Picking your Campaign Strategies

It’s time to pick the campaign strategies you’ll use to get your key messages out to your target audience. Below you’ll find a list of these strategies with information about how to use each and the advocacy goals you’ll set for getting your message out.

There is a lot to choose from, so where to start?

  1. Your campaign type: Each campaign type align better with certain strategies better than others. Jump back to Phase 2.2 if you want to review the strategies we highlighted for each type.
  2. Your target audiences: What are the best strategies to reach your target audiences? Rank those strategies from most direct to least direct. You’ll want to prioritize the strategies that are most direct, because your audience is more likely to see and engage with your messages. For example, if your target audience is “teachers,” emailing them directly may be more powerful than posting to a social media account that they may or may not see.

Advocacy Goals

Each of the strategies below includes an “advocacy goal.” Advocacy goals measure what you’re actually doing to get your audience to take action. While your greenhouse gas goals measure your impact, advocacy goals measure your actions.

At the bottom of this page, you will tell us the strategies that your team will use for your project. For each strategy, you’ll also set your advocacy goals and tell us your starting point. These will be specific to the strategy you use and are detailed under each of the strategy descriptions found below.

  • We will publish four different social media posts to our club’s account and will contact 10 larger social media accounts to ask them to share our posts.
  • We will send two different email messages to a list of 525 parents on our PTA’s list.
  • We will make a presentation and present to the owners of three local businesses.
  • We will contact each of our city council members to ask for a meeting and will present during a city council meeting.

Measuring your Advocacy Reach

Under each strategy’s advocacy goals section, we will also be telling you what to track as you use the strategy. This is the actual amount of people that you reached, with a focus on students and community members. It is very important that you track your reach because it is one of the two ways you will show how impactful your project has been – the other being your impact on greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also one of the main ways our judges will decide which teams win an Eco-Grant!

If you have any questions about picking your campaign strategies, setting your advocacy goals, or measuring your reach, please reach out to your advisor!

The Campaign Strategies

Social Media Campaigns

Why use this strategy?

Social media has become the go-to place for people to discover new information, check news updates, and connect with friends and family. It can be one of the most important strategies to use in order to make sure your message is heard.

How does it work?

Asking Larger Account to Promote your Message

A great way to increase the visibility of your campaign and reach new audiences us by connecting with a social media account that has a bigger audience base. This account should be aligned with your campaign’s goals (for example, if you’re promoting a beach clean up event, look for accounts who also are also championing goals around clean oceans, zero waste, upcycling/reusability, etc.). Look at the number of followers they have and the kinds of content that they post to see if they are the right fit to share your message. Send them a direct message or email that lets them know who you are, why you want to connect and the content (picture and text) that you want them to share on their platform. Highlighting that you’re a student working on a project can be a big advantage, because they may want to wor!

Creating an Account for Your Team

If you’re allowed to do so, you can create a new social media account for your team. This is a great idea if your team or group will continue to work together for at least a couple of years and you’re committed to growing the account. If not, you’ll be putting in a lot of time and effort into growing the following of an account that may not be used later. It would be more effective to spend your time advocating elsewhere.

If you are able to commit to growing an account, then great! When creating the account, you’ll want to include your team name, upload your team logo, and create a short bio that lets people know who you are and what you’re about. This would be a great place to include your vision statement from Phase 1.2. Depending on who your target audience is, this will help guide which social media platforms (like Instagram, TikTok or Facebook) you should create. Look through the “Tips for Success” section below to see which platforms are best for your campaign.

