Campaigning – Get your message across

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Campaigning – Get your message across

Think about who your target audience is and what you want to communicate. Communications may be ‘internal’ ie within UNISON (either the branch, Scotland, or at UK level) or ‘external’ ie outside UNISON (eg the employers, local or national media, trades councils, other trade unions, etc), or both.

You may want to think about using some of the following methods:

  • Press releases, to tell the media about specific events in your campaign or a compelling story in your branch. Don’t forget that journalists are interested in anything that will make a story, Think, what does it mean to their readers/listeners? Personalise your story.
  • Briefing meetings for activists and members. Only when you have something to say, or you want feedback from them.  What about a guest speaker?
  • Could you create any photo opportunities to attract the attention of the press and public but also to provide your branch with stock photographs to be used in your publicity?
  • Newsletters

Other ideas: Circulars, email, notice boards, word of mouth, workplace meetings, pre-printed envelopes, social events, posters, leaflets, advertising.

What do you want to communicate?
Think about:

  • The aims of your campaign
  • Back up information which can fill gaps
  • Key dates in the campaign timetable
  • Who is responsible for what
  • How the campaign aids recruitment and retention
  • Messages of support from outside the branch
  • Appeals for financial support

Importance of recruitment
No UNISON campaign can neglect the importance of recruitment and retention of members. Running a well-planned and high profile campaign demonstrates that UNISON is worth joining. UNISON campaigns should show members that their concerns are being addressed and hence retention. Recruitment opportunities need to be identified in your planning and picked up as they arise.
See the recruitment page on our UK website for more information

The importance or reviewing cannot be overstressed. There’s no point reinventing the wheel, so ensure that you learn from your and other’s experiences. At each stage your plan needs to be examined and the activities reviewed. Think about how you might review activities. For example, did you run a stall but nobody turned up? Where was it? When was it staffed?

And don’t forget that successes need to be shared. Don’t assume that you were the last to think of an idea. Report it to the Branch, the Local Government Committee and the Communications and Campaigns Committee. And don’t forget to tell Scotland in UNISON, the magazine for activists, and the UNISON Scotland website –

Page updated: 2 March 2015