21st century Campaigning

March 9, 2012 1:17 pm

What does a 21st century party look like for…Field Operations and Campaigning?

Successful campaigns are built on effective candidates, a well thought out strategy, a clear structure, and a vision built upon the priorities of the local community.  Campaigns also hinge on involving and motivating volunteers, and on this count, we’re not always hitting the mark.

Currently campaigning in the party too often fails to properly explain itself and connect the campaigning activity people are asked to do with the vision of the campaign and the longer- term work of the party.  Campaigns are often too hierarchical and suffer from campaign teams which lack the skills and vision to facilitate proper involvement and create a meaningful experience for volunteers. This in turn leads to a situation of us and them in many campaigns – a small number of “elite” roles which develop strategy, plans and undertake creative activities, as compared to the majority who undertake repetitive, low skilled activities which offer little variety, excitement or opportunity for learning.

To motivate volunteers, campaigns must create a wide a range of participatory roles that A) connect to existing skills and interests and B) provide the opportunity for all volunteers to learn new skills and develop as they are involved in the campaign.

The Party should therefore work to support and develop the skills and capacity of campaigners and campaign teams across the country and share best practice between them. This will involve the development and implementation of more up to date technology that enables more autonomy and flexibility of working at the local level.

The Party must also enable local parties and campaigns to see the relationships with their volunteers as “long term investments” and support this culture change with relevant training for campaign teams and in turn learning opportunities for volunteers at all levels.

The new Executive Director will also need to respect locally developed campaign strategies and messages – and support a culture change in campaigning which allow members to listen and talk to the public and build up local  relationships over time.

This post is part of a series produced by LabourList and Labour Values.

Latest

  • Comment Labour’s immigration policies are excellent – we need to champion them on the doorstep

    Labour’s immigration policies are excellent – we need to champion them on the doorstep

    The pistol has been fired and the race has begun. For many Labour activists door knocking and phone banking has become a regular part of evenings and weekends as the fight to return a Labour government on 7 May intensifies. Over the past few weeks two topics of doorstep conversation have leapt out at me. One is the passion felt by people of all ages, particularly the older generation, for the NHS. The second, predictably, is public concern over immigration. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Make National Community Service compulsory

    Make National Community Service compulsory

    Last month David Cameron called for all 18- to 21-year-olds who have failed to find a job or a place in training to be forced to undertake community work. Under Tory plans those aged between 18 and 21 who have not had a job for six months will be barred from claiming benefit unless they agree to start an apprenticeship or complete community work. The plan is designed to ensure that the 50,000 young people “most at risk of starting […]

    Read more →
  • News London Mayoral candidate attempts to crowdfund cost of campaign

    London Mayoral candidate attempts to crowdfund cost of campaign

    Labour candidates for Mayor will be trying to fund their campaigns in all manner of ways – but Christian Wolmar (the transport expert who joined the race first and remains the only candidate who isn’t an elected politician) has gone down the crowdfunding route. Wolmar is trying to raise £3,000 for his campaign by next week – and has currently raised nearly half of that sum. Although as with all crowdfunding, he must raise the whole sum or he gets […]

    Read more →
  • News “State sanctioned abuse” has taken place Yarl’s Wood, says Cooper

    “State sanctioned abuse” has taken place Yarl’s Wood, says Cooper

    Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, has asked an urgent question in the Commons about abuse allegations at Yarl’s Wood. Yarl’s Wood is an immigration detention centre that opened in 2001. Ever since then guards (who come from private company Serco, which runs the facilitiy) are have faced serious accusations that there has been ongoing mistreatment of the people detained in the facility. This includes reports of sexual abuse and degrading treatment. On Monday, Channel 4 aired a documentary which had […]

    Read more →
  • News 75% of Labour PPCs want Trident gone, poll finds

    75% of Labour PPCs want Trident gone, poll finds

    75% of Labour PPCs want to see Trident scrapped, according to information collected by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). CND have surveyed 79 Labour prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) – which includes both current MPs and new candidates. Of those asked, 75%  said they wouldn’t vote to renew Trident. This is roughly a quarter more than those who said the same in a ComRes poll for the BBC Sunday Politics in September last year (which surveyed 73 people). Meanwhile, in the CND […]

    Read more →