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How to Campaign

John Stewart's top tips for beating the system: (copied from BBC website!)

  1. Campaign pro-actively: Develop an identity and use it to stay ahead of the opposition. Always try to keep opponents on the back foot.
  2. Use the media: Particularly if your pressure group does not have the resources to employ teams of public relations people. The media is your voice and is the way the world will hear your concerns.
  3. Press releases: Put them out during quiet times, like Bank Holidays when the media is looking for stories and the establishment is not easily available to respond.
  4. Build alliances: Link up with groups that have a similar stance, to give greater weight to campaigns and to share the cost.
  5. Be clear: Don't sound like a person from outer space! Express your views in a way that is easily understood by the general public and MPs.
  6. Solutions: Try to come up with ways of resolving the issue. For example, it is not our job to say where a new airport should be built, but equally pressure groups do not get anywhere by just saying "it's a problem". You must at least engage with the other side and talk about what the solution could be.
  7. Direct action: The last resort. If every single other avenue has failed, direct action should be considered. It does have its risks. You put yourself completely outside the system. Very few MPs will publicly associate themselves with direct action and you may lose the support of ordinary members of the public.

NB: This person was campaigning against a increased traffic at Heathrow, hence airport references.

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