3.3(a) We’re in this together


To build up a full list of people and organisations the group wants to contact and to identify what it wants from them.

You need

Flipchart or roll of paper, marker pens, activity sheet 23 and at least an hour.

What to do

Cartoon illustrating topic

The activity will work best if you pick up from the earlier activities in this unit and draw upon the group’s agreed priority to help you look at the sorts of friends and allies you’ll need to help you achieve your goal. Or, it might help you to start with a fanciful example to explore a wide range of ideas about who might support you. It could be a global, national or local project, on environmental or social issues. If you do start with a fanciful example, you will then need to do the activity with your priority for action in mind.

a) Write the title of the campaign on a sheet of paper or activity sheet 23. Then do a word storm on a flipchart of all the local and national organisations and individuals you can think of who it may be worthwhile contacting for support for your project. Who else might be running a similar campaign? What success have they had? What can we learn from them? Think not only what do we want from them, but also what we can offer them or how will they benefit. You might want to divide into smaller groups and then come back together to pool your findings.

b) When you can’t think of any more, group together the contacts on your lists, for example under headings like media, politicians, businesses, residents. You could circle the similar ones in the same colour pen, or use wool or string or draw lines between those you want to group together. What are the sorts of groups you are coming up with? Having grouped your contacts together, now list them on a new piece of flipchart or roll of paper on the left hand side, as in the example below.

c) It is important when contacting potential supporters to be clear what you are asking them for and how they might benefit. So, next to your list of contacts agree what sort of help you want from them and write it down in the second column. Write down any benefits to them in the third column. You can colour code your chart, or cross-reference by numbers, depending on what you want from all your list of potential contacts. Here are some of the possible things you may want from them:

  1. Information
  2. Advice
  3. Their active involvement in your campaign
  4. Money
  5. Their influence on other people

Add in any others:

Title of action or campaign
Who do we want to contact? What do we want from them? What do they want from us?
Youth groups
Local groups
National organisations
Local media
National media
Local councillors
Local officers
National Government/MPs
Pressure groups
Community groups
Local businesses

What next?

Now that you have identified your potential sources of support, you need to do some detective work to build up a picture of them and how they might help. Then the really hard work starts in approaching them to get them to commit to your cause or campaign. The next unit will help you work out a range of effective ways to contact and communicate with these individuals and groups that you want on your side. But first, you need to find out more about them.


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