Identifying and framing goals can be challenging. The goal is the recognisable ‘demand’ around which you will attract people to support your campaign. However, if it is not properly articulated, you can end up pursuing a false goal. For example, a group opposed to a merger of two landlords might demand that they be fully consulted. This softer framing may be useful as a first step as other tenants and residents might agree that there should be consultation but be undecided at that point on the question of whether the merger should go ahead. Adopting this as the initial goal therefore draws them and allows space to discuss the pros and cons of merger.
However, the risk is that the goal makes the group a hostage to fortune – they might achieve their goal but find that the outcome is to merge, and they have left it too late to campaign in outright opposition to the merger. In this way, it can be tricky to set the right goal.
As pointers, it might be useful to draw up goals or slogans with a softer framing of demands which might attract a wider range of supporters, and then a list of bolder demands which, although they have a narrower appeal, challenge the orthodox view from the start. Then discuss these options with existing supporters.
Goals are rarely fixed in stone. Your campaign can have multiple goals, some of which emerge as the campaign develops provided that they don’t distract from the main focus of the campaign.