Thanks to all of you who joined us for our first Twitter Q&A. We loved hearing from you! Here are some of the questions posed from our brilliant twitter community, answered by our associate and leading campaign strategist, Jim Coe. @jim_coe
Q: What’s your top tips for successful campaigning in the current climate?
JC: Embed your links and accountability into the communities you support (which isn’t just about user voice), and delegate and distribute agency. Don’t just focus on incremental wins, campaigning should be about fundamental causes as well. Find space to reflect on strategy.
What are the key enablers and the barriers for people to carry out real and progressive social change/campaigning today?
JC: NGOs’ perceived need for control is a key barrier, @Netchange have great examples of importance of ’cause not brand’ approach. Linked to that is the importance of letting go, creating distributed networks of support, see http://www.losingcontrol.org/ as a great example.
How can we fulfil the desires of supporters and the needs of ‘beneficiaries’ at the same time?
JC: It’s too easy for NGOs to focus on supporters’ interests, they need to root that in what’s important for affected groups & identify the overlaps.
Is the charity sector geared up to respond to the challenges?
JC: There are great campaigners and some impressive campaigns in NGOs, but orgs don’t always make it easy. We say here http://thesocialchangeagency.org/dont-fk-formula/ there are issues around disconnectedness, control, hierarchy and timidity.
In light of all the turmoil in the UK in the last year, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the campaigning world?
JC: Campaigners are thinking a lot more about communications and powerful stories, but I would like to see more attention to power, especially around hidden power and decision making.
How can campaigners prepare for these increasingly uncertain times?
JC: I think we need to focus on building connections to the communities we work with and by working together with broad networks to create bigger impact. With all the surrounding volatility, we need to be prepared and need to be able to react quickly when things change, long term planning is less useful.