This is the picture: There is a public debate happening (or should be occurring) around legislative action (or inaction) that will influence something you value. Maybe it’s your product or your policy position on an important issue. Let’s call it your ‘P’. You intend to take action, to improve the controversy or spark one into life.
It’s the digital age group and it’s only getting ultimately more digital, and that means you want a social media component to your action. Which makes sense and it is, usually, a good notion. But how will you build a technique to get the most out of such a campaign? Should you take part in paid promotion to boost your content?
What are the hidden pitfalls? You can find books that might be written to answer these questions. You can find books written on creating engaging content already. This post assumes you have a campaign concept and content. Instead, we will go through the fundamentals of putting a campaign into practice, step-by-step. It is important from the outset to take a step back again before investing time and resources, and to consider some tough(ish) questions.
These questions should really be dealt with and re-addressed continuously throughout an internet campaign, and it is essential to begin here. Of all First, think about goals specific to the campaign itself. Your starting point is: Where would a digital campaign participate in other steps you are taking to achieve your goals? Online activity may end up being the central campaign mechanism you choose, but it’ll always be only 1 approach to influencing the general public conversation.
It is important to think about the option of a social media campaign in the wider context of campaign tools, and how they can work collectively. Every player in the public conversation has limited sources of money and time. How can a digital campaign be structured to ensure yours are spent the most effectively?
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Do you have time to check the water with a proof-of-concept or will time pressure indicate you want to visit straight into a multi-channel social media blitz? What sort of budget is available for promotion? How will this be targeted? Do you have the personnel know-how and time for you to do the advertising campaign in-house or how about outside help? Once you’ve considered the practicalities above, reserve your P for the moment and think about your wider organisational goals. How might an online campaign around your P affect these goals, and vice versa? Digital promotions don’t happen in vacuum pressure and may have knock-on impacts you don’t want, within the brief and long term.
They could also yield benefits beyond the term of the campaign. Are you offering a controversial product? If so, could a cultural media campaign become a lightening pole for hostile activists active online 24/7? Is your advertising campaign time-limited (e.g. tracking the span of a legislative document)? If so, will you let that groundwork go to waste after the deadline has handed, or will there be a means you can pivot and utilise the next and increased profile you have gathered in the years ahead?