Campaigns for the 21st Century

Campaigning Intro

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Campaign Plan

To make a good and successful campaign, you need to keep in mind the whole process. Jumping directly to media or social media space with strong message (or at least strong message according to you and your colleagues) will not be sufficient.

Everything starts with good research and PROBLEM definition. This will help you to nail down the roots and causes of the problem and consequently will help you to:

  • have good foundation for further planning
  • show the public that there is something serious that needs to be changed


After problem definition come the

OBJECTIVE(S)  – what is it that you want to achieve?

AUDIENCE – who has the power to make the change happen?

STRATEGY – which steps, actions and tactics are necessary to make the change happen?

ACTION – what is it that your audience can do to make the change happen?

SMART Objectives

It is tempting to attempt to change the world, but this objective will not really help you in achieving anything. In order not to lose focus and not burn out prematurely, you need to set a realistic objective for your campaign—one that is S.M.A.R.T.? What does it mean?



Attainable {or Achievable]



Great overview of what you need to consider while planning a campaign or communication strategy (including SMART definitions and examples) is offered by the Tactical Technology Collective in this article.


Campaign Example – KONY 2012

One of the most recent examples of successful modern campaigns was the KONY 2012 campaign. Watch the video and focus on how the creators specify and visualise the PROBLEM, how they define OBJECTIVES, introduce the STRATEGY and offer ACTION the AUDIENCE can take.Despite the enormous success of the campaign video and campaign itself, it ended up as a big controversy. You can read more here on how a good campaign can turn wrong. Regardless of the controversy of the content and unexpected impact on the local communities, KONY 2012 is a good example of how a good campaign should look from the FORMAT point of view. You will learn more about CONTENT and FORMAT in one of the following sessions.


Civil Resistance 2.0

We mentioned STRATEGY already. If your campaign should be placed mostly online, keep in mind that just as there are tactics for nonviolent activism, there are digital tactics for online activism as well. Check this collaboratively collected spreadsheet with tips and examples.