This page contains a range of resources to help you get started with a campaign as we as advise on a range of common campaigning activities such as letter writing.
- Planning and organising a Campaign.
- BN Endorsement and Support - How to Submit a Campaign Proposal.
- How to write a campaign letter.
If you have any comments or suggestions of additional resources and links that we could add to this section then please let us know.
How to Plan and Organise a Campaign
There are a number of good general guides on the internet on how to plan and run a good campaign. The KnowHowNonProfit website has a great guide that provides a wealth information on campaigning and influencing and covers:
- Analysing the issue
- Developing the Strategy
- Planning your campaign
- Delivering and monitoring Progress
BN Endorsement and Support
BN is keen to support initiatives which further its campaign objectives and complement other ongoing activity.
If you would like BN endorsement or support for your campaign (or indeed would like it taken up as a BN led initiative) then this needs to be agreed in advance and it is strongly recommended that you consider this as part of your initial planning process and do not, for example, leave it to the point that the support is actually required.
- Endorsement includes the use of the BN logo and name.
- Access to expertise from the BN campaigns and legal teams.
- Use of the BN website and other online facilities.
- Marketing support, including promotion in the BN magazine, on the BN website or through BN social media channels.
- Support from BN head office and other staff.
In order to request endorsement or support you need to submit a proposal by clicking on the button below. The BN office will arrange for it to be considered by the various teams whose support you require. Requests for support will consider issues such as:
- How the campaign will further BN's own campaign objectives.
- How the campaign plan fits with BN's campaigning strategy.
- Whether or not the campaign plan complements or conflicts with other ongoing activity.
- For support requests, whether or not the necessary teams have the available capacity to support the initiative properly.
- Whether there will be a cost involved in providing support.
- Whether there is a risk to BN (reputational, legal, financial etc) and how well this is controlled and mitigated.
- The likelihood of the campaign achieving its goals.
If you would like further advice on how best to plan your campaign and what support might be available then please contact the relevant team:
- email@example.com for advice on how best to plans your campaign, on aligning it to BN's campaign objectives and strategy and how to maximise the likelihood of success.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for any aspects of the law in relation to Naturism.
- email@example.com for advice on all aspects of marketing and the use of BN brand materials.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on the use of the BN website or another online systems (such as website hosting or access to online survey tools or newsletters).
- email@example.com for advice on risk, budgets and head office support.
Please note that the use of the BN name, logo or other materials is not permitted without the express written permission of the General Secretary or as part of an agreed campaign plan. BN membership or status as a volunteer does not of itself confer any permission to use the BN name, logo or other materials.
How to Write a Campaign Letter
Writing to Local Representatives
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get involved in any campaign is to contact your elected representatives - local councillors and Members of Parliament (or their equivalent). Politicians pay attention when potential voters write to them or send them a postcard. They pay more attention when they receive a well written personal letter which forces them to do more than send a generic letter back.
How to find your Local Representatives
If you don't know who your local councillor and MP (MEPs, MSPs, or Northern Ireland, Welsh and London AMs) are then there are several excellent websites that you can use to find out who represents you. Two of the best are: http://www.theyworkforyou.com and http://www.writetothem.com.
Key points when writing to local representatives
- Identify yourself as a constituent.
- Make it very clear what you are asking your representative to do.
- Ask for a reply.
- Keep it short: One side of A4, in 11or 12 point text is enough. Leave space for your address and signature. Make sure it looks like a letter not a big page of text. Politicians are busy, and have short attention spans. Offer to send them more information if they’re interested and/or you feel you need to.
- Keep it simple: Tell the reader what you are going to say, and what you want them to do in the first line. Only include one ask in a letter, even if there are others things you want the reader to do. Save them for another time.
- Make it personal to you: Think about what the problem/solution will mean to you, and how it will affect your life. Tell the reader why you care enough to write this letter.
- Make it personal to them: Think about how you can suggest why the reader should care. Perhaps how it will affect him/her, the area they live in, or how it will affect an area that they are specifically interested in. Research is key here.
- Be polite: Even if you’ve disagreed with the reader on almost everything in the past be nice to them. Expect the best, use relevant titles, try to word things you disagree with as suggestions about how things could be better.
- Do not feel you have to use formal or elaborate phrases, straightforward, polite wording is always acceptable. Use language that is natural to you, and always keep the tone polite. Here are a few suggestions, but please do not feel you have to follow a formula.
How to turn a briefing into a personal letter
Experienced politicians are good at spotting generic campaign letters, and quite quickly the central party office will issue a template response to all of their MPs. The objective is to avoid this happening to you, and to force your politician to actually think about their response.
- Further research: If we have issued a campaign 'call to arms' then this will include the basics about the issue, but if you have time do a little bit more research. We will often provide you some links, but use Google and Google news to find out more. If you can find a relevant media article, or a few more key facts then this will help you personalise your letter. For example I saw an article in the Telegraph on censorship and the need to protect vulnerable people.
- Words and phrases: Use different words, phrases language, swap the arguments around and never copy and paste bits of text. Try to avoid sounding like an academic textbook, avoid using too much technical jargon and too many figures. If you need to use some jargon, then make sure you understand what you are saying.
- If in doubt familiarise yourself with the briefing and then write your letter without referring to it, if you can’t remember the exact details don’t use them. Use your own words and style, and remember you do not need to be an expert, only a concerned constituent.
- Imagine the conversation: Use your own style, but perhaps imagine your letter as a conversation with a reader you know well. Present your argument, imagine how they will respond, present your counter argument, imagine how they will try to avoid committing themselves to doing something, and then present why they have to do something about it.
- Use the relationship: If you have had contact with the politician before then use that relationship. Thank them for their help on past issues, and suggest you’re confident they can help you this time. Alternatively explain why although you have disagreed in the past, you think that this is the issue they can help you with, tell them why they should.
- If in doubt post it: vary the way you contact your local politicians, use email, online web forms, comment on their blog, perhaps even pick up the phone, but if you’re unsure print your letter of send it by post. The more effort you put in, the more likely they are to read it.
Finally: Try and make your letter interesting. Ask a friend / partner to read it and if they find it sends them to sleep, shorten it, liven it up, include a joke, but do something.
Starting your letter
You can usually start by identifying yourself, or by referring to a particular issue:
I write as a member of British Naturism - which is the representative body for Naturists in the UK and campaigns for clarity in the law and a greater understanding and acceptance of Naturism.
I am a Naturist living in Southampton, and am concerned about what is happening in our local area. I was very concerned to read about the case of ...
(Name) is a local Naturist and I understand that he/she has been arrested whilst walking naked on...
Making your request
The central part of your letter should make a specific request to the person you are writing to.
The draft ... Bill currently going through Parliament will have a significant impact on Naturists and I am writing to ask that you oppose the Bill because...
At next months' meeting the local council will be asked to vote ... and I am asking that you vote against this motion because...
Ending your letter
- Try to include a phrase that encourages a reply.
- Make sure your name is clearly legible: printing in capitals helps.
- Yours respectfully or Yours sincerely are the best endings.
I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you will vote against this Bill.
I should welcome an opportunity to meet with you at ... so that I can highlight these issues to you in person.