The midterm elections are over and news channels are already talking about 2016. But in social change organizations, campaign teams are sitting around tables or on conference calls reassessing how the election results could impact their campaign goals. This includes any organization or coalition that’s working to make a change from the city level all the way to the Hill.
If you’re one of these campaigners, below are the top five questions we recommend you think through to see if your campaign is on track or if it needs a course correction:
- What is the climate around your issue? Is it controversial? Positive and in line with your goals? Is it being driven mainly by your opposition, or is it relatively neutral?
- What’s the current support for your issue? Do you already have champions from the policy, public or business world (or other champions depending on your campaign goals)? Or do you have to woo supporters?
- What are the top messages conveyed by policymakers talking about your issue—both for and against? How about their constituents? Are they with you, against you or do people not know about you? Who is most often quoted in traditional and social media coverage, and what are they saying?
- What new opposition are you facing as a result of the elections? Who are they, and how much do you know about them? Scan their campaign websites or past voting records (if available), sign up for their email lists and social media channels, track their media coverage, listen to their speeches and know their talking points.
- What connections do you have with these new policymakers or government representatives? Who can help influence the change you seek? Think about the potential decision makers or influencers you’ll need, and make note of how closely connected you are to each one.
Of course, there are a lot of other questions to consider if you’re crafting your campaign plan for the first time. Spitfire has a collection of smart tools and resources to help you evaluate your campaign climate and craft a winning strategy available at www.planningtowin.org. If your campaign team could use a training or facilitation support to put your campaign plan together, contact Allyson Boucher at firstname.lastname@example.org.