Strategic Campaign Plan

Strategic campaign plan (individual assessment, 70%) 2500words

The assessments in this module are linked. Work on the same brief throughout. In this third assessment, you build on the research insights from the group work and the feedback on your key strategic campaign idea that you presented in the Dragons Den. You should also draw on your own analysis and creativity, and on the best practice planning approaches we have looked at during the module.

Develop your ideas into a full strategic campaign plan, plus supporting communications materials. There is no single ‘right way’ to respond to a campaign brief and part of the challenge is to identify (and justify) the strategy that you believe is most likely to win the campaign. You may make assumptions about the brief as necessary to develop your ideas, and you may base the campaign in a country other than the UK if you choose to do so. Your strategic campaign plan should include:

  • Situation analysis (research insights and analysis eg using problem tree, planning star, power cube and / or influencers matrix – you may refer back to your group research poster or Padlet in this section
  • Stakeholders including allies and targets and their perspective / stake in your issue: eg ministers, MPs, civil servants, your members / supporters, media, business leaders, celebrities / ambassadors, beneficiaries, other not for profit
    • rganisations – again you may refer back to your group research poster in this section
  • SMART campaign objectives
  • Your strategy plus a rationale for why you have chosen that approach (eg have you chosen an insider / outsider approach; policy window; behaviour change etc – and why do you think this approach is the most effective?) wildcard
  • Creative theme, messaging and tactics (both online and offline as appropriate, for example lobbying, supporter engagement and mobilisation and / or media)
  • An indicative timeline (eg when and how should this launch? What milestones / news hooks will take place during the first 3 months?) and ideas for evaluating


  • Communications materials designed to showcase media hooks in the campaign and / or to mobilise new and existing supporters to act in support of the campaign. wildcard

wildcard Students who choose the strategy wildcard will produce 2 – 3 communications materials only, and will be expected to write a more in depth analytical section on their strategy (600-800 words) that draws on concepts such as theories of change, power etc to discuss their strategic choice. Students who choose the communications wildcard will produce 5 – 6 communications materials, and may write a briefer strategy section (200 words) based on their research insights and class materials only.

The communications materials may include:

  • a media release;
  • an email action alert;
  • a social media content schedule
  • a series of Tweets;
  • content for Instagram;
  • an infographic;
  • a short video or video storyboard;
  • mocked up ideas for an app;
  • or a news story / feature for the supporter magazine or website.
  • Students may be able to produce other materials, subject to approval.

Tips for preparing your strategic campaign plan:

  1. Read the briefs carefully and look at the organisations’ websites (including news archives), social media channels and recent news coverage featuring them. You should monitor your chosen charity or NGO, whose campaign brief you have chosen, by following them on social media and setting up Google alerts for news stories about them.
  2. Think about the constraints these organisations work under, and their
    • pportunities for alliances and supporter engagement. Who has the power to create the change the brief calls for? What approach might help deliver that?
  3. Look the reading list, and the key readings and resources flagged for each week. Each week’s class relates to one section of your final plan.

Reading list

Students are encouraged to draw on relevant concepts and skills they have covered in semester 1, whether in 7MEDS013W Critical Issues in Campaigning (eg power, values, framing, theories of change) or in their semester 1 modules on diversity, development or media and content production.

You can access the interactive reading list through the Learning Resources section of the module folder on Blackboard. The reading list includes essential texts, further reading and useful websites. The interactive format should take you straight to the individual electronic text, library record or relevant website when you click on its name.

There are several copies of the core texts available but with a large class you are advised to read / copy / download them ahead of time. The two core texts are:

Chris Rose (2010) How to win campaigns: communications for change – e-book

Aidan Ricketts (2012) The activists’ handbook: a step-by-step guide to participatory democracy – e-book

We also recommend Brian Lamb (2011) National Council for Voluntary Organisations The good guide to campaigning and influencing (not available as an e-book)

This list is supplemented by a selection of current best practice guides, handbooks and workbooks from leading campaigning organisations such as The Change Agency, Common Cause, NCVO, Charity Comms, Beautiful Rising and the Frameworks Institute.

We will upload more resources and/or lecture slides in the Learning Resources section before each class. Please take time to browse through the module Blackboard site and familiarise yourself with all the resources there.