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Analysing the problem and planning for change

Mapping entry points

Introduction to tool

In any campaign, our goal is to engage particular people or groups. For example, we might:

  • want our supporters to sign a petition or join a demonstration;
  • want a politician to vote for a bill; or
  • want a company to focus its investments differently.

Whatever our goal, we need to find ways to make our issue feel relevant and important to the audience we’re speaking to.

This is what we mean by campaign entry points. An entry points map can be useful for considering the different factors involved in an issue. Start by analysing our own situation – whether working alone, as part of a voluntary group or as part of a constituted organisation – and consider how to make best use of the resources to drive the campaign

Mapping Entry Points

First, think about your position. Why are you the right people to be taking on this campaign? What are your strengths? What’s your vision and focus? What resources do you have at your disposal?

Secondly, think about the need for your campaign. Are you looking to tackle a neglected issue? Or one that’s become urgent because of external events? Or maybe there’s limited public awareness of the issue and you want to change that?

Thirdly, consider the opportunity for change. Are there new alliances emerging on the issue? Is a significant piece of legislation being introduced to parliament? Has a celebrity spoken out and drawn attention to your issue?

This approach can help you to think strategically about where your campaign momentum comes from, and to come up with creative ways of making it more powerful.

Remember that this tool is most effective when it’s discussed by groups or teams. This will ensure you get a wider range of views and that more people are invested in your campaign strategy.

Case Study: #FloodTheCOP27

In November 2022, the UN’s annual climate talks – COP27 – took place in Egypt. In the middle of the conference, women dressed in blue “flooded” the venue. They represented the impact of the climate crisis on communities in the global south. Their goal was to influence the negotiators at a key moment in the talks.

This action had a very clear entry point.

Need: In 2022, the world had seen an unprecedented series of climate disasters, including devastating floods in Pakistan and Nigeria.

Opportunity: For the first time in 30 years of UN climate talks, the issue of compensating countries in the Global South for “loss and damage” caused by climate change was on the agenda.

Position: The demonstration was led by women from the Global South. It was supported by major environmental organisations and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Using a strong entry point, this powerful visual demonstration illustrated the impacts of the climate crisis. It built on decades of pressure from governments and communities in the Global South. And it succeeded. By the end of COP27, the parties reached an agreement to establish a loss and damage fund to ensure those who created the problem of climate change – countries and major emitters – would compensate those experiencing its worst effects.

Homework exercise

Take ten minutes to apply the entry point mapping to your own campaign, or a campaign you might like to start. Make three lists, around position, need and opportunity.

Then think about what other perspectives you need on your campaign. Who are the key people that you need to include and consult when planning a campaign?

If you can, talk through your ideas with another person and get feedback.

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