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May 26th, 2009

What makes a campaign tactic effective ?

By 38 Degrees team

We’ve started 38 Degrees because we think people power works. Only if there are enough of us taking action together will we be able to make sure the government acts in the interests of ordinary people and tackles the big issues.

I’ve got first hand experience of how people power works in practice – before becoming Director of 38 Degrees I was in charge of mobilising people for Friends of the Earth’s “Big Ask” campaign. 200000 people got involved in that campaign, and together we got the UK to pass a law to become the first country in the world to set legally binding emissions targets. We put a nice video about that example of people power on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56fvtM-Df6k

It’s never just about how many of us there are, it’s also a question of what we do. To be effective tactics need to be carefully chosen to put maximum pressure in the right place. There are all kinds of ways to make people power felt, some of which are listed in our survey . Different tactics work for different campaigns, and at different points during the history of a campaign.

A key part of a tactic being the right one for a campaign is enough people wanting to do it. It’s no good for me, as Executive Director of 38 Degrees, to come up with a clever tactic which would in theory make a real impact if thousands of people took part, if in practice no one wants to do it. Taking action together needs to feel good and feel worth it.

How do you think 38 Degrees should go about choosing tactics for campaigns? Do you have past experience of particular tactics which you really liked or really think worked? Can you point to other organisations who you think approach this particularly well? 38 Degrees needs to develop campaigns which you want to get involved with, so we want to know what you think.

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