Campaign Playbook


What is the problem?

• What are the effects of the problem?  

• What are the negative consequences?

• What are the root causes of the problem?
• What are the sources of harm within the system?

What is the history of this issue?

• When and how did the problem originate?

• What efforts were made in the past to address it?

• What were the results? 
How does this problem affect?

• Individuals?

• Families?

• Society? 
What is the impact of the issue?

• Socially / Culturally

•  Economically

• Politically

• Environmentally
How frequently do these problems occur?
How many people are affected? 
What are the solutions?

• What can be done to fix the problem?

• How do we resolve the roots of the conflict?

• What are the immediate remedies and permanent resolutions?

• How will people benefit from the solution?
What actions can people take to get involved?

• What is the first thing that everyone should do right now to take action?

• What commitments are we asking of people?



● what is the vision of success?

● what are our core values?
Mission Statement

● what is the group’s mission statement?

● what specific goals are we setting out to achieve?

– Long Term:

– Short Term:

● how can we accomplish our goals?

● what must be done to make an impact and advance the cause?

● what must we do to influence the situation for our advantage?
Strategy / Tactics

● what is the strategy for winning?

● what is the timeline for the campaign?

● what steps are priorities?

● what is the plan of action?

● what action can we take as a group?

● what action can we take as individuals?

● what activities are most effective?


Primary Targets:

Who are the major power holders, key decision makers, and core stakeholders?

Who has the power to give us what we want?

Who has a position of influence? How so?
Secondary Targets:

Who are the people or groups surrounding the power holders?

Who can influence the influencers? How?
Assessing pressure points and leverage:

What power / leverage do we have over our targets?

What will motivate our targets to give us what we want?
What do they stand to gain / win?

What do they stand to lose?
How can we influence our targets?

How can we make our targets give us what we want?

How can our targets be persuaded?
Formulating demands:

What do we want them to do?

What are we asking / demanding of them?


Who is causing the problems?

Who is responsible for the injustice?

Who is profiting and benefiting?
How are people causing the problems?

How are people causing injustice?

How are people profiting and benefiting?
Who is our opposition?

Who is standing in the way?

Who is working against us?
What weaknesses can be exposed?

What vulnerabilities can be exploited?


Who is being affected by the problems?

Who are the victims of injustice?

Who is indebted and losing?
How are people being affected?

How are people being victimized and treated unjustly?

How are people being unfairly burdened?
Who are our allies?

Who is on our side?

Who is working with us?
What are our strengths / resources?

What are our advantages / opportunities?


What is the key message?

What is the most important thing that people need to know?
Who is the intended audience?

What are the demographics?
What are the interests of our audience?
What does our audience commonly believe about the issue?

What should they think instead about the issue that is different?
Why should people be so concerned?

Why is it urgent that people act now?
How will we reach our audience?

What is the strategy for getting the message out to the masses?
How can we better relate the message and appeal to our audience?
Evaluating the message:

Is the message:

…easy to understand?
…reaching the intended audience?



Who are the villains?


Who are the heroes?

Personal Stories and Testimonials
● dramatize the conflict
● personalize the issue
Main Talking Points
● write the narrative for how the story should be told
Slogans and Sound Bites
Imaging and Visuals
Answers to FAQ’s
Responses to Common Arguments



• Build a list of media outlets

• Build a list of reporters, editors, and news desks

• Make personal relationships with media people

• Keep track of who is for or against your cause


• get your issue in the news

• write a letter to the editor

• write an op ed article

• get an editorial published


• get your issue on the air

• call in to talk radio shows

• offer to appear as a guest on talk radio

• write a radio PSA

• record an audio PSA

• send PSAs to radio stations


• get your issue on TV

• broadcast a PSA on public access

• broadcast an educational video

• film interviews and testimonials

• film events, activities, and actions


• host a press conference / newsworthy event

• send out at press release / news advisory

• make a press packet

• stage photo ops and provide visuals

• have a spokesperson speak to the press

• setup a website

• make a facebook page

• maintain a blog

• post blurbs on twitter

• post photos on flickr / instagram

• post videos on youtube

• post ads on craigslist

• start a meetup group

• launch a kickstarter campaign

• post comments on popular websites


• setup an email listserv

• send out a monthly newsletter

• start a public chat / discussion forum

• send mass text messages

• host a teleconference

• host a video conference

• livestream events


• hand out pamphlets / leaflets

• post fliers and posters


• keep your audience updated

• be timely

• be persistent

• follow up with reporters who are interested

• keep a record of all press clippings

• thank reporters for favorable news coverage



• conduct research and gather information

• gather facts and statistics

• collect news articles

• conduct interviews

• conduct surveys

• conduct a focus group

• investigate leads

• contact experts in the field


• make fact sheets

• make fliers / leaflets

• make a pamphlet / brochure

• make instructional diagrams / infographics

• make a powerpoint presentation

• make an educational video


• educate friends / family / coworkers

• host a teach-in / workshop

• host a documentary film screening

• host a conference / public forum

• give a speech or presentation

• get an expert to speak or present

• organize a tour / field trip / exposure visit

● what are the most important facts and statistics that people need to know?

