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

  • Featured Scotland Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    The air hangs thick this morning with the referendum. Last night a deep fog rolled down across Edinburgh, but in reality it is the campaign which has blotted the vision and stopped even the keenest of observers from seeing what lies just a few footsteps ahead. The final days has provided one crucial clarification though – the No campaign is capable of great passion and powerful rhetoric. Mocked, endlessly criticised, a reputation dragged through the muck. Despite it all – […]

    Read more →
  • News Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Thursday, 18th September, 8.30: Today is the day: polls opened an hour and a half ago, and will remain so until 22.00, for people across the Scotland to decide whether they want to remain part of the Union or become an independent country. 97% of the electorate (4,285,323 people) are registered to vote – the highest number the country has ever known for an election or referendum. Of these, 789,024 are postal vote applications, the largest number ever recorded in Scotland. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Scotland Please don’t go

    Please don’t go

    I’m pretty well known for writing from a personal perspective. So I thought a column comparing the pain I feel about the referendum to the pain of my divorce would be easy to write. maybe a little trite even. How can this compare to that kind of personal pain? Well, it does. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. I feel like a lover treading on eggshells desperate to please. I really, really don’t want Scotland to leave me. So yes, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    “Solidarity” has always been a special word for me. But it has never been an easy one to define. Loyalty, unity, mutual support; all of those come into it but none of them quite sums the word up properly. Somehow solidarity is the “whole” that is more than the sum of its parts. But however difficult solidarity may be to define, you know when you see it and you know it when you experience it. As a trade unionist and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Bring your old football kit to conference

    Bring your old football kit to conference

    Every football fan has got a favourite football strip. That kit your team wore when they won the Cup, or the first game you went to, the season you got promoted, or the first year you had a season ticket. I’ve got more football tops than I’d care to admit – Athletic Bilbao, Kaizer Chiefs, Brazil, Scotland, South Africa, for some reason Motherwell and Middlesbrough. I also have a couple belonging to a team from Glasgow that play in green […]

    Read more →