There are various types of campaign materials that can be used to reinforce the campaign visibility, impact and messages. You should also assess if you need to raise funds from some of these materials. They include:
- Websites or web articles
- Newsletters (your own or articles for other organizations) - paper or email
- Newspaper or magazine articles or letters (No cost)
- Campaign videos or DVDs
- Music/music videos
- Reports -fully researched, with all the background facts about your campaign
- Leaflets, brochures or factsheets
- FAQs - Answers to most frequently asked questions
- Posters or billboards
- Banners and placards
- Campaign T-shirts/caps etc.
- Car or lorry stickers
- Campaign postcards, badges or calendar
- Campaign merchandise gifts (e.g. toy, pen, T-towel, mug, mouse mat etc.)
- Campaign calendar
- Photos (for magazines, newspapers etc.) e.g. photo CD
- Action pack - to enable activists to play an active part in the campaign
- Flyers - listing all campaign resources
Sometimes, international animal welfare organizations help collaborating societies and contacts by making generic versions of campaigns materials for translation and use in various countries. Campaign materials bearing the logos of a large collection of collaborating societies can be most effective (showing the strength and outreach of the campaign).
Petitions and postcard campaigns are a popular means of sending representations from a large number of supporters. For petitions, you only have to produce one short, simple product; then get many people to sign it. They are cheap and easy to run. Handing over a pile of petitions is also a media opportunity. One disadvantage is that decision makers generally treat mass-produced postcards less seriously than individual letters. And a petition is not worth giving to the target if you only have a few signatories.
Newer communication technologies are increasingly used for mobilizing support for advocacy campaigns. These include:
- Electronic petitions
- SMS (texts)
- Email lists are widely used to activate collaborators and supporters. Email is becoming an acceptable form of communication with policymakers, at least in the North
This aspect of campaigning should be constantly reviewed and updated. There is more on it in Module 6 – Media and Communications.
International grassroots advocacy is becoming better-organized and more vocal, thanks to new communication technologies, especially social networking. For example, groups were highly organized for the anti-globalization protests at Seattle – mainly thanks to Internet coordination. Greenpeace make use of this technology through the ‘Cyber Activism’ center on its Website. New technology can also assist with mass lobbying, through software programs (such as membership software, which includes an automatic lobbying facility).
In fact, conventional campaigning methods such as small-scale demonstrations with homemade placards and campaign mascots are becoming increasingly outdated and useless for all but local animal rights events. So many NGOs are active and using compelling new methods and images, ensuring that the ‘routine and boring’ quite simply fails to make an impact nowadays. However, creative and visual campaign events can attract public and media attention.
Advertising can be expensive, unless free advertising can be won (for example, through designing attractive advertisements which will be used to fill blank magazine space). Advertising could be through: magazines, newspapers, direct mail, inserts in other publications or mailings, billboards, in hotels etc.
- To be successful, creative visual impact is needed.
- Repeat advertising is needed for impact (recognition and awareness).
- A banned advertisement often gains more publicity and impact then a placed one!
Campaign videos are impactful campaign tools. They can be expensive to produce, and difficult to get right without professional help. The campaign message and impact can be diluted if they attempt organizational promotion at the same time.
Compare the following videos – the ‘good, bad and the ugly! - looking at their approach, design, length and impact: