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How to Win Campaigns

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How to Win Campaigns

100 Steps to Success


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Fired up about a cause, but don't know what to do? Devise a campaign to get people involved.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Refreshingly, this book deals with grass roots activist campaigns, as opposed to conventional corporate marketing. However, the impassioned amateurs it intends to teach may need persistence to penetrate its meandering organizational structure, which is perhaps more hampered than helped by the "100 steps" format. Author Chris Rose offers solid information on organizing campaigns and on communication strategies, but clustering it more tightly might have provided greater utility. Rose, a veteran Greenpeace activist, offers excellent examples from environmental campaigns. Given his expertise, that is understandably the main issue discussed in the book. The information on media management is likewise solid, if somewhat general for today’s diverse media market, particularly in listing media likes and dislikes. The marketing information is appropriately geared for beginners, except for the complex diagrams on motivational characteristics and issue mapping. If you seek inspiration and concrete tactics for transforming your ideas into action and public policy, finds that this manual is a good place to start.


Fomenting Change

Nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or special interest groups focused on specific causes, such as environmentalism or civil rights, often sponsor campaigns to benefit the public interest. In fact, voters consider NGO campaigns trustworthier than similar efforts by politicians or commercial organizations.

Whatever their philosophical points of view, campaigns are really about power and control over some objective. The word "campaign" originally applied to military efforts, but its usage has expanded to include public policy reform. Like military actions, campaigns require personal involvement from many people - that is the only way to muster the impact of public opinion and achieve real change. The required level of personal participation makes advocacy and campaigning very challenging. Advocacy groups can function through lobbying and the media without significant member participation, but members are the lifeblood of any public campaign. People join campaigns to correct perceived injustices and promote change. When large groups participate, campaigns can provoke fast, dramatic action. Successful campaigns resurrect interest in the democratic...

About the Author

Chris Rose is an environmental campaigner and communications consultant. He headed Greenpeace’s successful campaign to stop the installation of an oil platform in the North Atlantic. He also worked for Friends of the Earth, WWF International and other nonprofit organizations.

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