Creating a campaign can be a daunting prospect, often you will find yourself asked to deliver a great deal in short time frame and with limited resources. Even if you are lucky enough to have resources to hand, the task of finding the right suppliers and engaging internal stakeholders is a significant one.
To guide you in making sure you organise a successful campaign that stands out. Our Director, Damien Clarkson, has complied his top tips for planning a successful campaign.
Damien says; the tips below are drawn from my experiences of working on campaigns for some huge charities and brands. Others come from working in tiny voluntary organisations or campaign groups. But regardless of the size of your organisation following the below advice I believe will give you a fighting chance of creating a campaign which grabs and keeps peoples attention.
1) Passion: Whatever your cause it is essential that everything about your campaign screams how much your organisation cares. If you don’t care why should anyone else? Often the biggest barrier to conveying to the public the way we truly feel within our organisations is internally reaching an agreement campaign copy. In order to agree powerful messaging for your campaign, I suggest you start engaging key stakeholders within the organisation as soon as possible. Get them thinking of what would be politically acceptable early on in the campaign planning. Therefore if they have any reservations about bold messaging you will have time to convince them to be more daring.
It is worth remembering that the best slogans throughout history had simple bold messages; think ‘Save the Whale’, ‘Votes for Women’ or ‘End Apartheid.’ All were bold and simple, but evoked passionate responses and achieved the desired results eventually.
2) Originality: Dare to dream big, thanks to digital technology our networks and access to inspirations are bigger than at any other time in our history. Create something original and you stand a better chance of people taking interest.
Use all possible avenues to draw ideas and inspiration. Invite people from throughout the organisation to contribute ideas and make sure you involve your brand advocates, the people who always champion your work. Involving these people at an early stage will help to get them onboard with the campaign. Your biggest assets are always the supporters who already believe in you.
The ideas that arise from these discussions may prove too difficult to implement but the campaign is likely to benefit from this creative thinking exercise and some of the ideas perhaps can be scaled down and partly implemented in your final campaign.
3) Teamwork: If you can do one thing to improve your campaign’s chance of success make sure it ensuring the people in your organisation are engaged and ready to play their part. This may involve training people to understand the way they can use digital to boost the campaign. People can become obstacles if they don’t understand the campaign fully, so have an open door policy and encourage people to get involved even if they aren’t directly working on the campaign.
4) Timing: It sounds simple, but always try and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about what else might be going on in their life at that time, will they really want to engage with this campaign at the time you’re proposing to launch it? For example, running a fundraising campaign just after Christmas isn’t likely to get your organization many donations, far better to launch it in the springtime.
5) Reason: Constantly ask yourself the question; ‘why will anyone care?’ If you don’t know the answer, then your campaign just isn’t going to make an impact. Scrutinise all of your campaign materials and ask yourself if they are truly engaging. If you’re unsure then ask some of your organisation’s key external advocates for their opinion, after all it’s people like them you are trying to engage.
6) Project Planning: Effective campaign co-ordination is essential and you will require a thorough project plan with flexibility built in. This should extend to all areas of your communications planning, The ideal situation on launch day is that every department is briefed and ready to play their part in supporting your the campaign.
7 ) Content planning: This will need to be ongoing throughout your campaign. Monitor the response to the content you put out there, naturally some ideas will work better than others, gather this information and use it to develop further content. Your campaign should be ever evolving, listen to your audience and react by creating more content to excite them throughout the duration of the campaign.
I hope you find these tips useful when planning your campaign. There will be challenges along the way but try and have fun, after all campaigning is fun and the charities you work for are doing great working in helping those people in need. Good luck!
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