Partnership between the Council of Europe and ERYICA Campaign ”Information Right Now!” Index of Content PART 0 - THE CAMPAIGN IN A NUTSHELL .......................................................................... 3 PART 1 - INTRODUCTION TO THE CAMPAIGN.................................................................... 4 1.1 Information Right Now – a European wide ERYICA and Council of Europe campaign .. 4 1.2 Background to the campaign ....................................................................................... 4 1.3 Objectives of the Campaign ......................................................................................... 5 1.4 Timeframe of the campaign and important dates relating to the campaign.................... 6 1.5 Target Audience .......................................................................................................... 8 1.6 Message of the campaign............................................................................................ 9 PART 2 – ACTIVITES TARGETED TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC .... 12 2.1 Internet and Social media campaigning ..................................................................... 15 2.2 Visibility actions ......................................................................................................... 17 3.3 Creative public actions .............................................................................................. 18 2.4 Interaction; Street referenda & petitions ..................................................................... 19 2.5 Collect youngsters opinions: Graffiti wall .................................................................... 20 2.6 Express yourselves: Flash mobs ............................................................................... 20 2.7 VIP ambassadors ...................................................................................................... 21 2.8 Create an exhibition................................................................................................... 21 2.9 Workshops with public output .................................................................................... 22 PART 3 - ACTIVITIES TARGETED TO DECISION MAKERS................................................ 24 3.1 Open letters and joint statements .............................................................................. 25 3.2 Participation in public debate – simply ask a question ................................................ 27 3.3 Ask questions by mail or phone ................................................................................. 28 3.4 Indirect advocacy ...................................................................................................... 29 3.5 Create messengers ................................................................................................... 30 3.6 Creative sending ....................................................................................................... 31 3.7 Testimonials .............................................................................................................. 31 PART 4 - CAMPAIGNING TARGETED MEDIA..................................................................... 32 4.1 Write expert articles ................................................................................................... 32 4.2 Write letters to the editor............................................................................................ 33 4.3 Get in the radio or TV sofa......................................................................................... 33 4.4 Reactions in the media .............................................................................................. 33 4.5 Use blogs .................................................................................................................. 33 PART 5 - COORDINATED ERYICA CAMPAIGNING TOOLS ............................................... 36 5.1 ERYICA ambassadors ............................................................................................... 36 5.2 Central campaign webpage ....................................................................................... 37 5.3 Youth Information Pan-European Action .................................................................... 37 5.4 Pan-European Facebook based photo competition .................................................... 40 PART 6 - COMMUNICATION TRICKS ................................................................................. 42 6.1 Use the message everywhere ................................................................................... 42 6.2 Simultaneous actions ................................................................................................ 42 6.3 The campaigner‟s tool kit ........................................................................................... 43 PART 7 – CREATING PROMOTION MATERIALS ............................................................... 44 7.1 Making your own creative materials ........................................................................... 44 7.2 Stickers ..................................................................................................................... 45 7.3 Banners .................................................................................................................... 45 7.4 Campaigning materials ideas ..................................................................................... 46 PART 8 - EVALUATION....................................................................................................... 47 8.1 Evaluation Criteria ..................................................................................................... 47 8.2 Evaluation Methods ................................................................................................... 47 PART 9 – CONTACTS .......................................................................................................... 49
PART 0 - THE CAMPAIGN IN A NUTSHELL What is happening? When? Who is in charge? How the activity will be organised? What is to be sent to ERYICA? What will be the outcome of the Activity? What Any Activity to support the Campaign‟s aims!
When th April 17 – December 31st
Who ERYICA Members, Youth Information Centre, Public Body ERYICA Members, Youth Information Centre, Public Body Young People 18-30
May 16 – August 31st
After May 21
20 Young Ambassadors
How As fits the available resources
Design a Question Mark with Young People
Take a picture on theme “Young People are Asking”; explanation; upload on Facebook page Involve them, invite them, create activities around their participation
To ERYICA Take pictures, interviews, send text, inform, upload materials Chose one picture per country and send it to ERYICA
Outcome Presented on the campaign website
Winners get prizes, pictures part of the exhibitions
Take pictures, interviews, send text, inform us, upload materials
Presented on the campaign website
Exhibition around Europe and to St. Petersburg
This kit is to guide and support you into the Campaign “Information Right Now!”. Important note: do not be afraid from the number of activities included in this booklet. These are for your inspiration only! Any activity counts for the success of the Campaign, be it small or big. What is important is to document it and share its content.
PART 1 - INTRODUCTION TO THE CAMPAIGN 1.1 Information Right Now – a European wide ERYICA and Council of Europe campaign Respect for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms implies the right of all young people to have access to complete, objective, understandable and reliable information on all their questions and needs. This right to information has been recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and in the Recommendations N° (90) 7 and CM/Rec(2010)8 on Youth Information, as well as by the European Commission White Paper on Youth (2001). “Information Right Now!” is a European campaign implemented by ERYICA in partnership with the Council of Europe. The campaign aims to bring forward to young people, decision-makers and media young people‟s right to ask and to receive information. 1.2 Background to the campaign The 9th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth will take place in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation) in September 2012. Main theme of the conference is “Young people‟s access to rights: development of innovative youth policies”. The campaign is elaborated through three subthemes:
Social inclusion of young people; Democracy, including e-Democracy; Living together in diverse societies.
Considering that youth information is both an essential right and a prerequisite for young people‟s access to their rights, in view of contributing to the success of the Conference of Ministers and the previous process leading to it, the Joint Coordinating Committee managing the partnership between the Council of Europe and ERYICA decided to support a campaign on the young people‟s right to information”, prepared in the last quarter of 2011, launched and developed in 2012. Through this campaign, renamed “Information Right Now!”, (that will be launched on April 17th, 2012) ERYICA and the Council of Europe wish to raise awareness on the special role of youth information with regard to young
people‟s access to rights and – eventually – on the access to information as a right in itself for all young people. In October 2011, representatives of ERYICA Member Organisations were invited to a preparatory meeting in Strasbourg to kick off the planning of the campaign. Much of the content of this tool kit was initiated at this meeting and later developed by ERYICA with the help of representatives of Member Organisations along with external consultants. The campaigning activities put forward in the tool kit are examples based on different campaigns across Europe and have been collected and presented by Åsa Gunven, civil society consultant specialised in advocacy and campaigning.
1.3 Objectives of the Campaign The campaign has three general objectives that we aim to achieve trough different campaigning measures. The campaign objectives are: 1. Young people to understand they have the right to information. Not all young people know they have the right to information of quality and, as a consequence, they cannot request the information they need. It is an objective of the campaign to increase the recognition and visibility of YI, especially among youth. 2. Young people to understand they have a right to information and MOVE them to find it in the Youth Information Centre (YIC). YICs are crucial providers of YI. It is an objective of the campaign that more young people will use the available opportunities to get qualitative YI at the YICs and generally increase the visibility of the YICs among those who deal with young people, such as the schools, parents, authorities etc. 3. Together with young people, ask decision makers to guarantee their right to information. The right to YI of quality has to be guaranteed by adequately implementing policies and allocating budgets. In particular by including YI in the Final Declaration of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers in Charge of Youth (St. Petersburg, September 2012) as well as in the new EU Youth Programme as it will be drafted in the next months by the EU Institutions.
THINK ABOUT! It is important to identify internal/organisational objectives that could be fulfilled in your member organisation, and especially analyse which ones of the internal and external objectives are the most important ones (prioritise!). For example, if you are running the risk of losing all your grants the most important activities in your country might be to do advocacy towards decision makers (objective 3 above) In another country where they identify that the most important internal/organisational objective is to reach out to young immigrants that don‟t visit the YIC, the most important focus might be Objective 2 above – to get more young people to visit the YIC – and the campaign activities could be focused especially towards young immigrants. Like this you should plan the campaign so that it fulfils your needs and goals, also when it is part of a bigger pan-European campaign with specific objectives. EXAMPLES OF INTERNAL/ORGANISATIONAL OBJECTIVES THE DIFFERENT MOS HAVE IDENTIFIED; More exposure and visibility; More funding; Reaching out to more young people/new groups of young people; More networking, both internal and external to your national network; Activating and involving young people in your work; Start using more innovative communication tools, in order to ensure more impact and share these ideas; Increased cooperation with the whole ERYICA network; Capacity building on campaigning; Strengthening the credibility of the network and becoming a strong partner to institutions as well as a point of reference to media and other actors; Launching concrete projects among ERYICA members for the campaign; Empowering young people to ask for their rights; 1.4 Timeframe of the campaign and important dates relating to the campaign The campaign will run from 17 April 2012 to the end of 2012. The following dates are important to take into account for the campaign – both in terms of organisation as well as symbolical dates and momentums that can be used to organise activities around.
