Planning your Campaign

 

How do I plan my Campaign?

At NUSU, we want to support you so that you feel confident to run a successful campaign and know where to access the right support. SO. Where do you start?

If you are reading this, you probably know that you want to change something, whether it is a process, policy, procedure or a change to attitudes and ideas.

The first thing to consider is whether a campaign is necessary to make your change. Or is it as simple as just asking the right person the right question? Let us know your idea and we can advise you. Click 'Read More...' to find out how to plan your campaign.

If you do decide that a campaign is the best way to create your change, it is time to start planning. 

Aims and Objectives

The first thing you need to do is define your campaign aim and objectives.

Your aim is the overall change you want to make. For example: 

“To reduce the cost of eating on campus”

Your objectives are specific goals that will help you to achieve this general aim. For example:

“The cost of hot drinks to be reduced to £1.30 at Newcastle University catering outlets by the end of this semester.”

“The Robinson Library to install a microwave for student use by the end of the academic year”

The number of objectives should be determined by what you think is necessary to achieve your aim. However, when devising your objectives you want to try and make them SMART.

You also need to think about how you will measure your achievements. When it is a change to a process, procedure or policy, this is often easy to measure. However, if it is a change in attitudes and ideas, you might have to be more creative, perhaps by running surveys, getting quotes or taking photos.

Planning your Activities

Once you have your aim and objectives sorted, you need to decide how you are going to achieve them. When planning these you want to make sure that they are always linked to helping you to achieve your aim and objectives.

Suggested Campaign Activities

Here are just a few examples of what NUSU Officers and students have used to campaign with in the past. Videos / Petitions / Keynote speakers / Panel  discussions / Demonstrations / Craftivism / Posters / Stalls / Events

If you are looking for some inspiration, reflect on effective campaigns that you have seen or heard about in the past or let us know what you are thinking of doing and we can help.

How to budget correctly?

When planning your campaign, it is important to consider how much it is going to cost and whether you have the funds available to cover these costs. This will really help you also if you are planning to apply for the Campaigns Fund, or one of our grants. 

At NUSU, there are a number of different funding opportunities that you may be able use to access the funds that you need to run your campaign. Click 'Read more...' below to see what kind of funding we have available for you. 

If you are not sure about what funding is available, then let us know and we can point you in the right direction.

For example:

  • If you are part of a Society you may want to apply for a Special Grant.
  • If you are looking to run a student-led volunteer project, check out Go Volunteer’s grants.
  • If you are looking to campaign and you are not supported by a Society, Sports Club or Go Volunteer project, check out our Campaigns Fund  where you can apply for up to £300 and support for your campaign.

 

When applying for this funding, you will need to break down the costs of your campaign. Think about the different activities that you want to undertake and itemise the costs associated with each of these. This, plus any overall costs (such as promotion), will give you a good idea on how much you will need. Remember to explore ways to keep costs down and don’t forget to look around for the best price.

The importance of working together

To help promote, grow and develop your campaign you will need the support of like-minded individuals or groups. These are often to referred to as your campaigning allies and it is good to have as many of allies as possible.

Examples of allies could include societies, clubs, reps or your NUSU Officers. Click 'Read more...' to see how these groups and individuals couls really add to the planning and oeverall success of your Campaign. We really promote cross-student alliance when working on great projects such as these. 

  • Societies: particularly if the Society is linked to what you are trying to change. For example, if you want to run a campaign about conserving the environment, you may want to contact the Eco Society. 
  • Sports Clubs: especially if you want to run an active campaign. For example, at NUSU we have supported the This Girl Can campaign with a number of Sports Clubs offering taster sessions.
  • Your Reps: there are Reps on your course, in your halls and out in your local community. They all meet with some of the big decision makers for the areas they are represent, so they could have a lot of influence in helping you achieve the change you want to see.
  • NUSU Officers: your Full-Time Officers and volunteer Liberation Officers can be a strong source of support for your campaign, particularly if it relates to their role.
  • University Staff: if you know of any University staff that support what you are trying to change, then they could be a great ally. They may be able to help spread the word, particularly amongst other staff, who may well be the ones you need to convince.
  • External Groups or Organisations: may be able to offer support, expertise or guidance related to your Campaign. In some circumstances, they may even want to be part of it. It is often worth showing that the change you want to see happen affects those outside of the University as well and some of these external organisations can be powerful allies.

The more people supporting and backing your campaign the more influence and opportunity you have.

You may also want to consider the support of NUSU Student Council. Student Council is great place to gain support for your campaign. By submitting a motion you can publically announce your campaign aims and potentially gain the support of Student Council members. The University sees Student Council as a representative student group and tends to listen to their views on student concerns. You can also use motions to mandate a NUSU Officer to support and promote your campaign in the meetings they attend.

How do I promote my campaign?

People will probably need to know that your campaign is happening! Whether it’s recruiting helpers or attracting attendees to events and activities, getting the word out and engaging the right people is often the hardest part of running a campaign.

Students are bombarded with messaging so you need to make sure that your campaign stands out from the crowd. Your promotion should be as creative, exciting, and relevant as the campaign itself. At NUSU, we can potentially help you to promote your campaign through:

  • Website articles
  • Social media promotion
  • Images on NUSU digital screen
  • Features in emails
  • Support to setup promotional stalls around campus

When you plan you campaign, it is worth coming to speak to us in the Your Voice department so we can discuss how to best promote it. If you are part of a Society, you can submit promotion requests here.

 

Post-Campaign Evaulation

 

Your Campaign Evaluation

The best way to assess whether your campaign was successful is to consider if you achieved your aims and objectives. If you have - congratulations! 

Even if you did not meet your aims and objectives, it is still important to record any other positive outcomes. For example, a campaign that did not lead to a reduction in the cost of eating on campus might have nevertheless secured a commitment from the University to a review food prices.

When conducting your evaluation, you may want to consider the following questions. Click 'Read more...' to see some of our examples.

  • Did you achieve your aims and objectives?
  • Were there any other positive benefits to running the campaign?
  • What went well and why?
  • What could have been improved and why?
  • Did you engage who you needed to engage with the campaign?
  • If you were to run your campaign again, what, if anything, would you do differently and why?
  • Are you going to continue with your campaign? If so, what are your next steps?

 

The Feedback Process

It is essential that you let students know the outcome of your campaign - this helps us to continue promoting the campaign. Therefore, after your campaign put together some information about how you got on:

  • Tell us about your campaign aims and objectives and whether you were successful in achieving them.
  • Let us know if there were any other positive outcomes from your campaign.
  • Use any quotes, photos or statistics that you gathered.

We can then publish website articles, videos or blogs on our website and promote through our emails and social media highlighting how you have made a difference to students on campus.

Do you need to go again?

‘Campaigns are not made of one-time actions. In fact, change has never happened because of a single rally. Campaigns win because they are sustained and involve building pressure over time’. 

If you are looking to make a significant change then a single action might not be enough. Your first campaign might have been a good start but perhaps you need to influence more people or campaign in a different way to truly deliver the change that you want to see.

If so, don’t give up! Take what you have learnt from your first campaign and build on it. Reflect on what has come out of your evaluation, what has changed since your first campaign, whether you have gained new allies, whether there any new sources of money and most importantly of all, what your new aims and objectives are.

 

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