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What is a campaign strategy?

Guide for activists and campaigners
3 min read
Last update: Mar 28, 2023

In this article, we explain what exactly a campaign strategy is, and why it is important to think about it for your movement or campaign. We discuss the following aspects: vision, stakeholders, goals, objectives, tactics and evaluation.

The purpose of a strategy is to help you determine the best approach to achieving your goals based on the situation youโ€™re in, your values, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

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Two activists walking a long road towards their goal

Two activists walking a long road towards their goal, by Joppe | Generated using Dall-e

1. Vision ๐Ÿ’ก

Your vision is your analysis of the root problem and your big ideas on how to make the world a better place.

Example: You might argue that the climate crisis is caused by a political system that gives more power to people with lots of money. However, you still believe there is the possibility of changing this unfair system, by getting together enough people. You want to build a new political system that gives a voice to everyone, especially those impacted most by the climate crisis.

2. Stakeholders ๐ŸŒ

Stakeholders are all the individuals, groups of people and organisations that are relevant to your movement.

Example: You might want to analyse who are the stakeholders for your climate justice campaign. First of all, there are the people who are impacted by the climate crisis. Secondly, you have a list of allies, such as other environmental organisations. Thirdly, you have opponents because they profit from the current system, such as fossil fuel companies and politicians that get funded by them. Finally, you have targets, such as political parties that usually get a lot of votes from people who care about the climate.

3. Goals ๐ŸŽฏ

Your goals are the concrete things that you want to achieve with your movement. Your goals define the scope of what your movement focuses on, within your broader vision.

Example: Your movement has the goal of letting people decide about the future of our planet, instead of the lobbyists of fossil fuel companies. You want to do so by demanding from your politicians to organise a citizens assembly that has the power to implement new environmental policies.

4. Objectives โœ…

The best way of understanding objectives without confusing them with goals is to identify them as specific tasks that explain exactly how the goals are achieved. Objectives are the most specific elements of strategies and are mostly used to decide on action plans.

5. Tactics โšก๏ธ

Tactics are something we have an entire chapter about. They are, in a nutshell, concrete series of actions that we plan and execute in order to meet our strategic goals. Depending on your strategies some tactics might be more relevant than others. Different tactics attract people with different values and have varying degrees of success. Make sure not to confuse tactics and values. Solidarity or youth participation are not tactics, those are values that tactics such as cooperatives or student parliaments might help strengthen.

6. Evaluation โ“

The evaluation is important to reflect on what you are doing and determine whether it is effective. We want to have reliable ways of evaluating our own success and that can help us see our weak spots so we can improve them. Metrics play a very important role in this type of measurement.

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