Making Small-Scale Activism Efforts More Effective

This is the very-long season of selling candidates and ideas, including a candidate’s ideas, a party’s ideas, or a group’s ideas for policies and programs. The usual methods of creating and selling political ideas are well known to political activists, though some simple principles for creating and selling ideas may have been overlooked.


  1. Analyze Challenges – Ask plenty of questions about the nature of the issue, the social environment, and the likely solutions. Michael Michalko’s book Thinkertoys contains some of the best questions.
  2. Define Good Ideas – The social environment, the time frame involved, and your organization’s resources will help define what counts as a good idea.
  3. Steal Ideas – Look for ideas in advertising, products, commercial services, magazines, novels, government programs, and other organization’s projects.
  4. Think Creatively – Use brainstorming techniques or systematic idea generation methods get new ideas. Many good creative thinking books describe idea generation techniques that are both effective and easy to use.
  5. Think Design – Ideas have to fit the culture, economy, and political climate of the community. Test ideas for their fit with the social environment
  6. Think Marketing – Ideas generally need to be sold. You need to raise money, recruit program participants or get people to vote for something by selling them on your idea’s benefits. Books on social marketing and on copywriting principles can help.
  7. Find Leverage – Look for an audience, geographic location, or specific action that will have the greatest impact for the time and money that you can devote to a change effort. Focus on the highest impact focal point that you can identify.


~ by chetdavis on January 18, 2008.

One Response to “Making Small-Scale Activism Efforts More Effective”

  1. I am pleased to find your socially responsible site.
    I have created a site with the purpose of giving people a way to actually act on issues and organize others easily.

    I welcome your thoughts and feedback

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