How to run a campaign in your community against DWP cuts

An essential part of campaigning is the planning stage, if a campaign is to be effective, it should be well planned and organised. Read what to consider when planning an effective campaign

An essential part of campaigning is the planning stage, if a campaign is to be effective, it should be well planned and organised.

Seven key issues to consider when planning a campaign

With any given campaign you can have a single or range of objectives, messages, audiences, delivery methods and resources. You may need to change and adapt your plans as the campaign progresses. You won’t have the resources and time to do everything so use these tips to help plan your campaign so you can maximise your effectiveness.

Once you have identified your objectives, messages, audiences, delivery methods and resources you need to plan the first steps of the campaign. This may include thinking about:

  • What needs to be done first?
  • What are the priority action points?
  • How will the workload be organised?
  • Can a timetable be established?
  • Can deadlines be set?
  • Can milestones be identified to ensure the campaign keeps its momentum?
  • How to make the campaign inclusive?
  1. Objectives
  • What do you want to achieve? What is your goal?

Campaigns can often start as a protest against something that has happened or is planned, like a poor pay offer or an office closure. Members may want to ‘do something’ about it. With living wage, the objective is clear; to secure at least the living wage for all directly employed government staff and contract workers. 

  1. Messages
  • What do you want to say? Do you need to say different things to different people?

The key messages of your campaign may need to be adapted to suit a range of audiences/people so they understand what our issues are and agree to support us. There are clear benefits to paying at least the living wage for the individual, the employer and society as a whole. It’s worth looking into these benefits as a central part of the messaging. 

  1. Audiences
  • Who do you need to influence to achieve your objectives?

Your target audience or audiences could include: decision-makers, members, potential members, politicians, employers and the public. A starting point is likely to be identifying/mapping who isn’t paid at least living wage and this will include members and non-members.

  1. Delivery methods and campaigning tools
  • How can you get your message across to your audience(s)?

Campaigning tools you may consider using can include: circulars, leaflets, posters, newsletters, lobbying, using the media, meetings, stalls, events, internet, email, telephone communications, stunts, advertising, petitions, polling, surveys, rallies, letter writing, postcards and demonstrations or other protests.

  1. Optimise the impact of your activity

To optimise the impact of your campaign activity you need to publicise what you have done. The best way to do this is to involve the press team , the campaigns team and the group leadership in the case of the DWP Jobs, Services and Communities campaign This will allow us to get press coverage, a professional photographer and web stories. This coverage will raise morale of all concerned with the campaign.

  1. Resources
  • What resources do you have available to plan and organise the campaign?

You need to be realistic about your available resources as over-optimism about what you can achieve can lead to stress and disillusionment.

Your resources can include: people, a campaign team, branch members/activists, trades council, money, internet access, phones, printing and distribution and meeting rooms. Your resources can also include local, regional and national PCS resources such as your regional/national office, bargaining units and the PCS campaigns unit.

  1. Evaluation

An assessment of what the campaign has achieved, any lessons learnt and whether your original objectives have been met is important.

This will help you gain an understanding of whether membership activity made management re-think their position. It can also play an important part in keeping members active if they see results from their involvement.

It is also crucial for future campaigns to understand what worked and what could be improved to have maximum impact by reviewing/evaluating the campaign activities. You could ask yourself/the campaign team:

  • Were the campaign objectives met? If not, what do you think could have been done differently?
  • Were the messages for decision-makers and the various audiences clear? If not, how would you improve them next time?
  • Did the campaign activities engage with the wider membership and potential members? If not, how could you engage with them better next time?
  • Were your delivery methods effective? If not, what could be improved next time?