Which campaign techniques are you going to use?

Write a Letter

If your issue is related to the local community or the national government, it is a good idea to write to your local MP or councillor. You can find out their details here and also a record of how they’ve voted on key issues.

Postcards and petitions

Postcards and petitions are great visual ways of gathering momentum and quantifying just how many people are supporting you. Online petitions can be shared on social media which can quickly gather pace and postcards can have a huge impact if they are delivered to the key decision maker in bulk. 

Use the Media

Publicise your campaign! Ask if you can write about the issue in Palatinate or if they're willing to cover the campaign. Students, staff and lecturers read it and there are thousands of copies printed so it is great free publicity for your campaign – it also helps ensure that the campaign is directed towards the Durham University community.

Use Social Media

The reach of tools like Facebook and Twitter is a great way of expanding the reach of your campaign . Invite your friends to groups and pages and publicise events that way. On Twitter, try asking politicians or other famous figures to support your campaign.

Hold a campaign meeting

A good way to kick-start a campaign is to hold a campaign meeting. If you build intensively for the event, and hold stalls, leaflet and petition you should be able to get a good turnout. Remember to leave room for discussion and never end the meeting without planning with everyone what your next action is.

Hold a Protest

A protest, rally or march can be a visual way to campaign. Organise some speakers and make some placards for the event. This is a great way to enthuse volunteers and inject a bit of passion into your campaign – it’s also likely to be covered by media. It’s important that your protest is non-violent and you can find out more out your right to protest here.

Be creative

There are plenty of forms of direct action that don't involve smashing windows or doing anything else illegal. Creative actions, including sit-ins, occupations or something even more creative (e.g Durham for Accessible Education held a funeral for accessible education or Durham for Refugees held an art exhibition showing work from refugee children) can really draw attention to your issue.

Getting students involved

If you’ve been bothered enough to create a campaign – the chances are that you’re likely to be much more invested in the campaign than the average student. Don’t get too disheartened if you have to give the hard sell to some students. A good way to go this is to think directly about how it affects students - instead of assuming everyone is as passionate about the wider issues as you are. Of course, some students will also care about issues outside of Durham so it’ll be great to capitalise on this and get them more deeply involved with the campaign.

Get your campaign out there

Durham is a vibrant campus with so much going on so its important to put in the hard work to get your campaign known– some ideas are to hold stalls, post flyers advertising a meeting, get your messages into colleges to make your campaign as visible as possible so that people cannot claim to not know it was going on.

Giving your campaign team some ownership

To ensure that students feel involved in the campaigns process, hold regular planning meetings in an accessible venue to decide about best ways to proceed the campaign and keep up momentum with other members.

Giving your team defined roles

Student volunteers will commit doing things related to the campaign if its something they naturally enjoy. Therefore it’s a good idea to think of jobs such as helping to design leaflets, flyering, booking venues for events and giving the tasks to people who enjoy it. That it not to say that doing something new as part of a campaign is a bad thing – in fact it is a great way to develop new skills.

Never lose track of the end goal

You started this campaign for a reason and the end goal is why people got involved – volunteers will continue to help out if they feel as though progress is being made. Constantly stress the intention of your campaign and how you are progressing. It will keep up momentum of the campaign and by celebrating each win of the campaign will help get students talking about the great work you’re doing.