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Which communications techniques and tools will work for the campaign?

  • Policy/institutional change (or advocacy) campaigning uses a range of tools, designed to invite and convince decision-makers, i.e. elected or appointed professionals in charge of public welfare, to change laws and policies that affect large numbers of people, or to implement them more effectively. One set of tools focuses on presenting facts and policy alternatives to primary targets, i.e. the decision makers, through open letters, model policies and research reports, for example. Another set is designed to mobilize public support and pressure for the campaign goal, e.g. through demonstrations, press conferences and e-mail petitions.
  • Behaviour-change campaigns rely on somewhat different techniques and tools, as they invite people to change their personal, private lives by taking the action the campaign proposes. Since human behaviour is influenced by a broad range of factors, the pathways of change tend to be less linear and limited than in laws and formal institutions. Different theories of change and varying characteristics of target audiences inform strategy and tactics. Depending on these factors, one may borrow techniques from commercial advertising and social marketing campaigns (e.g. advertisements on TV and radio, or on billboards), from public health work (e.g. peer education), from adult education and community development (e.g. forum theatre), and other fields. This has been validated in an evaluation on VAW prevention with men and boys (PROMUNDO/WHO, 2007).
  • Mixing and matching techniques and tools: Although advocacy campaigns and behaviour-change campaigns to end VAW both address a common issue – violence against women and girls – and both call for action by individuals and institutions (which in turn are staffed by individuals), they may pursue different sets of goals, and therefore employ different communications techniques and tools. Ultimately, no one size fits all – the mix of techniques and tools that works best in any one campaign depends on its goals, its strategy, its target audiences and the resources it can mobilize.

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