Tips for Success

  • Facebook:
    • Number of monthly users: 2+ billion
    • Demographics: Very popular, but overall the audience is older.
    • Facebook is the most popular social network in the world with more than 2 billion users. As a result, you can find just about anyone on Facebook, provided they have access to the Internet. That means almost everyone in your target audience has a Facebook account, which is why it’s a top social media site for businesses. Because Facebook’s audience skews older, it is a great place to reach people who are older.
    • Photos, contests, questions, videos, and other short posts work well on Facebook. You can also use text-based updates to keep your followers informed, but they won’t perform as well as your photos or videos. And you can always use your Facebook to promote new content that you’ve created to get visitors to a website. 
  • Instagram
    • Number of monthly users: 1+ billion
    • Demographics: Popular as well, and the audience is young
    • In terms of the age of social media users, Istagram is one of the youngest social networks out there, with a majority of users under the age of 25. That makes it the perfect social network for brands or companies that target young, hip demographics. Photos and short videos with a small amount of text do exceptionally well on Instagram, and it also integrates with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can use the same photos across multiple platforms.
  • Twitter
    • Number of monthly users: 330 million
    • Demographics: Less popular, but a dedicated following. Twitter is a great way to engage with professionals, politicians, journalists and companies.
    • Twitter gives its users a steady stream of information and new content from all over the Internet. It has millions of engaged users every month, and practically every brand in the world has an account to update its customers. It may not have the same broad audience as Facebook, but it’s easily one of the most accessible networks on the planet.
    • However, Twitter famously limits its users to messages of 280 characters or less. That means you have to be concise, interesting, and informative all in one tweet, and that’s not easy. But when you do it correctly, people can favor or retweet what you’ve written so that you can appeal to a broader audience. Basically, when you want to expand brand awareness, Twitter is one of the best social media platforms.
  • Tiktok
    • Number of monthly users: 2 billion
    • Demographics: The audience is much younger than other platforms.
    • Tiktok is known for their short, viral videos. It is important to know that unlike the other platforms, Tiktok is video-only content.

Social media campaigns have two main components:

  1. An engaging visual. This can be a video, a picture, or a graphic that you design. Whichever it is, make sure it grabs your audience’s attention and expresses what you’re trying to say in your post. Use bright colors and patterns and a clear and relevant image.
  2. A caption or text. This text should have a clear and strong call to action that inspires your audience to make the change you want to see.

Both components should communicate your key message statement and can be included as a part of the text and/or visual.

How to use this strategy?

  • Find your target audience on social media by leveraging the accounts that they follow and the hashtags that they use
  • Use the search bar function of social media platforms to explore accounts, tags and places
  • Reach out to accounts with bigger followings and ask them to share your posts – make sure to have your key message and visual to provide for them to share

Advocacy Goals

  • How many times you posted
  • What accounts shared your posts

Measuring You Reach

  • Each platform will have an “insights” or “analytics” section, and there you can find the reach of your post. Your “reach” will be the number of people who actually saw the post. Sometimes platforms call this an “impression.”
  • The number of followers on your account and the accounts that shared your posts

Email Campaigns

Why use this strategy?

Emails are a great way to help you reach and connect with your target audience in a personalized way. Nearly everyone has an email account that they check on a daily – if not hourly – basis.

How does it work?

The target audience receives an email that has been crafted to engage them and inspire them to take action. Often these emails are built in an email marketing platform which is a website that designs the email to have colors, photos and things like buttons and can send to a large list all at once. You can craft emails that are just as effective in your own email platform like Gmail or Outlook.

How to use this strategy?

  • If you don’t have email addresses for your target audience:
    Find the people or organizations that do have emails for your target audience and ask them to share your message with their list. These could be school administrators or members of the PTA, community groups, institutions or leaders.
  • If you have email addresses for your target audience:
    Create a list of contacts that you want to reach out to. Include their first and last name, email address, and any other relevant information to your campaign. Add to your list by reaching out to your contacts who may know additional members of your target audience or researching online for contacts and email addresses.

Advocacy Goals

  • The number of email messages that your team will write and send.
  • Where your list(s) comes from.

