20 things you can learn from campaigning

I recently attended a day with Chris Rose (Reference: Rose, C., How to win campaigns; communications for change Second Ed. 2010, Earthscan, London)

I have posted most of these on twitter but also wanted to share the top 20 things I learnt that day:

  1. Don’t drown people in too much information
  2. Talk about what you want to happen not what you think
  3. People change when they understand whatis needed
  4. Provide visual or physical evidence to show people the problem – if people can see or touch something they will notice more (visuals trump data)
  5. Let people do what they want – i.e. bottom up rather than top down
  6. Provoke a conversation about a real need that solves a genuine problem
  7. Ask why it hasn’t happened yet, why you haven’t been successful so far – the more you understand this the better
  8. If you know what you want people to do then you should tell them and provide simple instructions; for example in a fire the objective is to get people to leave the building, not to understand why fire happens or provide a detailed theory as to why people need to leave the building
  9. Know how the world should be, identify the things that would make that happen and create a sequence of events thats gets us to how the world should be
  10. Communications are your instrument to steer action not just about telling people – a conversation not a megaphone
  11. Say one thing – in multiple ways – but dont communication multiple issues in one go
  12. When communicating consider context, audience, messenger, strategy, channel, action required, messages
  13. Seek individuals who have a story to tell and get them to be the voice of the change – real people, real stories
  14. Create a storyboard for your intervention and describe everything you want to do in pictures
  15. For your three main areas – the problem you want to solve, the solution(s) you want to use and the benefit to the patients and staff – see if you can describe these in just 3 simple pictures – note they don’t have to be literal and can be an abstract representation
  16. Identify who can solve the problem and influence them
  17. For small tests of change, map every single step in detail of the journey from problem to solution – map it in a way as if you were telling a robot how to do it, every single step matters – they need to be sequential taking the person from the step to the next one and so on – test it and then alter the steps – this helps you tweak rather than make bold cuts that may not work
  18. Use iconography, metaphors, visuals to link your ideas and words to the audience
  19. Raising awareness can simply raise fear or concern, it has to be followed by solution and reassurance – e.g. neighbourhood watch is known to cause increased concern and fear of crime (and perceived increase of crime) rather than reassurance
  20. And finally, never presume that people remotely understand a single thing you are talking about – keep it simple