There are a very wide range of tactics that you can use. Some are easy to establish, but do not mobilise active participation, for example, setting up an online petition. However, it is the activities which mobilise a community of participants are much more likely to lead to success. Stunts and innovative events are more likely to attract media attention but should not alienate target audiences. The five actions below are common to most campaigns.
Knock on your neighbours doors
This is an easy way to get a local campaign known in your area. Ask people what they think about their homes, their landlord, the time it takes to get repairs done. Ask who would like to be a member of a tenants’ or residents’ association.
Produce leaflets and posters
Giving a leaflet to people you talk to will help keep the issue in their minds and remind them of what they can do to support the campaign as well as giving the date, time, and venue for meetings. You can put leaflets through people’s doors and ask shops and businesses to display leaflets and posters for you. Don’t forget your local council usually provides noticeboards, often beside libraries or in the streets, where you can display a poster.
Work with other organisations to build capacity for your cause
There will probably be other groups in your area (and across the UK) who share similar concerns. Publicising your campaign through their networks will significantly increase your support base. Get in touch with community centres, trades councils, and national organisations, and make sure your local councillors and MP know what you are up to. You could also write letters to individuals and organisations asking for funding. Their replies will identify those people or organisations who support you, and those who don’t.
Launch a petition
Launching a petition is worthy of special mention and has two effects. It is a great way to get your message out to others, and a great way to demonstrate to landlords or other targets that there is a groundswell of opposition to their action or proposal. Paper petitions still work. Setting up stalls at local community events, or at tube and train stations, are excellent for speaking to people about what is happening and asking them to sign your petition. Alternatively, or alongside paper petitions, there are many online templates such as Change.org, or 38 Degrees.
Use a wide range of media
You can raise your profile through both mainstream and social media.If you can get the local or national press to run a story on your campaign, you will reach thousands of people. Also use the letters page in the media to get your message across. Social media is also now commonly used to by-pass the barriers of mainstream media outlets – think about own webpage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.
Other campaign tactics
There are a host of other actions that you can take including:
- Lobby the targets such as council or housing association board.
- Organise a rent strike.
- Issue window posters to local residents and tenants.
- Have stalls at events or outside key locations such as tube stations.
- Give out badges and stickers to increase your profile.
- Organise a stunt or eye-catching event for the media.
- Design a banner to make your campaign visible at events.