foundation

A good campaign is capable of pulling the rug from under the feet of those resisting the change the campaign is calling for. (If no one is resisting the change you do not need to campaign!) To be able to do that, the campaign itself has to be standing on very firm ground. Building the foundation of your campaign is the first stage, and arguably the most important.

The assumptions you make, the knowledge base from which you will advance the claims of your campaign and the evidence you will present to illustrate your case are only just the beginning. You also need to understand the network of influences and interests that holds the status quo of the campaign problem together. You need to understand the power base you are opposing and where it might be most vulnerable. You must have some understanding of influential audiences and how these might be drawn into the campaign. You need to understand how to motivate these audiences. You need to have identified who might be useful supporters, which tactical alliances you should have in place to advance your campaign and who can cause trouble for you, in other words which alliances your opponents might form to outmanoeuvre you. You need also to know the extent and quality of the resources (human, logistic, financial) you will be able to bring to bear on the campaign, when these will become available and what dependencies might be attached to them.

The foundation stage of your campaign should be formed around objectives that relate to the building of your knowledge base and the resources and alliances you will need to cover all of the above points. Whilst building the foundation of your campaign, do not court media attention.

Most campaigns don't do this. They do basic research and rely on their own perception of the rightness of their case then rush to confront the issue in public. This is a recipe for failure.