How to plan and win a campaign

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Planning a Successful Campaign

So you want a better environment for riding. How can you best achieve the change you want to see?

Whether it is getting bike racks at your local school so your kids can ride, or getting the council to commit to a big budget for bike infrastructure, or changing transport policies, it is possible to create change.

First, be really clear on what you are trying to achieve. Then, be persistent, be constructive (whenever possible), work on understanding the real barriers and motivators. Build as many allies as you can, including from unlikely quarters. You may also need to be patient.

To be successful you need to understand where the problem or barrier to the change really lies. Is it policy, budget, motivation, legislation or lack of popular support? Who is the decision maker and how can you best persuade them? You will get much further if you can offer the help they need to deal with the barrier.

Below is a framework you can use to help you plan how best to achieve your goal. In this downloadable version of the workbook, the last page has a blank form. There are some worked examples, starting with just getting bike parking at work and then examples of political change by a group. Working in a group where you can benefit from a diversity of views and approaches is ideal.

Successful Campaign Framework

Goal What are you trying to achieve? What will success look like? How will you measure it? Is it achievable? Could be best to start small scale.

Decision maker - who In whose power is the decision? Is it a council or state or national issue? At politician (policy or strategic direction) or officer (to carry out existing policy) level? Do they have a higher power that can be appealed to if necessary?

Decision maker - how How will you reach and motivate the decision maker? How can you make it in their interest? What motivates them?

Policy contextWhat policies, standards, rules, plans exist that support (or hinder) your outcome? Direct and indirect - that organisation, other levels of government, other influential bodies? (Eg, party policy even if at national not council level).

Allies – who Who are your potential allies that might also have an interest in the outcome? Direct and indirect and oblique and obscure, even.

Allies – how How will you reach and motivate potential allies?

Adversaries – who and how Who might oppose your outcome? Why and what might be done to get them onside or weaken or mitigate their opposition?

Tools and techniques How will you use media, social media, legal avenues, popular pressure, peer pressure and who can help you with those? Can you use agitprop – stunts or theatrical elements that will get public and media attention?

Precedents Has it been done elsewhere, or here already? What can you learn from previous attempts or successes?

Team plan Who do you need on your core team, what skills do you need and what roles will they play? What tasks need to be achieved in what timeframes?

Document Document your success. Consider before and after photos or counts.