Once you go public with an advocacy campaign, you may draw the attention of a number of people, not all of whom will wish you well. If things go wrong, you could end up looking very silly in the local news, which would not be good for your future campaigns.

Ten common elements of successful campaigns

  1. Identify an issue
  2. Research the issue
  3. Create a fact sheet
  4. “Brand” the issue
  5. Map out possible supporters and detractors
  6. Form a coalition
  7. Develop educational materials
  8. Launch a media campaign
  9. Approach elected officials
  10. Monitor progress on the issue

How to do a campaign?

The following is a list of possible campaigning activities:

  • Leaflets and other materials for public distribution
  • Posters or advertisements
  • Public meetings
  • Media work – newspapers, radio or TV
  • ‘Stunts’  or events to attract media attention
  • Using celebrities to support your cause
  • Letter writing campaigns
  • Petitions
  • Competitions
  • Mass lobbies, demonstrations
  • Mass events – fasts, cycle rides, street theatre etc.
  • Running an active website


Campaigns are most successful when:

  • The campaign is firmly motivational, not educational
  • The objectivesis widely felt, arouses emotion in the public
  • Objectives are realistic and achievable in a timeframe that works for you
  • There is a clear and simple action that supporters can take
  • The approach taken is creative, innovative but easily understood
  • Supporters have the opportunity to be actively engaged in a range of activities
  • The campaign is supported by wider alliances of civil groups and NGOs
  • The media are attracted by the campaigns messages and activities and provide extra publicity
  • The issue allows you to speak from your experience and expertise and is consistent with your values and vision

Sources and useful links: