The other week, I went to a very interesting event organised by the Directory of Social Change - Campaigning and lobbying in a changing political landscape. I'm still reflecting on what I heard, but here's a snippet from the talk by Chris Rose, independent campaigning expert, author and proprietor of campaignstrategy.org.
He spoke about a former head of communications at Greenpeace who made campaigners write out what their campaign was about. And then write it again, shorter. And again. And again, until the absolute crux of the message had been reached.
This matters because the 'front door' of your campaign - the basic proposition to people and decision-makers - needs to be as clear, simple and appealing as possible. No matter how much policy depth lies beneath.
I had a go with some of the ideas floating around for our Welsh Assembly campaign next year - see below - and found it really helpful in concentrating my focus and informing the writing of campaign resources. I'm not saying this is definitely what we will use - but it does feel a great deal clearer than it did.
And I'm sure the approach can work as well for a local campaign as it can for a larger one. Good messaging is good messaging.
· Helping candidates to understand the issues people with MND face – using the importance of timely and accurate diagnosis and the theme of time as a starting point.
· Asking candidates to act as champions for MND in the Assembly and their local community – potentially signing a pledge or taking similar symbolic action.
· Stressing the importance of political leadership in promoting best practice and the best possible care.
Asking candidates to act as champions for MND in the Assembly and their local community – understanding the issues they face and making sure health and social care works in their interest.Keep going...
Asking candidates to champion MND – understanding the issues people with MND face and making sure health and social care works for them.Less is still more
We want Welsh politicians to champion motor neurone disease – making sure people with MND have the right health and social care at the right time.
Gone back up again! Keep reducing.
We want champions for motor neurone disease – making sure the system gives people with MND the best possible quality of life.Back on track, but keep cutting!
MND champions: politicians helping people with MND get the best possible quality of life.How low can we go?
Politicians can help people with MND to live with dignity.
10 words – awesome! And see how different on the surface but similar in essence it is from our starting point?