Getting people engaged!

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Presentation from the seminar for watchdog organizations "Key communication principles of watchdog organizations: what works?" organized by Citizens Network - Watchdog Poland in cooperation with Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law with support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Trust for Civil Society for Central and Eastern Europe along with Oživení (Czech Republic) with support of the Open Society Foundation in Prague, Warsaw, October 17 - 18, 2013.

Author: Maciej Muskat, Greenpeace Poland.

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  • IF YOU FIND A FIRE1. RAISE THE ALARM2. GO IMMEDIATELY TO A PLACE OF SAFETY3. CALL THE FIRE BRIGADE
  • Case: global agriculture change.
  • Say you need to persuade a group of councillors to take a particular decision about a forest. You may think it's important for frogs or as a watershed. But what do they see ? What if they use it for jogging or 50% of their constituents are woodcutters ? You may see a forest but they may see timber, or an exercise area. Put the issue in their terms.
  • In general it is better to campaign against a small part of a big problem, where that part is 99% unacceptable to the public, than to campaign against say half of the overall problem, where that is only unacceptable to 1% of the population.
    To succeed, most campaigns need to attract much broader support - and to do that, you often need to narrow the focus.
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • If you want a politician to sign a decree, write that down or sketch it as if it was a newspaper front page photo. What actually has to be in that picture, or to have happened in the lead up to it, to make that happen?
  • Getting people engaged!

    1. 1. Getting people engaged, how to plan it and what should be taken into account? Maciej Muskat, Greenpeace Poland
    2. 2. If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for at some point we have to recognise that we don’t really stand for them. - Paul Wellstone
    3. 3. 1. Motivation not education
    4. 4. K.I.S.S. Campaigns are needed because there is an urgent problem which has to be made public in order to be resolved. Non-urgent problems may require education or information but they are unlikely to justify campaigns.
    5. 5. Analyze the forces Why the change hasn’t happened already? Who is involved? Who is the ally, who is the opponent? What is their position and power?
    6. 6. 7. Construct a critical path All issues are complex but your campaign must not be. Your campaign has to be like visible line that runs through a complex picture, place or process. It cannot be the 'whole picture'. Instead it has to be a way, a trail, stepping stones, a critical-path. Each stage is a target or objective in itself - stick at each stage until it is achieved.
    7. 7. Start from where your audience is How do they see what you want to save (or change)? What is important for them? E.g. - is the forest a biodiversity area or exercise place or just a volume of timber?
    8. 8. Campaign against the unacceptable Your campaign may be 'about an issue' but to engage people it will need to have a much more specific 'battlefront'. Look at your issue. It will be full of shades of grey like an aerial photograph of a city. Zoom in on your chosen areas. Blow it up like a photo until there is just black and white - that is what to communicate.
    9. 9. Make real things happen: events not arguments Some of the most powerful events are direct-actions, especially where these are non-violent and can be justified on moral and 'scientific' or 'economic' grounds. But … there are many other powerful ways to campaign: - well timed legal action, with drama in the courts. - expose - such as one of the film investigations .
    10. 10. Find the conflict in events - make the news Campaigns make news when they create change, make a difference, or threaten to do so. (most significant changes are fiercely opposed) -'No opposition' usually means, not much news. - Campaigs are in essence about a struggle for power, and generally the redistribution of power through exerting influence.
    11. 11. Find the conflict in events - make the news „We must put the choice in front of Obama: either he’ll stop mouintaintop removal mining or he’ll have to send troops and arrest us, day by day” - Tim DeChristopher
    12. 12. Communicate in pictures Forget 'addressing the issue, 'developing awareness' and 'reaching the public‘. Be the director – create a storyboard. Things that are real could include: • occupying a tree, • paying a surprise visit to key politician, • invading the nuclear plant.
    13. 13. Communicate in pictures
    14. 14. Communicate in pictures
    15. 15. Communicate in pictures
    16. 16. Communicate in pictures
    17. 17. Connecting campaign with fundraising
    18. 18. Goals: - empower and involve major part of population - make the EU Commission finally act - stop the construction
    19. 19. Fundraising for a special cause/project
    20. 20. Fundraising for a special cause/project
    21. 21. Fundraising for a special cause/project
    22. 22. Finally: Don't send messages – talk Campaigning is a conversation with society - a two way process like a phone call. Communication occurs when your ideas get into the head of someone else and it is understood Many campaigns fail because they are communicating only with their existing supporters, and not with the audiences who can bring about change. Don’t go only after coverage - your ears are as important as your mouth is.

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