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Shape your Public Education Campaign: A Step-by-step Workbook

The purpose of this workbook is to give you a framework that will help you put together a public education campaign.

You can apply this framework to simple events such as community roundtable discussions. Or you could use it for more complex endeavours such as asking your municipal government to sign an Islamophobia-Free Municipal Declaration.

Print the full workbook [PDF]

1. What is the name of your campaign?

This could be something descriptive such as “ANTI-ISLAMOPHOBIA PRESENTATION TO HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS.” It is better if you find something more creative and dynamic. You can start with a working title and then decide on the final name later in the process.

2. What do you want to accomplish?

Write a short statement to communicate clearly what is it that you aim to achieve. What is your goal?

Using the example from #1 (above) the goal should not be “Doing a presentation.”

The goal should be a statement of what the project intends to achieve. For

example, a clear goal for the example in #1 would be: Train 20 teachers in anti-
Islamophobia strategies and lesson-planning.

Ask yourself: “How does success look?” or “What do we want to see change?”

3. Who is your target audience?

In our example, the primary target audience is made of the teachers.

However, there is a secondary target audience: the key decision-makers at your local school board. They are the gatekeepers to the success of your initiative.

4. Who are your allies?

List all the people and organizations that could help you achieve your goal. Your list should include everyone who can – in any way – positively influence your initiative. Think as broadly as possible: the Mayor, trustees, business people, sports or entertainment celebrities, teachers you know, people and organizations with skills your campaign may need, organizations that already champion your issue, academics, etc.

5. What are your strengths?

What do you and your allies bring to this campaign?

Make an inventory of your strengths and how you will put them to use for the benefit of the campaign. Analyse your strengths in terms of your goal. Perhaps the best way to get your issue across is through a mural in a public space. If you are an artist, this is the way to go.

Also consider other hands-on skills and talents: design, social media savvy, public speaking, organizing skills, networking, etc.

6. What are your weaknesses?

In this context, weaknesses could be a lack of skills in a certain area, or a lack of time, or being unknown – generally anything that could jeopardise the success of the campaign.

Weaknesses are identified by looking from the outside in – at a personal and organizational level.

7. What are the opportunities?

Scan the political, social, and cultural environment around you.

You may find that your campaign has a greater chance of success if it becomes part of your city’s anti-racism initiative. How can you be part of it? Who do you need to speak to so you can piggyback on a cultural event? How can you leverage the pro-refugee climate in Canada at this moment?

Look for opportunities everywhere: the election of a progressive politician, media stories or research supporting your cause, or successful case studies of similar efforts.

8. What are the threats?

What could jeopardize your project?

A threat doesn’t have to be an actual threat. Here, we want you to identify the opposing forces. In this sense, a threat could be a powerful individual opposing your issue, a major event in your city that would eclipse your initiative, a competing campaign, general apathy, hate groups, etc.

While weaknesses are identified by looking from the outside in, threats are identified by looking from the inside out.

10. What is the key message?

The message is a brief and powerful statement that encapsulates the overarching aim of your campaign.

In 2016, OCASI launched two anti-Islamophobia campaigns. The Toronto campaign’s key message is “Toronto for all.” The Ontario-wide campaign’s key message is “Break the behaviour.”

The message needs to speak directly to your target audience and it has to be:

  • Clear and simple
  • Brief
  • Believable
  • Compelling
  • Delivered by the right messenger

11. What are your strategies?

A strategy is a creative approach that will help you achieve your goal.

For example, you can have a media strategy or a public event strategy. A strategy could also focus on recruiting a local celebrity to act as spokesperson for your campaign.

Sometimes, people confuse strategies with tactics.

Tactics are all the smaller pieces that will make your strategy happen. Examples of tactics: poster, speaking points, press release, and PowerPoint presentation.

12. What is your timeline?

What are the intended start and end dates for your campaign?

Keep in mind that a public education campaign has an optimum timing – that is, the best time to launch it and the best time to end it. For instance, you could time the launch of your campaign to coincide with United Nations’ World Refugee Day or some other international date.

13. What is your brand?

At this point in your process, it would be useful to begin thinking about creating a brand identity for your campaign. This would typically include:

  • Name
  • Message
  • Colours
  • Font
  • Logo

14. What are your main supporting points?

Once you have conceptualized your campaign and analysed it in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – next, it is a good idea to begin fleshing out your purpose, your reasoning, and further clarify your goals, target audiences, and strategies.

A useful way of doing this is to create a Question and Answer document.

This will be helpful to:

  • Ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page
  • Answer any questiosn the media, allies, opponents, and other stakeholders might have about your campaign

See and for examples of Q&A documents.

15. What is your budget?

How much money do you need for your campaign?

Draft a budget, then see where you can get in-kind contributions, and where you will need hard cash.

How do you plan to get them?

16. What is your action plan?

Now you need to put it all together. Task by task, and date by date, so you can start bringing your campaign to life.

This will take you some time to finalize. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Without an action plan, you will not reach your goal.

There are many free project management apps that can help you with this.

Print the full workbook [PDF]

For additional learning and tools go to: Community Tool Box at