Campaign Research Starts With Strategy and Questions
To develop a campaign research plan, you need to know two things:
1) What are the goals of the campaign?
2) What questions need to be answered to reach those goals?
This is a list of general campaign questions to help start your research process. These are not research questions. Each general campaign question should generate a list of more specific research questions. For example, "What is the issue/problem?" could lead to the question, "What is the history of lead poisoning in our community?" General questions to ask about a campaign:
1. What is the issue/problem? (Understand their arguments.)
2. What are the solutions or alternatives? (Develop our arguments.)
3. Who else is trying to change the problem, how effective are they, and what are their solutions? (Potential allies. Locate a niche. Avoid obstacles and duplication of effort.)
4. Who can implement those solutions? Who has the power? (The Targets)
5. What kind of campaign would it take to convince them? (Feasibility test.) A. How long would victory take? What are the time constraints? B. What are tactics and paths to a victory?
C. What are the opportunities or obstacles?
D. What has worked for other organizations on similar campaigns?
6. Who are the other players?
A. Who would support change? (Allies)
B. Who opposes change? (Opposition)
C. Who could become allies/opposition, but are currently neutral?
7. Does our base have the power and resources to win this campaign?
8. Will this campaign build our movement, base, or organization?
WHAT IS A CAMPAIGN STRATEGY?
A campaign can be seen as an organised, purposeful effort to create change, and it should be guided by thoughtful planning. Before taking action, successful campaigners learn as much as possible about: * the existing situation
* who is affected by the campaign issue both positively and negatively * what changes could improve the situation
* what resources, tactics and tools are available to implement a campaign that will address the issue. Campaigners use this knowledge to create their strategy, which guides them in planning, implementing, marketing, monitoring, improving and evaluating their campaign. A campaign strategy should answer the following questions: Problem, Vision, Change
1. What problem are you confronting?
2. What is your vision of how the world will be, once the problem is resolved? 3. What change/s would bring about this vision?
4. Who is affected, positively or negatively, by the problem? 5. How are these people or groups related to the problem and to each other? 6. Who are you trying to reach?
7. If your campaign is successful, who will be affected?
Answering key questions repeatedly, at each stage of your campaign, about the problem, solution, stakeholders and targets as well as the tactics, message and tools you will use, will help develop your campaign strategy. Your campaign strategy will guide what you do and it should be updated regularly as the campaign is implemented and the situation changes.
CREATE A COMMON VISION
It's useful to involve your whole campaigning group in exploring the problem, your vision and the changes sought: a shared understanding of the problem will stimulate ideas about possible actions to take, and will also help your group to stay motivated and focussed during the campaign. Creating a common vision will also help determine ways to monitor, and adjust the implementation of, the campaign if necessary. Activity 1: PROBLEM - SOLUTION - CHANGE
1. Discuss and decide, as a group, what core problem your campaign seeks to address. Elaborate all the adverse effects of this problem. 2. Each person in the group should create their own answer to the following question: What would a world without this problem be like? * Use words,...