Hot tips for OurActionStation campaigners
Here are some of the practical things we’ve learned in working together for change - put together for the citizen campaigners using the OurActionStation community platform.
Scroll down to find resources on setting up a petition, growing the petition, communication, using social media, attracting media, mobilising offline, meeting your MP, tips on strategy, delivering your petition and more.
The OurActionStation platform puts the power in your hands to run campaigns to make a difference in our communities for a fair and flourishing New Zealand Aotearoa.
✊ Go to: About OurActionStation
Setting up an OurActionStation petition
A petition can be an effective tactic to build a supporter base for a campaign. Here’s a few simple points and FAQ for setting up a petition:
Plotting a path for change
It’s possible to achieve our goal without a plan; passion and intuition can get us a long way. Many campaigns grow with the public energy around an issue and respond naturally.
But an overview of where we’re going and how we expect to make change, will make it easier to work out what to do when things get stuck, and get others onboard with the campaign.
A campaign plan can be an ‘overview’ and as simple or as complex as you like. It can start by asking some simple questions:
- What’s our vision of a better future?
- What’s getting in the way, and how does it affect people?
- What could be done differently to fix it? What’s our solution and how would that benefit people?
- Who, or what organisation, has the power to do that?
- Who can influence them? How do we get their attention and convince them to do that?
- What makes this urgent?
⚡️ Read more: Planning a campaign for change
Getting more signatures
You’ve started on your campaign journey, launched a petition and got the first wave of signatures. After a week it tends to level off — so how do you continue to build support without a feature on the front page of the NZ Herald?
The following guide has suggestions that will help you think of options. This is a list of tactics, things that will move the campaign forward. It may be one tactic that suits your campaign especially, or a combination of tactics that work together at different times.
🚀 Go to: Getting more signatures
Choosing tactics from the toolbox
A petition once launched can be a powerful launchpad for other tactics to build a campaign for change. The ‘tactics toolbox’ contains options and approaches that can be used in different ways, in any order, depending on the situation, issue, the barriers that need shifting, or opportunities to capture.
Communication and your campaign
During our campaign we’ll be emailing our supporters, posting on social media, reaching out to media, taking and sharing photos of our events, and having real conversations at the local market.
We’ll be repeating our messages in different ways to different audiences over and over. How do we tell our story in a way that persuades, motivates and engages people to get involved?
🔥 Go to: Communication and your campaign
Meet your MP
One on one conversations with our elected representatives are effective in sharing ideas and influencing decisions. You can find out their position on your issue and also start to build a relationship for a long term campaign. It shows MPs that there are real people behind the issue and can inform your decisions on which tactics will work best to make change.
✊ For inspiration check out what Victor learnt from meeting his MP: How I met my MP to change the conversation around our justice system
Useful online tools for campaigners
A citizen campaigner often has to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and take on the roles of writer, designer, communications and IT! The following are websites that can help you when you and your team have these jobs to do.
How to deliver your petition to Parliament
Support for your petition is growing, you’ve gathered hundreds or thousands of signatures and the community is fired up. There is a crucial next step — delivering your petition. While petitions can target businesses, media organisations and local councillors, many are directed to our elected representatives at Parliament.
Read on to find out how to plan a successful petition delivery to Parliament, then use the Checklist to make sure you have everything in place — ready to deliver!
🤸🏽♂️ Read: How to deliver your petition to Parliament
Presenting to a Select Committee
If you present your petition to Parliament they are likely to give it to one of the select committees, the groups of politicians from different parties who discuss and seek advice on new laws, and review petitions from the public. The select committee may ask you to send a written submission and/or make an oral submission. After considering the petition and other evidence they will make a report and recommendation to Parliament.
The submission process is another opportunity in your campaign to talk with, update and invite contributions from your supporters and allies.
Written submissions can be both informative and engaging. MPs often have lots of facts and technical information and personal stories and perspectives from the people most affected are valuable for them.
Recommended posts from the ActionStation blog
Have you ever wondered if signing that petition ever makes a difference?
A community solution to cleaning up our plastic problem
Zoe Palmer was horrified to hear that a specialist service that helps Nelson youth in times of crisis is being merged into the adult service. So she did something about it.
Lauren and Ruby are two teenagers who ran a campaign that won millions of dollars of funding for better sex education around consent in high schools.
#LetUsFinish was one of the big successful outcomes of 2018 — Kera and her fellow students won an extension to the limit on loans and guaranteed more doctors will enter into our communities. This is how they did it.
Millan Ruka and his hapū were facing an uphill battle to regain control of Porotī Springs. Using the OurActionStation platform Millan mobilised over 800 ActionStation members to turn things around.
Throughout 2018 everyday folk have been using the OurActionStation community campaign platform to inspire many thousands of us to take action for change.
As we head into some summer holiday time it’s a chance to reflect on the challenges and successes of 2017 — but mainly the successes!
Recommended campaigner resource sites
This campaign tips page is being regularly updated, come back occasionally to check out more resources! In the meantime here is a list of the ActionStation campaign team’s fave resource sites.
💚 350.org trainings — An accessible site with many training resources with a climate focus
💚 Plan to win — An Australian-based training organisation
💚 Mobilisation Lab — Social change network with resources and newsletter
💚 Blueprints for Change — Co-created guides for campaigners by campaigners
💚 Aotearoa Fellowship, Advocacy Aotearoa — once a year, 10 week campaigns training course. Designed specifically for mid-senior leaders in social change, the Aotearoa Fellowship will super-charge your skills and energy, help you gain further confidence as a social change leader, and connect you with a community of your peers from across Aotearoa.
💚 The Workshop — a New Zealand agency that researches, trains and provides guides on ways of communicating that will change the conversation and build support for solutions that work.
💚 Beautiful Trouble — ‘A toolbox for revolution’; strategic tools and trainings
💚 Waging nonviolence — News about justice and peace movements around the globe.
💚 Ruckus — Strategy guide for campaigns and actions
💚 Stories for Advocacy — An engaging toolkit for using stories in advocacy campaigns
💚 Doing Our Bit — The Campaign to Double the Refugee Quota — In 2013, Murdoch Stephens began a campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. Inspired by his time living in Aleppo, Syria, over the next five years he built the campaign into a mainstream national movement — one that contributed to the first growth in New Zealand’s refugee quota in thirty years. (Listen to an interview with Murdoch).