Measuring Your Reach

  • How many people received your emails.
  • The number of opened emails. (This can be found if your email was sent using a email marketing platform)

Tips for Success:

  • Subject line: avoid generic, confusing or misleading subject lines. Keep them short, informative and to the point. Consider using numbers to frame your email. Ex: “5 Ways You Can Save Money and Reduce Waste”
  • Personalization: Address your audience by their name if available. Personalized emails build trust in the minds of your audience. Personalizing in the from line, the subject line, or salutation have proven to help increase readership and engagement.
  • Mobile optimization: More than 70% of people read their email in a mobile app, so make sure your email blast is configured to read well on a phone or tablet.
  • Test your emails: A good way to see if your email works well on a mobile device is by testing it! There you can test out your images, colors, layout, design and subject lines.
  • Call to action: Make sure that your key message and call to action is clearly stated and highlighted in the email. Include the link to take action in a big button or bold font. It should be easy for the recipeint to find!
  • Well Edited: Make sure you double and triple check for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.

Website Content

Why use this strategy?

If someone needs to find information, they are most likely turning to the internet to find it. By getting your message on a website, you’ve created a great place to share your message and important information with your audience.

How does it work?

Start out by identifying websites that your target audience is likely to visit. Depending on their age, interests, hobbies, or location, they’ll be visiting certain websites to meet certain needs.

How to use this strategy?

  • Create a list of websites that you think your target audience visits
  • Gather your campaign message and “Call to Action” and add a picture or visual to help communicate your message.
  • Look at the website’s contact pages and reach out to the administrator – let them know who you are and why it’s important that your message be shared on their platform

Advocacy Goals

  • The number of websites that your team will contact
  • The name of the websites that you will contact

Measuring Your Reach

  • How many posts your team will have on the website
  • How many visits the website receives per day or month

Press and Media Outreach

Why use this strategy?

Press and media outlets can help amplify the impact of your campaign by creating broader coverage to get attention and engagement by your target audience. They help provide people with the information that they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, and their governments.

Press and media companies are made up of writers and editors that craft stories to share with their readers. They often look to the public to find those stories, and thats where you come in.

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Identify press and media outlets in your area by going online and researching. This can include:

  • Local print publication
  • Local city newspapers (ie. Daily Breeze, the Beach Reporter, Patch, LA Times)
  • Local educational publications (ie school or school district newsletters)
  • Community publications (ie local chamber of commerce)
  • Local radio stations
  • Local television stations
  • Digital news outlets (ie Buzzfeed, Medium)

Step 2: After finding out the press and media companies in your area, look for the contact information of their writers and editors. Make sure to get first and last names, email addresses and phone number. Keep this information recorded in a document or spreadsheet so you can keep track of who you reach out to and the responses.

Step 3: Write your press release. There are several components you must include:

  • Release date
  • Dateline and first paragraph
  • Body paragraphs
  • Quotes
  • Call to Action: this is your key message and tells readers what to do with the information in your release.
  • Multimedia: journalists want to make their stories shareworthy, so they seek to include videos and images that could boost their story’s engagement

Step 4: Attach your press release to an email and send it out to the contacts you gathered. Make sure to attach any pictures or supplemental content that will grab their attention and make them want to share your story.

Step 5: Track your progress! Make sure to note the date you sent out your press release and any response that you get back in your press contact list.

Tips for Success:

  • Check for typos and spelling errors – you don’t want to be dismissed for having a silly mistake!
  • Use first names when writing your email to the press contacts, when possible. “Dear Sir/Madam” is generic and will decrease your chances of getting your press release published.
  • Check directories and find local media outlets: identify the local directories, newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and websites in your area.
  • Find their contact information so you can pitch them stories directly.
  • Add in any links you have for your social media so they can learn more

Advocacy goals

  • Which press and media outlets you reached out to
  • The number of press and media outlets that shared your story

Measuring Your Reach

  • How many readers or subscribers the publication has (print and online)

Presentations

Why use this strategy?

Effective presentations allow you to communicate your ideas clearly and meaningfully to your audience so that they understand your message and respond positively to your ask or Call to Action. Think of your teachers who present new information to you every day in class!

