Just back from the E-Campaigning forum here in the UK, and it has been a very intense and enjoyable two days.
One of the highlights for me was the opening address by Ben Brandzel, from MoveOn/John Kerry/Avaaz and other works. He started the conference with an entertaining look at growing your list of supporters. SO many interesting things to report from this session (and the online video is coming, we are promised) but one concept Ben presented really stuck out for me: the information/enthusiasm ratio.
The ratio between how much information on your issue the public has been exposed to and their enthusiasm to ‘do something about it’. When evaluating potential campaign opportunities, it is useful to think about the interplay of these two phenomenon.
I think we often assume that everyone knows and cares deeply about our issue: this is rarely the case. So we need to start with a realistic understanding of how much information our supporters (and the general public) are likely to have, and how likely they are to help us push for change.
When something is all over the news media, the information level can be assumed to be high. But people may not be particularly interested or motivated to get involved in the issue. If you are missing one or the other, it’s difficult to campaign on that particular issue.
Update: Here’s Ben’s address, one of the key learning moments of the entire conference (my career so far?)