Campaigning with your heart and your head

I recently came back from Almaty in Kazakhstan, where I was running an advocacy campaigns workshop for parent groups across the country. It was great to have the opportunity to do this in person, despite the temperature being 36 degrees!

I ran through the twelve key questions that I think you need to be able to answer before you can run a successful advocacy campaign. With simultaneous translation into Russian, it was hard sometimes to be sure that everyone was on board during the workshop.

But I was heartened at the end of the workshop when one participant came up to me. She said that in the past she had just done her advocacy based on instinct, but now for the first time she felt that she also had a structure for her planning.

I could really relate to her. When I first started out campaigning, I did just the same thing – I acted on instinct. And once I had run a few campaigns, as a teacher, I set out to try to explain how I had gone about trying to campaign. That was over 20 years ago, and I have been honing my teaching approach to help people to campaign. My experience in Kazakhstan was just the latest iteration of that learning journey.

She then said that after the workshop, she felt that for the first time she could campaign with both her heart and and her head. I loved that feedback. Yes, you can learn some advocacy campaigning tools, but you should never lose that passion that got you going in the first place. Campaigning with both your heart and your head can be very effective!

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