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Identify where and how you want to give your presentation. Due to COVID 19, most presentations will only be accessible online and given through the computer. It is standard for most companies and organizations today to host webinars and virtual events. There are two options for presentations:

  • Host your team’s own event: this means that you and your team will be organizing and facilitating an independent event.
  • Guest present to for another organization: this means that you will need to reach out to organizations whose audience you want to reach and let them know why you’re interested in presenting at their event and what value you can bring to their audience

Step 2: Whether you are hosting your own event or presenting at someone else’s, you will still need to make a presentation. Essential components of a presentation include:

  • A clear objective: what are you trying to achieve in this presentation? Are you trying to educate your audience about the importance of forests or encourage them to reduce their electricity use? Whatever it is, make sure that your slides all reinforce this idea.
  • Images and graphics: as you can tell by now, clear images and attractive graphics are critical parts of all strategies. You can include graphs that support your message and images that elicit emotion, surprise to connect with your audience and make your presentation memorable.
  • Minimal text: it’s impossible for people to read more than a few words at a time while also listening attentively to the speaker, so make sure your text summarizes only the most important points
  • Key messages and Call to Action: conclude your presentation with your key messages and Call to Action! Remember, this is the goal of your presentation and you want to give them easy ways to follow up with next steps.

Step 3: If you are hosting your own presentation, find a presentation platform that works best for your group. Due to shelter in place orders, presentations will all be done virtually for now. Some popular options include:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Blue Jeans
  • Google Meet
  • Decide on a presentation slide platform. Popular options include:
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Canva
  • Google Slides
  • Prezi

Tips for success:

  • Make sure it’s well-rehearsed: practice makes perfect! It also helps you project confidence as a speaker, and that will be more compelling for your audience. Divide up responsibilities and choose who will be explaining which slides. Consider writing a script.
  • Test your technology: make sure you meet with your team before the scheduled presentation time to try out your presentation platform and understand how all of the various functions of the platform work (ie breakout rooms, polling).

Advocacy Goals

  • The number of organizations you will reach out to
  • The number of organizations you will present for

Measuring Your Reach

  • The number of people your team will present to
  • The number of presentations you team will give

Tabling or Booths at an Event

Why use this strategy?

Having a physical presence at an event, store or other public space is a great way to capture attention from a broader audience and share information with people you might have otherwise not been able to reach. Due to COVID-19, this will likely not be an available option for most teams, but is an important strategy to keep in mind for the future!

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Identify which events are in your area: often your city or school website will have an events page that you can check out to learn.

Step 2: Contact the event organizers with your adult advisor, and see if you can secure a space to table at the event. Contact local grocery stores and malls to see if tabling is an option at those areas

Step 3: Organize a schedule with your team to make sure everyone can attend the set tabling time

Step 4: Decide on what materials your team wants to utilize and bring to the tabling event.

Essential components of tabling at an event include:

  • Materials: Make a list of all of the materials your team needs to make a eye-catching table that invite people in to talk to you. This can include:
  • Table and chairs: sometimes the table is provided by the venue, other times you’ll need to bring your own. Make sure you know the venue’s rules and what they provide
  • Sign up sheets: these will help you collect visitor contact information and build your campaign’s contact list. Collecting and compiling this data should be one of your top priorities
  • Banner(s): consider creating a banner with your campaign/team name so people know who you are
  • Tablecloth
  • Pens
  • Flyers: try to minimize the size and quantity of flyers you create to limit the amount of waste produced, but flyers are a way to share information with visitors and ways to get involved after they leave your booth
  • Camera: take pictures of your table and team interacting with visitors to document for your campaign

Tips for success:

  • Plan ahead! Most events are organized at least 2-3 months ahead of the actual date. Event organizers will want to have their booths and tables accounted for weeks beforehand, so make sure you get in touch before its too late.
  • Check and double check your supplies: Designate a team member to make sure all materials are there before you leave for the event and when you’re packing up to leave the event.
  • Adult guardian: Always make sure you have an adult supervisor with you at your table and throughout the event.

