Lesson Four: Diverse Alliances are Critical to a Successful Campaign
Collective Insight & Wisdom
Build alliances early in your campaign and prioritise inclusiveness.
See your issues through the eyes of others to develop common language and shared goals.
Prioritise inclusiveness – allies don’t have to agree on everything. Find that common ground and stick to it to nurture trust and partnership.
Look for natural “connectors” – remember that your activists have grandparents!
Ismail Einashe“No social justice campaign is an island. And this is a key lesson I picked up at the summer school. You must build allies and connections beyond your core base. In the yes marriage equality campaign this meant reaching out to the majority in Irish society: straight people. But, what was so interesting about the Irish example was that straight Irish people took it on themselves to get involved. One of the most interesting presentations I heard at the summer school was from Finian Murphy, a brand strategist who set up #StraightupforEquality Campaign, which worked in cahoots with the yes marriage equality campaign to galvanise straight people to support marriage equality. Finian and his team with no funding created a website, a Twitter and Facebook pages and got thousands of people to pledge their support for marriage equality.”
Martina Quinn“One final point to highlight – which came from a member of the audience (representing the Irish Refugee Council) – was that neutral voices have a key role to play in campaigns about migration. Skeptics will remain skeptical of statements from organisations that are very obviously pro-migrant. As such, it’s important to involve lots of groups and individuals form outside the sector – to provide the ‘neutral voice’.”
Ismail Einashe“One of the most inspiring stories I heard about the marriage equality campaign was from a campaigner in County Louth, north of Dublin. She had led an LGBT charity in the county for a number of years. She spoke about a number of campaign tools used in the yes marriage equality campaign in her area. But none was more impressive, simple and yet so successful as the ‘Ring your granny’ campaign. Students at Trinity College Dublin had devised a simple yet novel way of reaching the elder demographic – often the ones most resistant to marriage equality –they did this by calling their grandparents and asking them to vote for marriage equality in the referendum. Students often filmed themselves (and some of the videos which I watched on YouTube are very touching) calling their elderly relatives to ask them to vote for