CAMPAIGN KEY DATES 2012 17 April European Youth Information Day - launch of the campaign; 19-20 April ERYICA GA – internal kick-off of the campaign; 16 May ERYICA pan-European campaign action; 17-20 May ERYICA Youth Ambassadors Meeting; September CoE Youth Ministers‟ Conference; November EU Youth Conference; December End of campaign; DATES THAT CAN BE USED FOR THE CAMPAIGN 9 May Europe day; 1 June International Day of the Child; 10 October International Day of the Girl Child; 12 August International Youth Day; Summer Olympic Games; November European Youth Week; This timeline has to be complemented by each Member Organisation. THINK ABOUT! Complement the timeline above - In order to find inspiration for campaign activities it might be good to complement the timeline above with potential dates in your country/your Member Organisation that can be considered for the campaign. Elections, festivities, anniversaries – think as broad as possible. Using symbolic dates - In order to catch attention from media as well as from the general public, using symbolic dates is very important. It can be “the days of…”, but also historical dates, local/regional events etc. As you are always sending a message in a campaign you can think of a Press Release as irrelevant if you are organising a demonstration or a handy crafts workshop for children. In fact, you can always send a valuable press release that helps you get more media attention and makes your activity more meaningful for young people to participate. This will also be useful, afterwards, in terms of referrals. EXAMPLES; “Today on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall young people in Prague are jointly painting a Graffiti Wall to symbolize the hurdles they face today in Czech Republic”. “Youth Unemployment is as high as 30% in Europe. This is why today, on Europe Day, we are handing over an open letter to our government where we are asking for….” “On the starting day of the Olympic Games, XX young people ran a marathon blindfolded on the Gran Plaza to symbolize how many young people today are not aware of their rights.”
1.5 Target Audience THE TARGET AUDIENCE In order to achieve the 3 objectives of the campaign we have identified the following main target audiences; 1. Young People 2. Decision Makers 3. Media So who is it we want to target when we do campaigning? It depends on which of the campaigning objectives we want to fulfil and also, importantly, what internal/organisational objectives your Member Organisation wants to fulfil. Broadly speaking the main target groups of this campaign are Young People as well as Decision Makers. Both of these target groups are reached also trough media, making media an important secondary target audience as well. Depending on your internal/organisational objectives in your specific Member Organisation you might put more focus on one or the other of the three target audiences, and you might also add other target groups. For those who do not face any important challenges, the main goal could be to support the European dimension of the Campaign by showcasing their successes (and supporting other colleagues in Europe). For the Member Organisation that is facing large budget cuts the campaign might be a good opportunity to reach decision makers primarily, whereas the Member Organisation that is facing dropping number of visitors to their YICs might focus on targeting young people, families or schools. Yet again, this campaign could be a great opportunity for motivating and enthusing youth information workers. Here is a small brainstorming of potential target groups we might want to reach with this campaign as they serve as intermediates to reach our target groups:
Young people Youth workers Families Government Local authorities EU Directorate for Youth and Sport Health Institutions Friends Media Student organisations
Schools/teachers Social workers Political parties CoE Eurodesk and NGOs working in the field Youth NGOs Private sector
THINK ABOUT! The one that points too broad might miss the target. This means it is important to always define who your target group is before you design the activity/campaign material etc. A campaign is composed of several activities and each of them can have different target groups. Also the same activity can be divided up in different sub-activities, each with a different target group. EXAMPLE: You are organising a workshop with young people outside the HIV info point, building a sculpture out of condoms to raise awareness about HIV and to protest against the cuts being made to youth information in the municipality: Sub-activity Invitation to schools to take part, including an info brochure The workshop Press release Handing over the sculpture to the mayor at the opening of the new youth centre.
Target group Teachers, schools Young people Media (indirectly young people and decision makers) Decision makers
1.6 Message of the campaign While identifying the message of the campaign the 3 objectives have to be taken into account. Here is an outline of the message directed to different target groups, as well as examples of arguments that can be used to promote them. It is important that you also take time to think of specific arguments concerning your country and, generally, your reality. TARGET GROUP: YOUNG PEOPLE Especially when you are targeting young people, it is important to see that the message is something that they strongly care about. Remember that out there a great deal of activities and messages from a variety of directions is competing for the attention of young people. Why would your message be the one they react upon?
Campaign Objective 1 - Young people to understand they have a right to information. Campaign Objective 2 - Young people to understand they have a right to information and MOVE them to find it in the YIC. Message: There are more and more questions that need answers. You have a right to receive answers to your questions. The Youth Information Center is there to provide you with answers and guidance – just come in! Slogan: Right to Ask, Right to Answers TARGET GROUP: DECISION MAKERS Remember that decision-makers need to be convinced that your objective benefits not only you, your youth information structures and its workers, but also young people and the society overall. It is not enough to state that YI is important; you need to provide evidence and arguments! Thus, before involving decision makers and politicians ask yourself: Does the activity provide good visibility for the decision makers and politicians talking part in the event? Does it justify public intervention? Do we have enough arguments to sustain our claims? Do we offer an advantageous instrument to support policy, that is costeffective and brings results? Campaign Objective: Together with young people, ask decision makers to guarantee their right to information. Message: Youth information is a prerequisite for all other rights of young people and it needs to receive special support to enable access to all other rights. It is also a prerequisite for a successful implementation of all policies for youth, such as education, employment, or health. Youth Information Centres provide young people with a valuable support in finding answers to their questions; they operate in a face-to-face, personalised environment in which every individual is respected in his/her specificity. This is especially needed in a context such as the current where more and more information is available, but not all of it is of quality and where pre-selection and guidance is crucial to find the right answers to young people‟s questions, also in online environments. Youth Information Centres provide quality information, professionalism and adequate guidance and counselling at once. Slogan: Information Right Now! Young People are asking!
THINK ABOUT! Twist your message! When sending your message you have to take into account: Who is going to send it and what is their motivation to do it (in the case you are involving young people to send it); Who is receiving it and why should they listen to it; in short, what is their benefit of what you are trying to bring forward; What is the nature of your organisation and what kind of message you can send to stay within the frame of your mandate; EXAMPLE; You want more funding for YIC. To send this message in a efficient way you might think about: Problem Young people find the message to be too abstract and too far from their reality to take part in sending it
Decision makers need to think about budget cuts, not spending
Your position as a public institution doesn‟t allow you to lobby politicians
Solution Ask the people that got information trough you to sign a petition or give small statements about how it personally helped them. Give the right arguments; by spending more on youth information you will save money in health, unemployment measures, battling crime etc. Use the opportunity of this international campaign to say “all across Europe young people are asking for their right to information to be implemented. We support this.”
PART 2 – ACTIVITES TARGETED TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC The target audience “young people” is very broad and, at the same time, it has specific characteristics. It is easy to understand what channels can be efficient, such as young radio stations, Facebook, schools etc. In the same time, in order to have any kind of success with such a broad target group, a very large number of people have to be reached. Therefore it becomes necessary to see the campaign as part of a longer strategy to reach more young people. It also becomes necessary to think in terms of using multiplication tools. To make a public action is a way to make a statement together with young people in order to multiply the message. The goal would be to raise visibility of an issue and possibly get media attention, as opposed to only reaching the people actually participating in the activity. It is also a way to offer a space for participation for young people and send the message with them to the decision makers. Activities that only involve the actual participants of the events are not normally campaigning action but rather they represent normal activities. This does not mean you shouldn‟t try to communicate the message of the campaign inside all the events you do and, as pointed out in the visibility part, also in the events of others. Moreover you might want to brand some events you do with the campaign and, for example, to include them on the web to make the campaign look big and impressive! Here below it follows an outline of several types of tools that can be used in a campaign targeted to young people. What is important is to further develop them as to fit into the local reality. THINK ABOUT!
CLEAR MESSAGE – Will everyone understand what the message is about? Is the message understandable and meaningful for the target group or does it make sense to change it/make it more concrete? You can also clarify the message by using a banner, put up a descriptive note, make handouts/flyers that describe what you are doing and why. Go up to people (preferably among your target group – young people) and ask if you can give them information or involve them. In the same way it is important to explain the meaning of the action, as well as its background with a press release. Location - The campaigning impact will be different depending on where you do the activity.