Advocacy Goals

  • The number of events or places you will table at
  • The names of the events that you will table at

Measuring Your Reach:

  • The number of people that visited your table
  • The number of contacts that you acquired
  • The number of flyers that you distributed

Signage: Posters, signs, billboards

Why use this strategy?

Posters, signs and billboard are great visual elements that capture people’s attention and communicate messages to your audience.

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Decide what the goal is of your poster, sign or billboard. What is the message you want to share with your audience? Is it educational and informative or a call to action?

Step 2: Decide where you want your signage to go. Identify high traffic areas to post your printed items. This can include downtown areas, street posts, public parks or malls. Wherever it is, make sure you check with the owner or manager of the area and make it is okay to post them there.

Step 3: Design your signage. It typically contains the following elements:

  • Visual component: This will be a picture or graphic image. Whichever it is, make sure it is grabs your audience’s attention and expresses what you’re trying to achieve in your campaign. Use bright colors and patterns and a clear and relevant image.
  • Text component: because of the limited amount of space, keep your text short and to the point. This should mainly consist of your key message or call to action
  • Media links: include your campaign’s website or social media links for viewers to follow, engage and learn more

Tips for Success:

  • Identify local print shops that will give you a good deal on printing in bulk
  • Talk to restaurant and shop owners to see if they will offer to post your signage at their stores. If they know it is for a good cause, they’re more likely to support you.

Advocacy Goals

  • The names of the shops that posted your signage
  • The number of posters, signs or billboard created

Measuring your reach:

  • The number of locations the posters, signs or billboard are located
  • The estimated number of people that your signage reaches

Petition

Why use this strategy?

A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions are a great way to gain public support for a specific action or change they want to see in their community.

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Identify what the change is that you want to happen and who can make that change happen. This will involve your target audience.

Step 2: Choose a petition platform to gather your signatures and support.

  • Care 2 is a petition site that we like to use, but there is many out there

Step 3: Create your petition! Components of a petition include:

  • A short headline that grabs attention and creates an immediate connection.
  • A summary that either demands or requests change and tells people why they should sign.

Tips for success:

  • Keep your petition short (150–200 words), and include paragraph breaks and bulleted lists to make it easy to read.
  • Add photos and videos for the strongest impact possible! Compelling media brings your issue to life — adding pictures and video adds a tremendous boost to your petition.

Advocacy goals:

  • Whether your petition received enough signatures to achieve its goal

Measuring your reach:

  • The number of signatures your petition received

Incentives – a Tool to Use

An incentive isn’t a strategy in and of itself, but a tool to use in your other campaign strategies.

Why use this strategy?

Incentives encourage people to participate in a program or event who might not otherwise be motivated to attend. You can use this strategy to support other parts of your campaign.

How to use this strategy?

Step 1: Identify the program or event that you want to incentivize people to sign up for or participate in

Step 2: Consider creating a pledge or a sign-up sheet where people can commit to attending the event or changing their behavior in exchange for a more environmentally friendly alternative

Step 3: Brainstorm feasible but attractive incentive options to offer to your target audience. There are a broad range of incentives you can create, some of which include

  • Products: hats, glasses, pens,
  • Coupons: if you partner with a local business, they may provide you coupon codes to share with your audience
  • An example would be “make a pledge to stop using plastic bags and we’ll send you a free reusable bag.”

Step 4: Choose and incentive and organize it’s distribution. Work with you Team Facilitator and Grades of Green Advisor to figure out what will make the most sense for your team.

Advocacy Goals

  • Number of incentives distributed

Measuring your reach:

  • The number of people that signed your pledge and changed their behavior


NEXT STEP: Task List

Click Here: Move on to the next step: Phase 3.6 – Task List

Looking for Another Page? Head over to the Campaign’s Table of Contents.