Grassroots – Word of Mouth

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Contents
1. Overview
2. The three phases of grassroots campaigning
3. Word-Of-Mouth
[Print version of the entire article]

Definitions:
Grassroots lobbying is the process by which interest groups identify people with the same concerns; sensitise, recruit and activate them (activists, volunteers, etc.).
Grassroots campaigning defines the campaign management/method of grassroots lobbying.
Grasstops lobbying is the integration of local or regional opinion leaders as advocates for a specific cause. Grassroots campaigns are particularly effective for the creation of alliances (coalition building) with interest groups or individuals who share a common concern (through either a formal alliance or an ad-hoc and informal one). Use Grassroots mobilisation as a moving spirit for campaigning.

Topics

  • Management of activists and volunteers: a lot of people are necessary for a good grassroots campaign. They have to be coordinated, trained and provided with proposals for activities, arguments, etc.
  • Targeting and micro-targeting: Grassroots campaigns must reach specific target groups. They should be localised and fed with messages, actions, and so on.
  • Web applications: blogging, video integration, viral campaigning, fundraising, mobile phones, web 2.0 (social networks) are some essential tools in grassroots campaigning on the internet.
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management is not an empty buzzword. Collect data, store them in your database (be aware of the privacy rules!) and communicate with your activists and sympathisers regularly. If they want information or become active in a specific campaign, they should be kept informed – or they will switch off again.
  • Campaign management within the party structure: Ensure that grassroots campaigning is always an integral part of your campaigns. For this you will also need personal and financial resources within the party structure.

Levels

  • During the election campaign: mobilisation, stabilisation of supporters and (potential) voters.
  • Mid-term projects (between two elections): building the basis for electoral mobilisation.
  • Keep the fire burning!
  • Continuous communication; web
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