Ecolo’s Campaign Intranet, Belgium

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Ecolo has representatives in parliaments since 1981. And, since 1999, Ecolo participates in regional or federal governmental majorities. The party therefore has a wealth of human and political resources: campaigning experience, many co-workers and activists…

The campaign team and campaign managers have been stable for a number of years. This is a real advantage because the campaign team has accumulated useful experience and are part of a recurrent process. This experience and these processes are of benefit to every candidate and every activist, in particular those involved in their first campaign. Furthermore, our methods have been professionalised, in particular during campaigns.

Whatever the level of elections, collective campaigns and common rules are fundamental for us. Although not sufficient, these parameters have an important role in the success (or failure) of the campaign.

Like other green parties in Europe we develop a series of tools that we want to share widely within the party.

To achieve this, we developed one of the most important tools in any campaign: the campaign intranet!

With this intranet, several advantages can be identified, in particular:
– the task is accomplished once for everyone;
– intensification of the coherence of the message which can be shared widely, quickly and easily among our candidates;
– implementation of a common database which is not only accessible during the campaign but which also leaves a track for the future elections;
– Place for sharing experiences, ideas, arguments between candidates and persons in charge of campaign.

What we publish on the intranet:
– Political and electoral programmes;
– Campaign tools (leaflets, bookmarks, posters…) to use as they are or as examples;
– The common campaign calendar which contains all the party’s campaign events;
– The “campaign actions” kit, which must be adapted according to the needs;
– Campaign arguments, which help candidates to prepare their speeches or debates. But they also contain useful arguments or positions to defend everywhere during the campaign;
– The track record of our ministers or deputies, so that it’s possible to explain what we’ve already achieved;
– The electoral procedures: the electoral law being sometimes complex, it’s necessary to explain or to recall every step of the process to the candidates or to the persons in charge of campaign. A complete and accurate calendar is online permanently.

The intranet’s developments require a few measures. We think it’s absolutely necessary to pay attention to security, accessibility and confidentiality. If your organisation doesn’t have a professional webmaster, it’s certainly useful to call on an external professional to develop your future intranet.

All of this offers the candidates and activists more time and energy to meet voters and to make their common project better known.

See also the Campaign Handbook chapters:
Campaign Organisation
Developing Messages
Campaigning Online

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