● what are the latest news articles on the issue?

● who can we contact that is an expert on the subject?

● who can give us a first hand account of the issue?

● who in the group can help to create instructional materials?

● who can help research?

● who can help to write, edit, and format?

● who can do graphics or illustrations?

● who can help to get the materials printed and published?

● what are some good ways to raise the issue with our friends, family, and co-workers?

● what are the best documentary films on the subject?

● where is a good place to host an educational event?

● who can give a speech or presentation?



• make a personal contact list

• make a directory of groups and organizations

• map out key places to target in different communities

• target people who care about the issue

• diversify your outreach strategy to include a variety of people


• contact allied groups and organizations

• schedule meetings and appointments

• team up with community leaders

• build a coalition

• join the local struggle

• support ongoing activities and events


• political precincts / districts

• high schools and college campuses

• public spaces

• neighborhood hangouts and hot spots

• community centers

• on the sidewalk

• at social events


• canvassing / leafleting

• door knocking

• tabling

• flyering / postering

• phone banking

• mass mailing

● who do we know that can help?

● what other organizations are working on the issue?

● where are the essential places to organize within the community?

● what neighborhoods and demographics do we have to target?

● who do we need to reach out to?

● what are the common bonds we share?

● how can we work together?

● how can we support each other?

● how can we collaborate?

● how can we build a broad coalition?

● what are our points of unity?

● who do we know in the area that can help give us an inside edge?

● where are the best places to go that will draw a good crowd?

● when is the best time to go to these places?

● who is ready to hit the streets?

● who is ready to pick up the phone and make some calls?



• make a signup sheet

• make a questionnaire

• maintain a contact list of all members

• set up an email listserv for members

• maintain a calendar of events

• send out action alerts

• set up group emails and phone numbers


• host a meeting

• lead a discussion

• facilitate participation

• host a volunteer training session

• organize fun and engaging events


• recruit and retain new members

• assess people’s knowledge, skills, and resourcefulness

• keep volunteers actively involved and encourage participation

• get people to help

• train interns

• develop leadership

• encourage teamwork


• correspond regularly with volunteers

• conference calls

• video conferences

• do a debriefing

• evaluate progress

• keep a record of accomplishments

• set up an organizational structure

• adapt a consensus based decision method

• establish roles and responsibilities

• coordinate projects

• delegate tasks

● how will the organization be structured?

● how will the group reach consensus?

● how often should the group meet?

● what projects do we need to work on?

● what tasks need to get done?

● what skills / jobs are needed?

● what resources are needed?

● what activities will we organize?

● how are people able to contribute?

● who is willing to volunteer?

● who has the ability to complete the task?

● how can we all work better as a team?

● how can we help each other?

● how is the campaign progressing?

● what is working?

● what is not working?

● how can we do better?



• research the legislative process

• make a directory of legislators, public officials, and policy makers

• make a map of legislative districts and precincts

• research the demographics of voters in the last election

• find out how many people voted in each district and precinct

• research the election results and polling data

• find out how many votes the incumbent won and what was the margin of victory

• rate politicians on a scorecard based on their stance towards your issue

• prepare materials to give to officials


• write letters to public officials

• ask public officials to sign a pledge

• circulate a petition

• get a referendum on the ballot

• propose legislation

• get sponsors and cosponsors

• visit public officials at their local office

• organize a lobbying day

• plan a public hearing or accountability session

• attend legislative hearings and policy sessions

• attend a town hall meeting

• organize a district meeting

• campaign to elect a public official

• register voters

• turn out voters on election day
 ● Who are your local representatives?

● Who are your state representatives?

● Who are your federal representatives?

● What departments, agencies, or offices deal with your issue? Who has jurisdiction?

● Which officials support your issue?

● Which officials are against your issue?