Will the discussion with the politician take place in the parliament (for more advocacy impact), in your office (for a more personal relationship with this politician, but fewer young people), or in a bar (to reach the youngsters and the general public)? Will the event targeting school children take place in the central square (where there is a lot of general public but few school kids) or in the school (where the attention is not so high but you find the real target group)? Bottom line – go where your audience is! And if this is the attention you want, don‟t be afraid to use creativity to find a place that will catch attention and to involve youngsters in doing this. Target group - What is the sub-target audience you are trying to reach with this particular activity (what age group, what culture, what interest do they have)? As the target group is so large, it might be good to focus the entire campaign towards a specific sub-group. What changes of behaviour are you trying to achieve within the target group through your campaigning? (for example young people to look for information on a web portal or in a YIC) Motivation? Are young people interested in joining this event? Usually it has to be a strong and urgent message to move people to take part and make a statement. For example: “Don‟t close our Youth Centre”. But it can also work with less strong messages if you try to use creativity as opposed to huge numbers of participants for sending the message. Let‟s say the young people in the flash mob have dressed out to different professions in a funny way and write on their banners “you want to choose our future? – now it is time to inform yourself about education possibilities for next autumn”. The difference is that in the former case, where you had an universal, urgent matter that moves young people, you could count on the support of many youngsters to join in. Whereas if you campaign for a issue that doesn‟t connect with young people on a personal level you will only be able to rely on your loyal volunteers and cannot plan for a big event such as, for instance, a human chain. Campaigning is also a motivation in itself! It is more motivating to take part in a workshop that tries to show the public the importance of recycling, and that this is part of a European wide campaign involving young people in 30 countries, as opposed to only recycling for the fun of it. Use the campaign to motivate young people to participate! Public attention – Unless you manage to reach the press you might not reach too many people with a public action unless it is in a very crowded place. You always have to back up a public action with presswork before and after. The press wants visual things, good photo opportunities. This might affect the way you plan the action. You might also want to invite a famous
person or a politician to your action in order to raise the media attention as well as to do advocacy to him/her. Also it is important to use the momentum of a political process or external event – ask yourself “why would this interest people right now?” Use personal interaction instead of static methods - It is always better to approach people directly than to wait for them to come to you. If you have an info point, or even an interactive tool, you need to have volunteers who go to invite people to get information or get involved. Sometimes you don‟t even need more than this simple interaction to send your message. If the volunteer goes up to a youngster and says “visit the YIC – do you want more info?”/ “Can I give you a flyer about the YIC and its careers guidance service?” the young person will have understood there is a YIC even if they don‟t feel like joining your activity/go to your info point. Exactly the same logic of going up to people directly with a short statement or a hand out applies if you are inside a conference or you have an info table at an event. To reach the big numbers you should try to approach groups instead of individuals. Use young people to reach young people - Usually young people are more inclined to listen to the message from a young person. Try to get volunteers, preferably those that have been going to the YIC to be your messengers. Plan B? - Lets say no one wants to take part – do you have a group of volunteers you can count on? The flash mob could probably be done with few people – especially if you pick an interesting place to do it. The idea of a chain that only runs 10 meter is not that attractive. On the other hand it would be effective if symbolically it was blocking the entrance to some specific place… The bottom line is to think about how to make the event a success, even if few people turn up, and to realistically assess what is the minimum amount of people that you can count on coming. Combine it with a visibility action. Public actions, unless very radical actions that have not really been included in this tool kit due to the nature of the network, don‟t necessary catch the attention of a large number of people even if they reach more people than a workshop. Try to combine them with a visibility action where the message can be sent to a larger number of people. Use a big banner with your message and hand out flyers to back it up. Use humour. Use humour to catch more positive attention! Final questions to ask yourself Do we have volunteers? Is there a momentum? Are this issues people care about? Is it clear that the YIC is advertised? Is the time invested justified? Can we have greater output?
2.1 Internet and Social media campaigning Social media is one of the most efficient ways to reach a large number of young people. At the same time, the competition is huge in terms of reaching out with a message and most invitations, causes, competitions, messages sent out are simply ignored due to the big amount of information out there. The same is true for campaigning web pages that often fail to catch the attention and make it through to a new target group. It will be important to develop social media strategies for the campaign nationally, using the local language and making use of the fans and followers that exist to spread the message of the campaign. The experiences and strategies look very different in different countries. COMMON INTERNET CAMPAIGNING TOOLS Facebook page and competition – the main online tool that will be used will be a Facebook page, that will gather all information relevant to the campaign and allow young people and youth information workers creating a community around the campaign‟s activities. It will also be the reference point for the competitions and the campaign‟s results. Campaign webpage – Centrally, the campaigning webpage www.informationrightnow.eu will also run in order to gather the outcomes of the campaign and share information between the Member Organisations as well as with other partners. The webpage will not be a communication tool to young people but it will be used to present the campaign to decision makers as well as to showcase the campaign‟s results for external stakeholders. Photo Competition - An online competition, based on Facebook and coordinated by ERYICA, will be provided from the central campaigning office and can be used by the Member Organisations to promote the campaign in their networks. Facebook twibbon – a campaign twibbon will be produced that can be added to the Facebook image of the YICs. Like this we will be able to highlight the campaign, its common branding, European dimension and message in our Facebook presence. THINK ABOUT! QUALITIES OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Free; Interactive;
Mass audience; Sharing many kinds of info; Flexible; Digital; Non-hierarchical; Easy access; Widespread; Fast; Multiplier;
DIS-QUALITIES OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Hard to speak the exact language of your target group; Privacy issue; Age restrictions; Virtual commitment doesn‟t face real commitment; Usual changes; Using it supports a private company; Non-critical loyalty to company service; Information overkill; How can a campaign be run trough social media on the national level? It is very important not to run too many things at the same time or youngsters get confused in terms of where to find you. Another thing to consider is the multiplication potential – you need to get young visitors to spread the message and get their friends to visit the webpage etc. IDEAS OF INTERNET-BASED TOOLS WE CAN USE FOR THE CAMPAIGN:
A viral video; Flash animation; YouTube videos; Twitter micro blogging; Vimeo; Facebook; Radio podcasts; Photo competition – ask youngsters to take pictures or take pictures of youngster and put them up to vote. This creates incentives for youngsters to spread the pictures to their friends in order to get their votes; Online competitions/games - create Facebook applications with different competitions; YIC portals - make a treasure hunt trough your webpage; Forums for discussions or sharing of thoughts, questions and answers. This can be also on your webpage but it is easier to use the social media such as Facebook;
Animated symbol/banner for all YIC websites; Interactive video: users can fill in a message; Giving „commercial‟ news to websites that are already popular among YP; Petitions; Flickr photo-stream; Video competition; Phone application about the rights of YP: at what age you can drink, sleep at a hotel and so on.
2.2 Visibility actions It is important to reach your right target audience in a campaign, but this might often be difficult to be done simply out on the street. A way to reach a more specific target is to use the events/gatherings of others where you know your target group will be. In a campaign with a specific message there might also be events/gatherings that fit very well into the topic of the campaign. For visibility it is common that the actual message of the campaign should be the most important one and should get the visual attention. The logo, the campaign logo etc are not so important. If one of the messages is “visit the YIC” for sure the logo and name of the YIC is important, but if the message is “be aware of sexual diseases” the logo and name of the organisation or the campaign is not important. Often the message is easily received if illustrated by a visual image. EXAMPLES OF EASY VISIBILITY ACTIONS;
Put up a banner with a message; Put up an info point; Hand out flyers; Put out flyers in strategic places where your target groups can be found (bars and cafes for young people) Wear your T-shirts; Ask if you can make a presentation, be visual somewhere; Ask if you can provide a service/do a workshop; Ask to be a speaker in a debate – remember that you are an expert in your field; Give out creative giveaways (see materials);
EXAMPLES OF WHERE TO PUT UP A BANNER;
Free advertisement spaces; Schools; Conferences;
Others demonstrations; Street parties; Festivals; Summer camps; Educational fairs and other fairs; Locations where your target group is found on a permanent basis such as the beach, university, Tivoli etc.
In Part 7 there is also a discussion about what materials you can produce on your own. 3.3 Creative public actions With creativity, just about anything can be done on a public space to bring attention to almost anything you want. A creative action made by five people might get more attention than a big demonstration with 500 people or a static info table. To reach out with the message there are two important things: make sure the action takes place where many people see it (or the right target group will see it) and make sure it gets into the media. See Part 4 on press work for more info. For the sake of public attention and press attention, don‟t forget to highlight the European dimension of the campaign and try to show the connections and links to both the campaigning done in other countries as well as the political process it tries to influence. Use visibility actions (see former section) to help get the attention to your action. Also the use of music can help you to catch attention. If you get other partners to join you in the action you will have more volunteers to perform the action, as well as a bigger visibility potential. EXAMPLES: Solidarity action – for different purposes people gather to light candles in a public space, often on a regular basis. Human sculpturing – you build something out of participants to send a message to the public. Either you make a workshop beforehand to prepare it or use the public space as your workshop space to guide different teams to use different topics to make a sculpture out of. Street theatre – you perform a theatre on the street to illustrate something. Make a workshop beforehand to prepare the street theatre, work with themes and improvisation. You might want to cooperate with a theatre group/school. Street art – together with passers-by you paint something to symbolize a message. Debate – you invite politicians or others to a public debate. Create a speaker‟s corner (as in Hyde Park in London) for young people where young people are invited to stand up and debate in favour of
something in front of the crowd. You can also make a competition out of this. Poetry slam or rap battles are creative ways of having debates and discussions about a certain topic. Give an overall topic to the competition and invite youngsters to create their poetry or rap around it – either prepared or improvised. It might be good to team up with a group that does this on a regular basis. Creative handouts – you hand out interesting giveaways. For example a group of Greek youngsters handed out Greek yogurts with a “note of content” that described the benefits of the European constitution, in order to campaign for a yes in the Spanish referendum. Example: Belarus action – every year hundreds of young people over 100 cities worldwide put muzzles on statutes, symbolically preventing them from speaking, to demand a free Belarus on the anniversary of the “Belarus elections”. Human marketing – people/youngsters emphasize an idea with a message to the public; T-shirt, creative costumes etc. Spray the slogan of the campaign on allowed places in town. Spray only a teaser first, then arrows towards the YI.
