protest movements. Additionally, by keeping a good relationship with activists it is more likely they will be willing to coordinate their actions at a similar time to RSPB campaigns and cooperate with communicating the same message. Thunderclap: An online tool which allows people to pledge tweets to a particular cause and once enough tweets have been "stockpiled", they are unleashed simultaneously at a particular for maximum impact. Tweet it buttons ben and jerry's fair tweets Lots of successful multimedia campaigns have a central idea which can then be extended across different platforms like twitter. The International Union for Conservation of Nature successfully ran a campaign for their Environmental Media Award, using an essay competition entered into via facebook with holiday as the prize. 24 000 votes were cast and their volunteer base increased by 50%. An online social networking and microblogging service which enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". For example: the Cravendale #catswiththumbs campaign. which used the characters in an advert... ...linked to a facebook and twitter persona. Customers can tweet @BertrumThumbcat or use the #catswiththumbs and he tweets back in character about a range of things not just cravendale milk. Additionally, Cavendale developed an app where people could upload a picture of their own cat to join Bertrum's 'army of resistance' again to be shared on twitter and facebook. He has over 10,000 followers who could receive product information if he tweeted about it. Web interactions between people in which they create, share, exchange and comment content among themselves in an online community. The British legion used this to encourage people to observe the 2 minute silence in 2012. People signed up to tweet "I'll be remembering the fallen at 11 o'clock #2MinuteSilence #LestWeForget," at 09:00 GMT on Remembrance Sunday. Links you can put at the end of emails to tweet a pre written message or follow a campaign. For example: An email for an e-action/petition could contain a button for people to share they had signed therefore increasing the amount of people exposed to a campaign. We do this a lot already through partnerships like stop climate chaos. Some of our campaigns could be of interest to campaign groups for reasons other than environmentalism. In order to build on the success of previous online campaigns it is important to define what we consider success to be alongside policy change and also properly evaluating the tools we have used. An act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest. It is important to consider:

The taget-who and why?
At what point in the campaign will this be most effective?
How will the more complex message behind the action be communicated?
What do you what to happen as the result of the action?


Some groups use multiple coordinated small actions across the country on a "day of action" whereas others use a large single action. A discussion or informational website made up of posts which can consist of text, video and pictures. Positives are that you can explain yourself much more fully than facebook or twitter. "The key to successful corporate activism lies in engineering a situation in which the directors will see responding to a campaign as in the best interest of the company"

Aidan Ricketts from the Activists' Handbook But first... It is a proactive approach which in contrast to boycotting promotes positive engagement with companies. In order to effectively influence corporations, campaigners need a good understanding of the legal framework of how corporate decisions are made. Directors have a duty to act in the best interests of the company and its individual shareholders

Directors have a duty to make sure the company acts competently and lawfully

Shareholders have the power to enforce these two points and attend general meetings and ask questions on notice

Activists can at times make use of these points for the gain of a campaign. In the UK, the Companies Act 2006 s172 (I) has put in place points which make directors also legally have a duty for the long term reputational, environmental and community impacts of the company. The rise of social media has meant that increasingly you don't have to be famous to be influential. Networking with journalists Newspapers such as the Independent publish lists of influential tweeters and bloggers.

They could bring a campaign message to a different audience
or strengthen support through retweeting.

blogs allow comments increase public involvement in We are currently able to monitor web traffic, open and click rates through from emails to our e-actions using google analytics.

This resulted in us being able to clearly show which forms of communication in 'Wake up George' campaign were most successful.

Other organisations also monitor what the feedback is about a campaign on the website .

It is also important to consider what feedback we give to our supporters about the successes of a campaign and in what format we do this? Geocaching A free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. Geocach has over 5 million members and several companies such as Jeep have used it to promote products or competitions.


An example from the charitable sector of using not the same but a similar idea was the Scottish Seabird Center's "Watch out for the Puffin's" campaign where 500 toy puffins were hidden across the key geographical areas in the Lothians to increase the profile of the center and drive ticket sales. Each puffin entitled the finder to one free entry to the Seabird Centre and there were also six daily star prizes, including IPods, digital video cameras and Seabird Seafari boat trips. Concerts, film and theater Take One Action film festival.

