If it’s good enough for FOCUS!

There are many ways to keep local residents up to date with the issues Lib Dem councillors and campaigners are fighting on.  The most recognisable weapon in our armoury is a FOCUS leaflet which has long been used to keep in touch with communities.

A concern that often comes up is that campaigners don’t know what to write a press release on or if an issue could be used as a survey or petition.

The answer is: yes, it can!

This week’s campaign pack looks at local pharmacies.  If you have a pharmacy under threat of closure in your area, this would be a great story for a FOCUS leaflet – and with not much more work it can be easily turned into a press release.

The same issue can be used to create a survey and a petition.  Surveying local residents to ask how frequently they use the pharmacy, what services they use in the pharmacy and if they think the pharmacy is important to the local community will quickly allow you to engage in the issue.  A simple petition aimed at saving the pharmacy will gather support for the issue.  Surveys and petitions are also a great way to gather data such as email addresses and phone numbers.

Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to let people know what you are doing is an effective way to gather momentum in a campaign.  You can share the fact that you have launched a petition and/or survey along with a link to an online version.  Press releases and FOCUS stories can also be shared online – especially if you have a website.  Remember – ALDC members can register for a free MyCouncillor website here as part of their ALDC membership.

A simple campaign fighting against a pharmacy closure could look like this:

  1. Lead story in FOCUS with a good picture with the pharmacist
  2. Publish FOCUS story on MyCouncillor website
  3. Tweet/Facebook link to the online story
  4. Press release to local media based on the FOCUS story and announcing the survey
  5. Survey of local residents about pharmacy services
  6. Tweet/Facebook some anecdotal responses from the survey
  7. Area special and press release on the results of the survey
  8. Press release on the launch of the petition
  9. Tweet/Facebook petition launch – maybe a short Facebook video of someone signing the petition or an interview with the pharmacist
  10. Press release on numbers of signatures on petition
  11. Time for another FOCUS story on progress so far.

We can all feel the pressure to continually find new issues to campaign on – but it is always worth making sure we have made the most of campaigns we have started.

ALDC has produced a community campaigns checklist which is available here which details all the different ways you can communicate about one campaign.

The most important part is remembering to report back on progress and working your way through the list again.

Please do let us know of any campaign issue you have used many times to get the maximum effect!

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