2.4 Interaction; Street referenda & petitions When campaigning it is always important to directly interact with your target group and make them think and take a stand. A simple way to do this with young people is to ask them to sign a petition for or against something. Another way is to set up a street referendum where you ask people to vote for or against something. It is often easier to get someone to sign against something that feels urgent. On the other hand the message is usually more likely to have an impact if it is in favour of something. The interactive methods have two effects: an effect on the person that is signing and an effect in terms of doing advocacy to decision makers. With a very short interaction you start a thinking process and you can also offer further information. Afterwards you make public the outcomes of the petition or street referenda and you might also make an appointment with a decision maker to hand over the results. Like this you campaign towards young people and, at the same time, you use the outcomes to do advocacy. Think about a minimum number of participants you want to reach. This is important especially if you want to use the results for some statistical purpose. What is important is to pick a location where you can find your target group – outside the university/school, by the youth centre, outside a shopping mall.
HOW TO DO IT! 1. Pick a question – it is important it feels urgent and meaningful to stand up for this right now. 2. Pick a place where you can find your target group – the youth club, the beach, the university area… 3. Get a group of volunteers to do the action. Even with two people you can do an effective action for an afternoon. Make sure they are informed about the issue if they get questions. 4. Think about what information materials you need to hand out for those wanting to know more. 5. Think about how to get visibility – wearing T-shirts, setting up a banner, an info table… 6. Change the place if you feel you are not reaching the right people! 7. Make sure to make the results public afterwards! 2.5 Collect youngsters opinions: Graffiti wall Not everyone feel comfortable to join a discussion. It might be more inclusive to let youngsters anonymously communicate their concerns, ideas, through writing or painting. What is important is that these messages will be read, and afterwards reacted upon. Graffiti wall is a way to do this by providing a wall (real or by well-papp) to write on. It is better is to use a real wall and real graffiti paint. Why not right outside the YIC in order to make youngsters aware it is there? EXAMPLES In the campaign All Different All Equal, walls were put up with space for youngsters to write about their concerns. The messages could then be read by other passers-by. The method was also successfully used in segregated areas. 2.6 Express yourselves: Flash mobs A flash mob means that the participants suddenly, out of the blue, get together and show a banner or something similar with their message. EXAMPLE; In Moldova, when the government started modifying the school books, the student newspaper organised a flash mob where young people suddenly
stood together in a circle around the monument outside the government building, each holding a paper stating “Keep the truth untouched in the education”. Prior they had asked some journalists to be prepared with cameras on this spot. After 3 minutes the participants simply moved away. Others have used dance and music: suddenly, in the middle of a crowd, some people started a coordinated dance, more and more joining until they formed a large group. If you didn‟t know these people were coordinated it looked amazing. Same can be done with music. But don‟t forget the message! 2.7 VIP ambassadors Try to persuade some famous personality to become your ambassador, i.e. speaking on your behalf, in the campaign. This tool can be useful both for reaching young people as well as decision makers. For young people it is important to find a person they have as a role model, and for decision makers someone that is either really famous or someone whose opinion is valuable to them. Also if they don‟t want to become the official ambassador of your campaign they might agree to record a video with you or sign a demand letter. IDEAS ON HOW TO USE THE VIP AMBASSADORS Come up with a fun/provocative YouTube video where they speak about your message; Ask them to present you or join you at different events where your target group(s) are present (preferably media events); Ask them to sign an open letter or article (see more about this in section Part 4; Get them to state examples of “if only I had known” to show the importance of YI or simply make an interview with them (maybe a young ambassador could do this). Use this in your events and your web etc; Get them to wear our T-shirts or pins; 2.8 Create an exhibition Visual communication is very efficient and exhibition is a very time and cost effective mean to promote something. You can create the material for the exhibition together with young people in a creative workshop. Very important is the communication first about the event, secondly inside the actual exhibition where you can clearly put across your message. EXAMPLES;
Young photographers collected pictures and short interviews about the dreams youngsters had in the new EU member states. This exhibition, with portraits and transcript statements about their dreams, were exhibited
around Europe in schools, libraries and universities, in order to raise awareness about the neighbouring countries. For a campaign against visa, a workshop was done together with mentally disabled young artists to paint a ten meter long symbolic Berlin Wall to symbolize the barriers that run between youngsters in Europe because of Visa or handicaps. The wall was then used in Brussels and across Europe for various media manifestations. The exhibition that will be done at the Campaign Day Action with pictures of “?” from across Europe can also be used in these exhibitions – either on its own or together with someone else.
EXAMPLES OF WHERE YOU CAN DISPLAY THE EXHIBITION;
The YICs; Libraries; Schools; Universities; Youth centres; Cultural centres; Youth clubs; Sport clubs; Cafes, pubs; Municipality and public administration buildings; In companies‟ premises, counting on their good will to support the action.
2.9 Workshops with public output Planning an activity with young people does not necessarily represent a campaign event. However, if you make the same event but connect it with a communication measure it can be a useful contribution to the campaign. What is important is to highlight the symbolism of the activity and the actual message. Usually this can be explained trough a press release, handouts and flyers. Here are some examples of what can be done: Street art - Street art is a creative way to include passers-by, especially when targeting children and youngsters. An art project is exposed in a public space and passers-by are invited to join in for creating the art piece that is usually of a gigantic dimension. It can be done by recycling, by chalk to paint on the ground, by humans. The important thing is that it communicates a message and that this message is clear to the people joining in, as well as to those who see it.
EXAMPLE; ď‚ˇ An artist started building a massive art piece on a central square out of 1 cent coins and people joined in. He filmed from above how his work grew, as well as how the police in the end shovelled it away. ď‚ˇ A theme can be given and youngsters can be asked to send their pictures from this theme to a central web page. Treasure hunt - Make a treasure hunt for young persons, walk them around the city, using interesting questions or tasks, and ending up at the YIC. You can also invite school classes to take part. This can also be done on your web portal in order to get youngsters to familiarize themselves with it. Blindfolded rallies - Make a blindfolded rally where people are invited to run down a slalom track, blindfolded, in competition with each other. The race can be done with or without leading guidance from friends/volunteers. The rally can symbolize how hard it is to get to your goal without access to information. As it is made on a public space you will have the opportunity to present to the general public what the game is about trough flyers or banners.
