How to design a campaign

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How to design a campaign

You’ve decided to run a campaign. It may be to raise awareness of an issue, raise money or to achieve a change to government policy or law. It may be in response to an injustice and you may have to get things moving quickly. If you want to run a successful campaign that makes a lasting difference, there are a few things to think about before you grab the microphone at the front of the rally.


What specific goal(s) are you trying to achieve through this campaign?

How will you know when you achieve your goal(s)?

Specific action

What specific action are you taking to achieve your goal? This may include advocacy, direct lobbying, building support, community meetings, generating media. Don’t be too ambitious, keep it achievable and targeted.


Prepare a Relationships Map to cover the following:

1. Target audience

Who is the decision-maker? Who do you need to persuade?

2. Supporters

Who are your key supporters? How will you mobilise them?

3. Critics

Who are your detractors or potential blockers of change? How will you manage them?

Manage Risks

What are the risks to your campaign goal? How will you mitigate the risks?

Key Messages

What are your key messages? Write your story for change in one paragraph. Then try writing it even more briefly in just one line (the elevator pitch).


Who are you communicating to and what tools will you use? Prepare a Communications Plan mapping out your action over time.

How to Develop a Communications Plan helps with this.


Do you have enough money, the right skills and people to run the campaign? How will you recruit and keep volunteers? What do you need and how will you get it? Prepare a Budget.


How will you organise your campaign team? What skills and structure do you need? What are your shared values?

Action Plan

Map out your tasks over time. Don’t try to do it all at once, build momentum and supporters as you go.