They use film showings to link audiences, movies, campaigners and communities to inspire shared responses to issues of global concern.

Often their films have a panel discussion or way to respond afterward. New economics foundation and partners: Paint a fish campaign. Where people create a picture of a fish to show support for changes to fish quotas. The fish are uploaded to a website but are also shared on facebook. The virtual fish stock will be delivered to MEPs ahead of a vote on 6th February. The bigger the stock, the louder the voice. see also www.paintafish.org For centuries playwrights have been using theater and spoken word to affect change or challenge the status quo. Campaigners can use these techniques to provoke a response in an audience, say something about an issue or create a campaign action. An advert for the launch of WWF in the Daily Mirror 1961. A series of short plays in reaction to the global economic crisis. The performance rights were free for groups who took part. Live 8: Run in support of the Make Poverty History campaign which lobbied G8 leaders to increase their aid budget. The international concert series was held in conjunction with a march in Edinburgh which over 225 000 people attended. Although predominantly a fundraising event, red nose day is also used to communicate where donors money has gone and show what has happened as a result. This is an important element in maintaining a community of supporters. Workshops and training Similar to a traditional meeting but with more interaction between the speaker and the audience and often with multiple speaker.

The focus isn't just on communication of what the issue is but also on how you can equip the attendees to help you in changing it.


There might be opportunities for attendees to discuss in small groups what they think the campaign issues are or plan and action.

For example: Amnesty International have a conference each year where they run workshops on a variety of subjects. Stalls Stalls at an event or in the street are a great way of providing an opportunity for the public to interact with a campaign in a non threatening way. In a similar way to membership collection some people might pass by but others will sign a petition or take a leaflet, which might lead to them becoming more involved in the campaign later on or telling their friend about it.


Considerations with this technique are to make sure that the people running the stall are comfortable talking to strangers and are informed enough about the issue to answer questions. A picture of a stall for Yes Scotland, the campaign for independence. Political parties regularly use stalls to promote themselves Events and networking a local members groups. We have a captive audience in our members groups and could use their meeting to inform them about a campaign. a campaign. Leafleting and door knocking A tried and tested method by political campaigners to canvass the public.

For safety reasons it is a good idea not to send people out to do this on their own. It is also important they are well informed about the issue and trained in how to deal with people they might encounter. An example of a training video for door knockers. Strikes/picket lines/walkouts Stopping or walking away from work or an activity in order to force negotiation and policy change.

Generally used in workplace situations to air employee grievances.

But has been used for environmental/conservation purposes in the form of the green ban which took place in Australia between 1970-1974.

The BLF union staged a series of strikes in reaction to what they considered to be unnecessary destruction of habitat to build overly fancy houses and offices.

It was called a green ban to distinguish it from a strike in aid of economic benefits for members of the union. 'Locking on' The act of locking yourself to something in order to prevent its purpose. For example: 'Plane Stupid' a campaign group against airport expansion who have ocupied runways and lock themselves to planes. Again, we currently utilise MSPs to ask parliamentary questions in order to influence policy. Carbon Conversations A supportive group experience that helps people halve their personal carbon footprint.

In a series of 6 sessions the groups discuss the difficulties of change by connecting to values, emotions and identity. They then set targets for carbon reduction in their own lives and hold each other accountable to them.

The groups are based on a psychological understanding of how people change and although they might sound like an eco version of alcoholics anonymous have been very successful in bringing about long lasting changes in attitude of the participants . Blippar An image recognition app, similar to a QR code, which when scanned can unlock interactive or augmented reality content. For example: blipping this 2D Tesco ad brings up further 3D interactive information and a store finder on a smart phone or tablet. To make tweet it button,use this link and follow the instructions:
http://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons The Parent's circle A grassroots reconciliation project between bereaved Israeli and Palestinian parents. A very successful part of the project is a phone line called 'hello peace' which Israelis can ring to speak to a Palestinian or visa versa. Over 1 million calls have been logged since it started in 2000

In this way the group hope to promote peace.
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