PART 3 - ACTIVITIES TARGETED TO DECISION MAKERS Even if several of the activities targeted to youngsters and the general public may also indirectly affect decision makers as it raises the profile of YI, it is important to target the decision makers directly with a message tailored to them. Below you have an outline of several efficient campaigning activities that can easily be implemented with few human and financial resources. THINK ABOUT! WE OFFER THEM AN OPPORTUNITY - This is a European wide campaign led by a network active in 30 countries as well as by the Council of Europe. For a politician, this is actually a unique opportunity to gain visibility and improve their profile. We are not attacking anyone, instead we are offering a realistic and concrete solution to current problems in a variety of sectors such as health, education and employment. Highlight this to them – show them their benefit of joining as a patron, take part in an event or support our cause in any other way. Optimize human and financial resources - Campaigning towards decision makers can be very effective also with zero financial spending and very few human resources. The long term effect of the efforts are also essential as you might establish good links with decision makers that can be used for the future, and you might get important supporters for your work and especially for the budgets supporting your work. You are the expert they need! - Remember that you have to show how it is beneficial for them to meet you. “I know that you work within formal education and I would find it interesting to present to you our findings regarding young people‟s lack of information about education possibilities, as well as our pilot project XX that has shown great success in reaching marginalized youth and channelling them into education that you might be interested in”. “In the new crime reduction plan you are working on, we think there is an important correlation to young people‟s access to information and crime rate that we would like to discuss with you”. Follow up - What is important is to make the decision maker remember you and your message. One way is to give him/her something unexpected, preferably with a youth dimension, be it cakes baked in the youth centre, a graffiti painting or simply some cool campaigning materials. Also make sure to hand over something printed about the YIC that they can keep and read more if they want to. You might also hand over statistics that they can use in their work (printed). Afterwards, you might also send this by mail. But for establishing a close relationship also for the future it is always good to already
have a follow up meeting planned, an event where the person can be invited as a speaker or guest, a request to become a patron or something else. This might of course depend on the feedback during the meeting. Generally politicians like to be seen, be able to take a position for or against something, but not to spend too much time â€“ this is also how you have to design the follow up meetings. Anyone can do it - Some people might feel they are not skilled enough to do campaigning towards decision makers but really anyone that has an opinion on a certain topic can do it! The main aim is to raise attention on a subject that the decision makers might be unaware of â€“ it is nothing more complicated than that. Still many believe they cannot do it â€“ if you or your volunteers feel uncomfortable, make sure to start with a campaign activity that you feel comfortable with, and see how it goes. Press work - Always follow up your advocacy action with a press release, be it just to report on a meeting or a bigger event. But also do press work after the government has done something that you campaigned for to put attention to the success of your campaign and as an appreciation towards the decision makers. If your institution is part of the governmental structures you can connect the message with the European/international campaign to avoid putting the focus on you. More on press work in Part 4of this Tool Kit. 3.1 Open letters and joint statements Open letters - You have an idea, a demand or a solution and want to make it public. The first and easiest step might be to issue an open letter where you present your position together with your arguments. Here it should also be clear what you demand and from whom so that it gets very concrete. Put forward the problem, the solution you have and the arguments in favour of this. It should not be more than one page in total. You might also involve other organisations, researchers or public figures in drafting, or at least co-signing this open letter to give it more weight. Once you have the letter you can start using it. Joint statements - A joint statement is simply an open letter supported by more partners. This is efficient if you have more people that stand behind a demand, making the message stronger. Often it is a big advantage to be a neutral body, to coordinate a joint statement/open letter between different partners. For example you as YI experts can coordinate an open letter (see above) that is signed by all political parties, or all political youth wings. A demand that comes from all political colours has a large political weight.
EXAMPLES OF WHOM TO INVOLVE IN SIGNING SUCH A STATEMENT/LETTER:
Schools; Researchers; Political groups/youth wings; Sister organisations in other countries; Institutions/organisations linked to the topic at stake (health, education, housing, students, child care, news etc); Representatives of young people such as youth councils and platforms; Pupil, student organisations;
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW TO USE THE STATEMENT/LETTER:
Publicise it on your webpage and those of your partners; Send out a press release presenting the content of the statement and explain what you are going to do with it; Hand it over to decision makers and institutions – preferably in person, but otherwise by mail or post; Send it to the political parties, and as it is about youth issues, to the youth political parties. Ask them to publicise it in their newsletters. Ask it to be publicised in webzines, blogs, web portals of partners and organisations/people active in the same field; Ask organisations/partners to include it in their newsletter; Write a common article based on the content of the joint statement (that is not really written as an article) and present why you made a public statement adding more background facts.
HOW TO DO IT; 1. What to put in there? The open letter/statement should include your message clearly spelled out; the background and the problem you are trying to address (including statistics and chocking facts), the solution you are bringing forward (with possible facts backing this up), the decision that needs to be taken in order to address this and who you are asking this from. Also present briefly who you are and your partners, as well as the campaign and its international dimension (CoE, ERYICA). It should not be more than one page in total. 2. It is usually much easier to start from a draft when discussing with the partners, or even within your own board. Contact the partners, suggest you will draft the joint letter, present the key points you want to include and ask for their feedback on this. 3. Once you have done the semi-final draft, send it out and ask everyone to come back to you with their feedback or concerns within a given
deadline. Include all logos in the final version and write a press release to go with it. 4. Invite all the partners to spread the joint letter trough their communication channels and their press databases. Make sure that you also do the same. Especially make sure to send it to the relevant decision makers and institutions. You should mention this in your press release too. 3.2 Participation in public debate â€“ simply ask a question A very effective way to put your message across several stakeholders is to simply visit their events and, at the end of the discussion/speeches, put a question that draws attention to your issue. Remember to present yourself as coming from the YIC, put yourself forward as an expert in the field (you are!) and put in as many background facts as possible before posing the question. The question can be asked in order to make the decision maker to take a stand on the issue, but it can also be put simply to raise the attention to the issue in any way. To make it very authentic you can send a young person, for example the youth ambassador, to ask the question. Whoever is going doesnâ€&#x;t need great knowledge, it is enough to state an opinion or ask a question and, if they need backup, you can help them by preparing this in advance. The advantage of this method of advocacy is that it takes very few people, very little time and actually no financial resources, to reach many decision makers and stakeholders. From the side of the office it might be good to keep an agenda with all possible events to visit. You can then coordinate different volunteers and staff members to go to one or two events and, if needed, you can have a small conversation beforehand to talk about what kind of questions could be raised. YOU should also make public the outcomes, especially if you get an interesting response. You might even make a press release about this or organise a follow up meeting with that person. EXAMPLE; Before the European Parliament elections a small group of activists were coordinated to visit around 30 events/debates in Brussels in order to raise a certain issue to the political parties. Each person only invested around 4 hours time, but jointly they managed to significantly raise the profile of the issue within all political parties.
HOW TO DO AN INTERVENTION STRATEGY 1. Get a small group of people together. It can be you and one other colleague or it can be a larger group of volunteers where each commits to visit 2-3 public events and make an intervention. Try to have someone that can work as a back up and visit all the events other don‟t manage to cover. 2. It is good to have a prep meeting with the group to create a team spirit for the campaigning and also to share methods and strategies about how to make good interventions. 3. Set a goal about how many events you want to cover in what time span. 4. Make an agenda with all events worth visiting – pick those where decision makers are present. 5. Ask people to volunteer for the events and also follow up asking people specifically to go to this or that event. 6. Back up the people that are going by giving them an input to what kind of point to rise or question to ask. 7. Ask everyone to report back on who they meet and what they asked for the records and, of course, make public the outcomes! Again, explain that this is something we are doing all over Europe to raise the debate about the issue – this is actually quite impressive and shows above all the European wide debate this is part of. 3.3 Ask questions by mail or phone The most important thing in advocacy is to get a direct contact with the decision maker. You don‟t have to say what your objective is or to share your own opinion, but just simply show an interest in their work/opinion. Send them an e-mail or call to ask about their standpoint on the topic and potentially ask if there is a possibility to further discuss it. Share your knowledge/experience on the topic. The main thing is to raise the profile of the question you are trying to highlight.
HOW TO DO IT
Try to include something in the letter that the decision makers have to react to, for example an invitation, to make sure the letter reaches further than the assistant.
It is good to highlight that the issue you are raising is part of a European wide campaign implemented by CoE and ERYICA to show the importance and urgency of the matter. Send an attachment with more information about the campaign and the joint statement summarizing the issue (if any).
You can ask members or volunteers that are also members of a particular party to raise the question directly with their representatives. As members they might have a direct link to the decision makers.
Make a follow up call and maybe invite the person to one of your events.
3.4 Indirect advocacy The goal is to reach the decision makers as directly as possible when you do advocacy. This does not mean you have to tell them that you are meeting them because of the campaign. Instead you can use other occasions to meet them and then simply informally mention the campaign and its goals. Especially as you are part of a large European campaign it will be easy to “talk about” as opposed to doing advertisement for the campaign. EXAMPLES;
An “opening” - you can use the occasion of opening a new photo exhibition in the YIC to invite a politician, and once he/she is there you can also take the chance to present the open letter you have done, or explain about the campaign you are involved in. Offer a reality check - You might also simply invite him/her to a meeting with youngsters and provide him/her the opportunity to learn about their experiences. This is a way to offer a reality check for the politicians in the youth field. You can take some nice pictures showing them interested in marginalized youngsters, this increasing their advantage as voting figures. On the other side, it is also a great opportunity to promote the work of the YIC and YI.
HOW TO DO IT
Show the importance of the event and how much visibility the decision maker will get out of it. Again, it is useful to say it is part of a European wide CoE and ERYICA campaign/project.
Make sure the timing suits them. When do they normally have time for events and how much time can they spare? Phone their secretariat and say you like to discuss a suitable time before you send the official invitation, or mention on the invitation that you are open for changing the time.
If the invitation is turned down you might follow up with a phone call to share the outcome of the event and be able to put forward your message.
Think broad about whom to invite – the director of a school, a public servant working with the issue and so on.
3.5 Create messengers You can invite a decision maker to stand up for your demand by creating the space for them to support your agenda. With this positive approach “of course you as a good politician already support the issue of…”as opposed to “we demand you do this” which is a more negative message, you can get a more positive effect. If you want a politician to do this you might try to cooperate with a youth wing of a party that would like to increase the youth issues inside the party, being more willing to help you on this regard. EXAMPLES; Here some example of how to make a decision maker support you in public. Patron - An easy way is to ask for someone to be your “patron”. This means they officially support your campaign, your cause. This can then be used in all communication work to increase the profile of the campaign, but especially if you have a 100% loyal decision maker that will support this cause – that s/he might not even have been aware about before you approached him/her. Tell him/her the international dimension of the campaign and that CoE and ERYICA stand behind it for him/her get more interested in becoming a patron. Messenger – You can organise a discussion or debate about the importance of youth information where the decision maker is on the panel/in the roundtable. S/he will then become a messenger of your agenda.