● What laws are on the books regarding your issue
(1. federal, 2. state, 3. county, 4. municipal)

● What specific legislation / bills are currently being proposed regarding your issue?  What is the status of those bills?


• know the views of the officials you are lobbying

• get to know the legislative staffers and assistants

• build relationships

• always be courteous

• dress appropriately and look presentable

• ask for what you want

• be clear and to the point

• be prepared to negotiate

• be persistent

• follow up and keep in contact



• how can we stop the problems from precipitating?

• how can we stop participating in the problem?

• how can we stop the injustice? How do we halt and shutdown the system?

• how can we start creating alternative solutions?

• How can we as individuals and groups be a part of manifesting the solution?

• arrest

• barricade / blockade

• boycott and divestment

• civil disobedience

• create alternatives

• disruption

• embargo

• expose corruption

• intervention

• mutiny

• noncompliance

• occupation / encampment

• shutdown

• strike / walkout

• take-over

• withdraw support

• whistle-blowing

• how can we publicly put pressure on the power holders to make them give in to our demands?

• what can we do to generate publicity and bring the issue to widespread attention?

• assembly showing mass support

• banner drop

• blacklist

• debate

• demonstration

• die-in

• effigies

• fasting / hunger strike

• festival

• guerrilla art

• issue public order to cease and desist

• march

• mock award

• mock election

• mock trial / tribunal

• performance art

• petition drive

• picketing

• prank

• pray-in

• protest

• rally

• sit-in

• street theatre

• symbolic act

• vigil

• walk

• wanted posters



• create a budget

• manage an account of financial   transactions

• keep a record of all income and expenses

• open a bank account

• make a list of donors and sponsors


• solicit donations in public

• organize fundraising events and benefits

• ask members for contributions / dues

• set up an account to collect online donations

• set up an automatic payment system

• call donors and sponsors

• host a telethon 

• launch a kickstarter campaign

• sell merchandise


• ask frequently

• thank people for contributing

• show gratitude

• send out letters of appreciation

● what are the group’s basic operating expenses?

● how much money do we need to raise to complete our current projects?

● what is our current revenue?

● how do we secure capital investment?

● how will revenue be allocated?

● how can we raise money?

● where are good places to go to solicit donations?

● who are some likely donors / financiers / sponsors?

● what will encourage people to donate?

● what will people get in exchange for contributing?


Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Activities and Events

Direct Action





Social Media

Outreachand Networking



Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Activities and Events-host a meeting-host a movie screening-host a teach in-host a fundraising event
Direct Action-start a boycott / divestment campaign-organize a march / demonstration-do a banner drop-send out mock awards

-engage in street theatre
-organize a vigil
Education-conduct research

-gather facts and statistics

-collect news articles

-contact experts

-conduct interviews
-make a fact sheet

-make a pamphlet / brochure

-educate family, friends, and co-workers
-host a teach in

-organize a field trip / exposure visit
-give a speech

-make a presentation
Fundraising-create a budget

-open a bank account

-start an account book

-set up online donations
-ask members to contribute

-call donors and sponsors
-solicit donations in public

-start a kickstarter campaign
-host a fundraising event

-sell merchandise
Lobbying-research legislative process

-make a directory of legislators and officials

-prepare materials to give officials
-write letters to public officials

-circulate a petition

-find out if public officials will support the issue
-call public officials

-attend a town hall meeting
-organize a lobbying day

-visit officials at their local office

-propose legislation

-seek sponsors
Media-make a list of media outlets

-make a list or reporters, editors, and news desks

-write a letter to the editor

-write an op ed article

-call in on talk radio
-make a PSA for radio

-make a PSA for TV
-host a press conference

-send out a press packet / news advisory

-stage a photo op
Social Media-set up a website

-make a facebook page

-make a twitter account

-invite friends to join

-promote social media sites
-post articles to the blog

-post pictures on flickr

-post videos on youtube
-start a viral social media campaign
Outreach and Networking-make a contact list

-make a directory of groups and organizations

-map out key areas of outreach
-contact allied groups and organizations

-schedule meetings and appointments

-go to local offices and community centers
-go canvassing

-table at an event-hand out pamphlets and leaflets

-put up fliers and posters
-go door knocking

-organize a phone bank
Volunteers-contact members 

-set up an email listserv

-set up a calendar of events

-set up group emails and phone numbers

-send out action alerts
-host a conference call

-set up a group structure

-assign roles and responsibilities

-delegate tasks
-recruit new members

-host a volunteer training session

-develop leadership and teamwork
-send out a monthly newsletter

-report on progress and accomplishments