Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Protest you must!

Protest is a form of dissent that reflects an act of faith in a democracy and not otherwise. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects. At the core of every protest, be it in Sidi Bouazid or at Jantar Mantar, is a compelling quest for freedom. In many ways it is an ‘expression of popular democracy’ against an entrenched system that espouses ‘deficit democracy’ as its driving principle.

At times protests are in response to a trigger; however, more often these are energy-sapping strategic initiatives to bring about desired change. It is an act of performance in public that engages no less than 25 diverse backstage managers – from convenor to enforcer, from provider to adjudicator and from instigator to dialoguer – because each street protest or a long drawn campaign focuses on doing one thing: Winning!

Backed by two decades of campaigning experience, Chris Rose presents a brilliant how-to guide on designing campaigns and winning them. How to win campaigns offers carefully considered steps and tools to motivate and sustain a campaign. The book, Rose admits, is not science, but rather a collection of experiences based on trial and error, that may help campaigners choose them under varied contexts and diverse situations.

Given the fact that campaigning has become a full time vocation, the challenge to find creative and practical ways to engage with public to challenge vested interests that threaten a fairer and safer world has become daunting. From writing catchy slogans to designing informative diagrams and from drafting a press note to deciding on whether or not to opt for a celebrity, Rose delves in detail on the nuts and bolts of getting heard and achieving results.

There is a word of caution though! One can’t read this 400-page guide to launch a campaign; it can be helpful if one is already into a campaign mode or better still a handy guide to train next generation of campaigners. Buy the book if you are passionate about changing something for the better.....Link

How to Win Campaigns
by Chris Rose
Earthscan, London
400 pages, $40

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