High profile participant - You can also organise an event where you invite the decision maker to hand out information, ask people to sign a petition, take a picture or another symbolic action to show their support of the campaign (see ideas above). Make sure there are good photo opportunities as well as explain to the high profile person beforehand how visible the action will be trough press work etc. This is their motivation to participate! 3.6 Creative sending Organising an event might take a lot of human and even financial resources. Sending something to a decision maker on the other hand is a good way to spread your message to potentially several decision makers without too much effort. The practical thing with e-mails and faxes is that you can e-mail 700 members of parliament, personally addressed with their names etc, within one hour. Also ordinary letters can easily be distributed to all post boxes of the Parliament members very quick and smooth. But as the mailboxes are usually overfilled and mainly dealt with by assistants, it is important to find ways to stand out. It is also good to be able to “hand over” something, to offer an excuse to send the e-mail/letter. This may for example be a publication you have done, an open letter or even a research result. Another way to stand out is to send something more creative then a letter/e-mail. Here are some examples:
Sending a photo collage/picture of an important project you‟ve done presenting the outcomes; Send a painting on the topic made by children; Send a fax with a creative design image and your message included – be clear about your message, don‟t hide it.
3.7 Testimonials The decision makers need facts, but they also need personal stories. These personal stories are what they remember and also what they can use in their speeches. Provide them with these testimonials by bringing young people to them, telling their stories. A young person coming from low, exiting at high – that is a success story that the YIC helped to create.
3.8 Meetings You can always ask for a meeting with a decision maker to present yourself, the work you do, as well as your experience on the field. Simply write an email or phone them and suggest a meeting that could be beneficial for both of you. This kind of lobbying is actually an important information input that
decision makers count on to prepare their decisions as they don‟t have the complete knowledge or overview. And of course you want them to be aware about the reality so that they take the right decision. You can also wrap it up in something nice like a brunch or, why not, a meeting where you bring someone else with you that is beneficial for them such as a researcher or a journalist. HOW TO MAKE THE CAMPAIGNING MEETING EFFECTIVE:
The aim is to make them act and you have to show them what actions are possible. Make a proposal stating what needs to be done. “by voting this in the parliamentary next week…”, “by asking this question to the government…”, if your party takes this stand at the party congress…”.
Bring something to show them, results of something, statistics etc. Bring it also in printed format to hand over. Also bring information about the Campaign that highlights its European dimension as well as the work you do.
Give them something to remember you.
If you don‟t have anything interesting to show them, organise the meeting together with someone else as a researcher or another NGO. Like this, the decision maker feels he/she will get more information out of the meeting.
Tell them you will publicize the meeting on an international campaigning webpage to show the importance of their support.
PART 4 - CAMPAIGNING TARGETED MEDIA 4.1 Write expert articles Remember that you are an expert in this field. This makes your input valuable both to the media as well as to decision makers. In the daily press you cannot contribute directly but often in specialized media experts are welcomed to contribute with articles. This is especially so in online media where the space is not limited. In these specialized media you also have a much narrower readership that often include many decision makers. You might also ask blogs or shared blogs on the topic to include your article.
Share your experience and your knowledge as well as put forward your ideas and solutions in articles. A few hours work can then directly reach many thousands of readers that belong to your target group and, on the long run, it might also help to profile you as an expert who is asked for advice and increase your influence on this area. 4.2 Write letters to the editor Many newspapers have “letters to the editor” where anyone can write a contribution on a topic. Preferably it should be a reaction on something that has been written in the same paper. Look at the tips given below in “ HOW TO DO IT” for inspiration. 4.3 Get in the radio or TV sofa Certain types of media are easier to access. Certain radio programs are very accessible as they are closely related to the topic. Of course radio programmes that young people listen are also an excellent way to reach directly our target audience. Also it is quite easy to get into the morning shows as they run for several hours every morning and simply have a problem to fill up all this time with valuable content. Important is to make it attractive to them – TV means visual images are important (as a public action) and also the debating dimension, that you don‟t only want to say what you do but why it is important, and why there is a problem right now. This is a good occasion to bring with you your VIP ambassador, but you can also bring a researcher or a young person to make it more interesting. 4.4 Reactions in the media Try to keep the media and blog sphere monitored. When you see an article that corresponds directly or indirectly to your area you can write a comment to the article. It can be really short, just to highlight your message (in whatever angle is more suitable) and it should preferably include a link to where more information can be found. A quick and effective way to put your message out there! 4.5 Use blogs Make an overview over all bloggers you know and that are connected with you and ask them to cover your issues. Also make a list of blogs that deal with your issues and keep track on their discussions. You can always contact them and send them your PR, or comment on what they write.
HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGNING ARTICLE AND PRESS RELEASES; Use the momentum. Again, highlight why this is of importance NOW – otherwise the editor might not see why to include your article. Highlight what is behind it – a European wide campaign by CoE and ERYCIA. Think new. News is not only events that took place yesterday or today, it is also new ideas and new angles of looking at current problems/issues. Show this clearly in the article and the editor will find it more important to include your writing. Use (new) facts. Your articles should inform and contribute to the general debate by bringing forward “new” facts. Just because you know the newest research or the latest political decisions doesn‟t mean the journalists also do. “New” can also be new ideas or angles on things. Often we believe “everyone” knows about the content of the latest Euro barometer or the newest research – actually you are the one that has to highlight these new outcomes and their implications to the journalists and the public. Be polemic. Topical journals/magazines like to bring forward debates. Take a stand against someone or something and you are more likely to be included. Show that someone/an institution have failed to deliver/live up to promises. If you can do this and still keep a positive line in the article even better. Get a catchy title. The title should be fun and provocative. It should encourage people to continue reading. Use quotes. Especially for PRs it is important to use quotes that journalists can use when they write articles. Let your director comment on something, include the voice of the affected young people – think about how a journalist could use the quote in his/her article. Use visual material. An article usually includes a picture, so make sure to include a good one with a high resolution in your PR or article. Keep it short. The PR should be max one page and article max 2 pages (but often the magazine will give you a word maximum). In the first intro paragraph you have to get your main points clear as this is what the editor and reader will read before deciding to continue reading. Why not use a fact box/summary at the top? Don‟t forget contact details, webpage and address of the YIC. React to something. It will be even easier to get in if your article is directly reacting on someone‟s article as a reply. Get it signed. The higher the profile of the one that writes it, the better. You
don‟t necessarily have to have someone directly connected to the YIC, it might also be the director of the youth department, a researcher, journalist you know. You can also have the article co-signed by several persons. It is always easier to get someone to sign the article if you first write the draft and hand this over as this involves much less work for the “high profile” person. But also if no one else signs it you are likely to get it published, so don‟t be discouraged. Just about anyone can get published if s/he has an interesting idea or angle on the article. Spread it. Once the article is publicised you should try to spread it to multiply its effect. Ask other web portals, webzines do double publish it (always including an indication about where it was first publicised). Include the link in newsletter and ask others to do the same. The first one to publicise the article should be the most important journal/magazine as they are unlikely to publish it if someone else already has. Press archive. Keep a press archive, also on your webpage, to keep track on where you have been visible in the media. Where? Some ideas on where to start: Women‟s magazines (mothers as multipliers, easy to get in); Educational media (multipliers); Student/pupil magazines (young people); Local/regional media (make the news local); Newsletters (easy to get in – think broad about whose newsletter); Teachers magazines (multipliers); The magazines of political parties/youth wings (reach decision makers); Online media (easier to get in then printed media as more space); Format. Keep it as short as possible. A PR should be no more than one page and an article 1-2 pages (many magazines will give you a word count indication). Make sure to include quotes from important persons as well as young persons. Especially to get a journalist to write about you, as would be the purpose with a PR, this is the most likely way they will include what you have to say by using one of your quotes. It is not rare that a PR is made out of 95% quotes. Don‟t forget to include your name, a contact person, and web and contact details. If you are making a PR about an event, you can also summarize the facts in a “fact box” at the beginning. When to send a PR? The press communication looks different in every country. As a standard you can say that it is good to send out the press release 7 days before the event with a 3 days reminder before the event for media‟s planning sake. Try to send it out before 10am. If it is an activity also send a PR with some pictures right after the event the same day.
