It is absolutely crucial in building your campaign that you control your message, aka the content and materials you use to promote your work. Your message is how you communicate your goals and the purpose of your actions to various parties- your members, the media, the decision-makers. If you are pushing a piece of legislation, then your message must refer to that legislation in a consistent and clear fashion. You must also have some agreement on who actually speaks on behalf of the campaign.
Your messaging should be concise, clear, consistent, and actionable.
Focus on saying what you want to say in as few words as possible. You will typically have a short window to educate and persuade your target audience, and your messaging needs to be compact enough to fit into that window.
When talking about your campaign, you want your message to be crystal clear. Leaving any room for interpretation or confusion can hurt your chances of success. Community members, including impacted people, should be able to clearly understand your campaign and call to action.
TIP: Avoid complicated language. Your messaging should relate to people in the community. Avoid academic jargon.
While every person who speaks on behalf of your campaign doesn’t need to say exactly the same thing, their messages need to have the same general content. If one member of the campaign says you want to end electronic monitoring and another says you are just fighting so people on EM can get more movement, your campaign cannot move ahead.
TIP: Try to ensure that your messaging is conveying the same message wherever it shows up.
The number one goal for campaign messaging is to motivate your audience to take action. You don’t want to leave your audience wanting more. Instead, you’ll want to give them the tools they need to join our fight. This can be as simple as signing an online petition, doing a retweet, or signing up to attend a city council meeting.
Additional things to consider when developing your campaign messaging:
- What is the main point you want people to know about your campaign?
- What action do you want them to take?
- Who is your target audience(s)?
- Who is best suited in your organization to speak to those target audiences?
TIP: In considering who delivers your message you need to take into account the characteristics of the target audience as well as who represents your organization and your campaign. The public faces of your organization need to take into account race, gender, gender identity, and national origin, as well as the demographics of the people who are most directly impacted by the issue.
Be mindful of who you are talking to and without watering down your message, speak to their particular interests.
Key points in arguing against pretrial EM