Make a plan - the detail
You want to end street homelessness. What evidence do you have to show the scale and depth of the problem, and what the solutions might be? By identifying what evidence already exists you may realise that you need to collect some more.
- Consider existing data held by service providers or commissioners.
- A Connections Week survey is one option that most campaign cities have used.
- Use existing data or information that has been gathered from a range of organisations and individuals, in particular from those who have been affected by homelessness
Using the guidance and tools provided in Section 7 ‘Use evidence for action’ you can work together to develop a strong picture of what problems cause street homelessness in your area and agree what your very specific campaign goals are for tackling these.
What is the change you want to bring about?
What set of smaller goals are going to help you to achieve your overall aim?
Who are you targeting and are there allies and opponents to consider?
- Who can make the change you want? (This is your target)
- Who’s your target influenced by? (This could be voters, shareholders, customers)
- Who supports the changes you seek, and what do you need to do to work with them if you don’t already? (These are your allies)
- Who is against the change? If they’re important to your campaign’s success what do you need to do to change their minds? (These are your opponents)
5. Communications & key messages
A campaign to end street homelessness will only succeed if it is able to enthuse individuals and relevant sectors with a shared belief that it can be solved. Powerful communications that tell the story about people’s experiences and describe a future where street homelessness is ended will be key to rallying supporters to get behind the cause. Your campaign will need to plan communications both within your team and externally. This will be important to foster trust and to ensure your campaign messages reach all the people who can help.
What are the key messages that you need to get across so people understand what the campaign is for and how they can help? Who is each message for? Some messages may be designed for the public whereas others may be more suitable for communicating with politicians.
Consider putting together a Communications Plan to ensure your messages are targeted at the right audiences, in the right way, at the right time. There are a number of useful tools you can use to create and improve your messages, including the Elevator Pitch and the Opposition Matrix.
Campaign communications are strongest when they have a ‘story’ to tell – about what the future can be like if things change. This is why charity and other homelessness appeals often use emotionally powerful images and inspiring personal stories.
6. Tactics – What things will you do to achieve the campaign’s aim?
These could be:
- online (Twitter, Facebook page, web-based petition)
- offline (face-to-face meetings, traditional media, sending letters, paper petitions)
- insider (working closely or discretely with decision-makers to get them behind your cause)
- outsider (using protests, stunts, public pressure)
How do you think the change you want is going to happen? This becomes your theory of change which is described in detail here. The most important question is: what tactics are most likely to influence your target, the person or people who can make the change you want?
The ‘Influence others to make changes’ section provides detailed information on advocacy and influencing, along with tools you and your group can use to help discuss and decide on key targets and actions.
What do you already have for the campaign in terms of people, money, skills, support? Do you have the right people and organisations working with you and the skills and experience you need? What or who else do you need to run the campaign so it has the greatest chance of success? Section 4 ‘Identify and gather resources’ goes into more detail on this and provides some useful templates and examples.
8. Activities and timeline – When are the key moments to take campaign action or to influence?
Think about opportunities you will create (such as a Connections Week launch) as well as external opportunities such as responding to a relevant government consultation. If a key opportunity is due, such as debating a law that will impact on homelessness, or local/regional/EU elections, and you want to influence the debate, work backwards from their deadlines and organise your actions so you can prepare properly.
9. Monitoring and evaluation
As your campaign develops, do you know:
- What’s working?
- What isn’t?
- Have there been any unexpected outcomes?
- Do your aims, objectives, target or tactics need to change?
- What’s best to do next?
- How will you know if your campaign is not working?
Campaigns can take a long time to reach a successful conclusion, but most will achieve incremental shifts or changes along the way (such as better relationships and joint working, improvements to local practices or systems, greater awareness of and support for your issue). It’s vital to agree specific measures that, when tracked over time, will tell you whether the campaign plan is being successfully implemented. Measuring progress, recognising successes and celebrating them along the way can help keep morale up, inspire others to join, and enable you to learn, adapt and plan ahead as needed. Section 10 provides more detailed information and resources.