PART 5 - COORDINATED ERYICA CAMPAIGNING TOOLS 5.1 ERYICA ambassadors In the campaign a group of young people coming from different countries will be created to jointly reflect on the reality of young people and the situation of YI in their local realities. This input will be important in terms of European wide testimonials. The main event will be a meeting with all the youth ambassadors taking place in May 2012 where an exchange of experiences will take place and also video materials will be produced for the purpose of the campaign. Two of the ambassadors (a boy and a girl) will be selected to go to the CoE conference in St-Petersburg to present the campaign. The young ambassadors can also be involved throughout the campaign by the MOs. Invite an ambassador from another country to your events, debates or even your advocacy meetings if you want to include a European dimension and international comparison to the campaign. Or involve the youth ambassador from your country in the campaign – see examples below. EXAMPLES ON HOW TO INVOLVE THE AMBASSADOR: Peer to Peer - Get the young ambassadors to share their experience of the YIC and YI in schools, organisations, youth centres and clubs or anywhere you can find young people, through peer to peer education. Story for media - invite this person with you to a meeting with a journalist to provide material for a comparative story or to simply be included in a programme that preferably reaches young people. Reality check for decision makers - involve him/her on the roundtable discussion or a meeting together with the decision makers to tell their story. Produce campaigning material – Involve the ambassador to video record some stories from other young people related to topics as “If I had only known” or “this is how I benefited from YI”. You could also ask the youth ambassador to interview a decision maker or a VIP and use the materials in your web, blogs etc. HOW TO SELECT THE YOUNG AMBASSADOR? How you do the selection is up to you, just make sure they fit the profile. The ERYICA young ambassadors should be between 18-22 years old. It is important to select someone that himself/herself has a positive experience of using the services at their YIC – look at their personal story when you select them. It is also important to find someone that has the motivation to be an active ambassador for YI – look at their involvement, possibly in organisations
dealing directly or indirectly with YI. Find someone that is competent and motivated to speak in public and advocate about YI. You might want to use the selection for the youth ambassador as an occasion for organising a round table, workshops or competitions from which you make the selection. MOTIVATE THE AMBASSADORS! Donâ€&#x;t overload them with tasks and make sure they identify themselves with the campaign and you. Why not print real business cards for them? And include their ideas in the campaign. To travel to the meeting with the other youth ambassadors should be an important motivation, and also the chance to be selected as the youth representative to go to the CoE conference in St Petersburg. But most of all: make sure that this experience is important for them, provide them support and guidance during all phases of the project and be there for them and address their needs with openness, friendliness and professionalism. 5.2 Central campaign webpage www.informationrightnow.eu will be the official webpage of the campaign. Here you will find all the information about the campaign, the activities being run in different countries, the outcomes, materials for download and so on. The central webpage will be an important tool to show the trans-national character of the campaign as well as to present the extensiveness of the campaign to partners and decision makers. Include it in your communication with partners, media, and decision makers! The webpage is not important in terms of fulfilling objective 1. and 2. of the campaign targeted to young people and will not be important to communicate to this group. Here probably the webpage of the YIC will be more important to communicate 5.3 Youth Information Pan-European Action On May the 16th, one month after officially launching the campaign, a PanEuropean Action will be done by youth information centres and partners all over Europe. Doing the same action in the same day in different countries around Europe offers a high visibility degree to the Campaign, but also helps building a common identity. Be part of it! WHAT? The action is to build or paint a question mark together with young people. Take pictures of this action! All the pictures of the question marks that are being built around Europe will be gathered online and put to the Facebook webpage of the campaign. They will also be promoted through organized
events such as photo exhibitions around Europe and press work. The pictures taken by youngsters - or picturing youngsters - will participate in a Facebook based photo competition. The question mark is meant to symbolize all the questions young people have around Europe today, given the complicated reality they are growing up in. The questions are different for different youngsters living in different realities, but part of the solution is the same – provide young people with quality information and guidance. WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES? Only your creativity is the limitation for how you express your question mark! A good idea is to involve a group of volunteers to brainstorm about how you want to create the question mark. You might also connect it with another event – be it a workshop, a large scale event with pupils and so on. When you design the action it is important to think about how many youngsters will join in to build the question mark. The more daring and extravagant the activity is, the more likely you are to get media attention. Use also the tips and tricks above for how to make the activity more visible (invite a VIP, use banners…). EXAMPLES OF HOW TO BUILD A QUESTION MARK;
Create a giant question mark in a strategic public place – the beach, the town square, outside the parliament, outside the YIC – together with young people. Use creative materials such as recycling, balloons, the bodies of youngsters, all brochures that exist about studies showing how impossible it is to guide your way through it by yourself.
Make many small question marks and put them all over.
Make a huge question mark on a billboard and ask youngsters on the street to write down the questions they have. Put it in a school, on the street or outside the YIC.
Ask youngsters to write down the question they have and build a question mark out of this.
Make a photo competition where you ask youngsters to make the best photo including a question mark.
Make a collage of several pictures of question marks that is jointly shaped into a question mark.
WITH WHOM? Invite youngsters to join you in doing the action. If you do the activity in a public space you can also invite passers-by to join in. As it is not an extremely provocative statement you are not that likely to get a huge turnout of youngsters just by sending out the invitation over Facebook or e-mail lists or put up posters. Try to make it into a workshop where you get a group of volunteers together to do the activity. Any extra youngsters who join in are always a plus. In case you have no time or no volunteers you can also do the action with great creativity in 15 minutes, and with as little as 2 people! You will still contribute to the overall objective of showing that we have question marks all over Europe trough the photo exhibition! In those countries where there are several YIC you can organize the activity in more or all of the centres. WHAT DO TO WITH THE PICTURES? European level - Each country is asked to choose one representative picture for the campaign and to submit it for a central exhibition that will be then running around Europe, and also brought to the Council of Europe Ministerial Conference in St. Petersburg, September 2012. The creative action done with young people can be used as an advocacy tool directed to the decision makers and send a strong message. Each of these pictures should have a short explanation text that will be put together with country and city names under the picture. When there are several activities in one country or several question marks produced you are invited to submit all these pictures for the photo gallery of the campaign. The more question marks we build together the stronger the message of the action! Make sure to inform the ones taking part in doing the activity about the European dimension of the action and the campaign. These pictures could be used in the following ways: ď‚ˇ
Exhibitions in the YICs - A photo exhibition will be created out of the gathered pictures to be exhibited in YICs around Europe together with an info poster explaining the background of the action and the campaign. ERYICA will get a very visual and creative presentation of the campaign and its international character. Of course the exhibition will be more powerful if more YCs take part in the action! You can also promote this photo exhibition to be put up in other places such as libraries, schools and public institutions in order to emphasize the campaign and the work of the YIC.
Online - The photos will also be exhibited online to spread the word about the campaign. This is, of course, also the tool you can use to spread the pictures and information from the campaign activity in your country. You can also use the pictures for future activities – online or offline. Why not use them as an image for a Facebook page where you ask young people to share what question marks they have?
Use the pictures yourself! - Promote them on your webpage, Facebook page or in youth centres. Hand them over to decision makers in your country. Photo competition – There will be a competition in the campaign Facebook page. The pictures of the different actions will be included in this competition as well.
HOW TO DO THE ACTION 1. Decide the format of the event you would like to do. 2. Mail ERYICA to say you are joining the action – this is especially important for the central press work. 3. Prepare an invitation and distribute it over your usual distribution channels. 4. Send out a press release about the action highlighting it is part of a European wide campaign where youngsters all over Europe are building question marks on this very day. A draft PR kit will be provided to you in English. 5. Try to give something extra for the participants – sandwiches, coffee, nice music. It should be fun to participate! 6. Make plenty of pictures and collect the best one of the question mark to send to ERYICA the very same day as the action take place (important!) 7. Don‟t forget to advertise the YIC and its location both in the invitation to the activity, in the event itself and in the press. 5.4 Pan-European Facebook based photo competition A Facebook based photo competition will be prepared and coordinated at the central level. It will be launched on the same day with the Pan-European action, 16 May 2012, and run until end of August 2012. WHO? The competition is opened to all young people around Europe, age 13 to 30, invited to submit their pictures and out them to vote. Youngsters are invited to state their questions using a photo camera.
The competition will start with the photos from the Campaign‟s Pan-European Action, done by youngsters or picturing youngsters all over Europe. Also, the young ambassadors will be motivated to take pictures at the training in Malta and submit it to the competition. WHAT? The topic of the photo competition is “Young people are asking” and the participants will be invited to submit a picture with a written line explaining the content of the picture. The voters will be asked to pick the ones that show the theme of the competition in the most creative way. PROMOTING THE COMPETITION The idea is to spread the competition through the networks of the national local YICs and their Facebook pages/groups. The participants will then be encouraged to spread the competition to their friends in order to gather votes for their pictures. The promotion of the competition should preferably take place online as well as offline trough the YICs and their activities. OUTCOME All of the pictures subscribed in the competition will be added to the photo gallery in the Campaign‟s webpage and Facebook page. However, the pictures in the competition that will become the most popular and will receive the biggest number of votes on Facebook, will be exhibited together with the YICs pictures from the Pan-European Day. This picture, among the others, will be used in the exhibition in the Council of Europe and also in Sankt Petersburg. More on the online competition will be presented during the rest of 2012.
