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Deciding whom your campaign will target

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When you set your campaign aim, you will have identified whom your campaign will target – the people and decisions you want to influence. Using a technique called ‘influence mapping’, you can now identify and prioritise the routes you will take to influence your targets.

To do this, you must know exactly who makes the decisions you want to influence and at what levels – often there may be chains of decision-makers. Then you can work out how you will reach the ultimate decision-makers. The people you may have to go through in order to exercise any influence are often referred to as ‘influencers’.

Think creatively about potential influencers, such as any personal contacts you or your stakeholders may have. Brian Lamb suggests using your organisation’s trustees, other organisations and shared interest groups, as having multiple entry points is useful if officials are blocking you and you need to get to your target from other angles.

Creating an influence map

An influence map is simply a way of capturing and depicting this information. It takes stakeholder mapping (see Developing Your Campaign Strategy) one step further by identifying the specific individuals and groups with power to affect a decision. NCVO’s Good Guide to Campaigning and Influencing explains how to create an influence map with an example and questions you will need to ask yourself about the targets and influencers you identify, which include:

  • Might any individuals or groups identified on your map be potential allies? If so, how can you involve or co-opt them?
  • Are they opponents? If so, how much information do you want to give them about your campaign strategy?
  • Is everyone on your list already decided about the issue or could they be persuaded?
  • Who do you want to reach and what do you want them to do?

To influence someone you need to understand ‘what makes them tick’. For example, the way you persuade an MP who has no particular interest in your issue will not be the way you engage GPs who already have detailed knowledge on the subject.


Page last edited Jun 13, 2017

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