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Coming Up With a Winning Plan is Only Half the Battle

8 May 2010

There’s an old saying spin doctors are like poisoners – you can have successful poisoners and you can have famous poisoners, but you can’t have successful, famous poisoners.

For this reason, it’s rare for spin-doctors to win awards, but we are proud to say that last night EMC’s ‘Keep Our Cops‘ campaign, created for the NSW Police Association, was awarded the ACTU’s communications strategy of the year.

In many ways, Keep Our Cops is a fairly standard online campaign – many companies build them these days, incorporating online actions with real world events, hosing video, personal stories and email activism tools.

What I think makes Keep Our Cops different is the way the Police Association bought into the campaign and make it really work.

When we first took our campaign plan to the Association and suggested basing member communications around regular video updates, we were not sure what sort of response we would get. But the Association recognised that a young membership needed new tools to engage.

The Association has a strong network of delegates and workplace activists who are prepared to get their hands dirty. So when we launched the campaign, it wasn’t long before we have more than 50 per cent of the Association’s 15,000 members registered, signing petitions and organising meetings with their local MPs.

When we needed case studies to illustrate out issues, there was always a willing bank of  informed and erudite members prepared to speak out. Who can forget the public meeting, where Steve de Lorenzo, who had recently been shot in the line of duty, addressed members and the media ?

As the campaign heated up, thousands of members committed to march on Parliament, placing pressure on a beleaguered government that was too much to bear. By the end of the campaign 20,500 supporters had taken an online action.

My point is that at every turn, the Police Association and their members urged their activists to harness their energies strategically.

It was a matter of the communications team putting out media releases, it was a case of comms and campaigning working hand in hand, with a committed membership to deliver a really significant win.

Peter Lewis, Director EMC