PART 6 - COMMUNICATION TRICKS Campaigning is all about making your message heard. To simply have a good branding, expensive materials or even many qualitative events might not be enough to highlight the message. Here follows a few communication tricks. 6.1 Use the message everywhere We might take for granted that people understand our goals. Make sure the message is spelled out everywhere possible. For example, European Youth Forum picked their logo “for youth rights” and this is visible in all their communication. No one has to wonder about what they stand up for. IDEAS FOR WHERE TO PUT YOUR MESSAGE:
Email/letter footer; Your business card; With your logo; Banner on webpage; On your computers with stickers; Footer of presentations, background beamer on events; Screen savers; Twitter twibbon (add the slogan/logo to your twitter image); Facebook badge (add the slogan/logo to your FB image); To everything you exhibit in the YC;
6.2 Simultaneous actions If 20 youngsters build a pyramid outside the YIC to show the importance of YI it will catch the attention of passers-by. If youngsters are doing this outside every YIC in the city on the same day it might get the local media, and if they do it in every country across Europe on a day that also has a special symbolic meaning (political, historical…) also decision makers might find it interesting that youth stand up for their rights. Small action can become larger by coordinating them with other actions, as well as coordinating them with political decisions, symbolic momentums etc. You can use this method to put more attention to your campaign, and also as a tool to integrate the work of different YIC in your country or in your region. What is important is to assess the capability of the different groups involved and plan the event in a manner that everyone can take part. It is also good to allow for some variation so that groups can adapt it to their local needs.
See the pan-European campaign Day as an example how it can be done. EXAMPLES: On the day of the fall of the Berlin wall youngsters in 25 cities around Europe build symbolic “visa” walls to highlight the barriers the visa requirements inside Europe creates. In some countries an artistic wall was build in a realistic dimension, while in other countries 2000 youngsters gathered for a manifestation. On Earth hour people across the globe turn off the light for one hour to show the need to tackle climate change. An article written by several experts is published in several countries on the same day. Youngsters send their demands by fax to decision makers on a certain day in different countries, on a specific topic. 6.3 The campaigner’s tool kit Here is a small shopping list of things that is good to have with you to any campaigning activity. Like this you can always improvise a sign, a banner, a collection of signatures, building something creative to catch attention, fix something that has broken etc. WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR CAMPAIGNING:
Large pieces of carton/well-papp; Colour papers, thick papers and some large papers/flipcharts; Scissors; Markers in different colours; Thick tape and masking tape; String;
PART 7 – CREATING PROMOTION MATERIALS THINK ABOUT! 3-second rule. If you give out a handout people usually pay around 3 seconds attention until they put it away. Make sure the message is clear within 3 seconds, and put all the extra information on the back. Be creative and be visual. Try to catch people‟s attention not only through the message but also through the format of the giveaway. Use little text and much image. Be different and be interesting also in the kind of material you produce. Get people to smile. It is always good to send a positive message, or to play with humour. To make people smile is a good way to affect them. 7.1 Making your own creative materials In this tool kit you already get some promotion materials that you can print and produce. Sometimes it is good to produce a special promotion material for a special event. An easy way to do this is to use the same layout but slightly change the text. You can easily create and produce your own material – professionally or semi – professionally. Sometimes it is worth the effort to produce a specific promotion material for one particular event – be it because of the message or arguments, or because of an effective way of communication in that particular place. Sometimes you even get more attention by a promotion material that looks handmade – especially if it comes from young people. Whether professionalism or creativity comes first, it depends on the target group and on who is handing out the material. The Minister of Education would probably expect an institution to hand him/her something more serious and professional whereas he/she would appreciate the handmade creative handout that is given to him/her by youth. Use materials you already have and add something extra – for example take the sticker of the ERYICA campaign and put it on your standard handouts. To produce new materials you can organize a workshop with youngsters. EXAMPLES OF TAILOR-MADE CREATIVE HANDOUTS;
Visiting the liberals‟ party congress, an NGO made postcards with the text “hello, I am interested in voting for your party but wonder when you will do
XX. /Lisa”. The text was printed on stickers and glued onto the NGO postcard. For a summer campaign the printed flyers were made as tulips by cutting colour paper and glue onto a straw. A group of Greek activists went to Spain and handed out Greek yoghurts with the message “vote yes to the European constitution” on it as well as a declaration of content which stated main features of the European Constitution
7.2 Stickers Even if you don‟t print much campaigning material, stickers can be really useful as they can be put on just about anything. They may be used on their own in strategic places instead of a poster but they may also be put on something you spontaneously create or on your standard materials. You can also print your own stickers using labels that can be printed in normal printers. This is easy and cheap – just make sure to have this already printed. Stickers can also be used when creating campaigning material. Say you want to add a message to a post card that you are handing out – just print the message and put it on the postcards as stickers, fast, cheap and easy. What to put on the stickers - Stickers are usually used for branding and sending a short message in a campaign. Don‟t put only the logo but make sure the campaign message is stated shortly. You can also print a QR code for smart phones to redirect people to your webpage/video (you create it for free in internet). WHERE TO PUT STICKERS?
Computers; Inside of toilet doors; Your window; Folders, papers you give to target groups; On your homemade posters, info notes etc;
7.3 Banners Banners are a good way to put the message of the campaign clearly in all your activities. There are design files in the tool kit you can use to print your own campaign banner. As with the stickers, it is important that your campaigning message is clear from the banner – don‟t put on it only the logo.
Also you can easily create your own banner to send a message across. Even if this “home-made” style does not usually fit institutions this might be useful if youngsters are making the activity or if you, for example, use it only in the background of a picture where no one can see that it is handmade. Take textile and then cut out letters and symbols out of another textile colour and glue them on with textile glue. An easier version is to cut out letters and simply glue them onto large papers or textile. You can even do a small workshop beforehand only to produce such creative materials. 7.4 Campaigning materials ideas Here follows a list of creative campaigning materials ideas to get inspired from!
T-shirts; Coasters from recycled paper; Big and small flags; Banners; Sunglasses; Baggage tag - destination: the local YIC; Sweets, candies; Mobile phone cover; Fake tattoo; Calendar; Key chain; Coin replacement for supermarket trolleys; Paper cup holder; Stress ball; Lip balm; Tooth brush; Apple/banana with small sticker;
PART 8 - EVALUATION 8.1 Evaluation Criteria Starting from our Campaigning Objectives we have established several subobjectives that we want to achieve with this campaign. They are established to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. These sub-objectives, as listed below, will function as the evaluation criteria of the campaign. OBJECTIVE 1 AND 2 To reach 10% more YP trough the YICs in 2013. OBJECTIVE 3 2/3 of Member States, where an ERYICA member is present, governments should find out about us and the issue of YI, making us a point of references on this issue; YI included in the final declaration of St. Petersburg Council of Europe Ministerial conference; YI mentioned in the draft for new EU Youth Programme (or equivalent). OBJECTIVE 1, 2 AND 3 Media coverage in at least 2/3 of CoE MS making us a point of references on the issue of YI. ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES (Medium term objectives are identified on 3 years) Strengthening of the ERYICA network trough increasing the trans-national cooperation; One event in at least ¾ of ERYICA MOs; Medium term – new contacts established in the CoE members states where there are no ERYICA members; Medium term – a partial prevention of decrease in funds; Medium term – a partial increase in funds; Medium term – increased presence in at least 5 of the countries where we have members. 8.2 Evaluation Methods It is important to continuously evaluate a campaign in order to see if the objectives are being fulfilled, the target groups reached, the message communicated and the own organisation involved. This should be done at every level of the organisation.
The final campaign evaluation, compiling the results and comparing them with the evaluation criteria, will take place after the campaign has finished in the end of 2012 as well as 3 years after the end of the campaign to measure the medium term outcomes. It will be based on the monitoring of the campaigning results trough a continuous compilation of outcomes as well as an in-depth evaluation questioner with the MOs at the end of the campaign.
PART 9 – CONTACTS The Campaign‟s reference contacts are reported below. If you want to join the Campaign, submit materials, pictures, stories; if you need materials, arguments, clarifications, files, any kind of support at any time, please just contact us or connect through the webpage and the Facebook page, we‟ll be very happy to hear from you! The Campaign is a partnership between the Council of Europe and ERYICA, the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency. Council of Europe Youth Policy Division Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex ERYICA asbl 26, Place de la Gare L-1616 Luxembourg Tel. +352 24873992 firstname.lastname@example.org The Campaign website (from April 17th, 2012): www.informationrightnow.eu The Facebook Page of the Campaign (from April 17th, 2012): Information Right Now