Archives for Campaign it


Alan Barnard – Campaign it!

Campaign it!“My name is Alan Barnard…

…and I’m a campaigner

…and I make change happen

…and I’m a Project Manager.”

Alan is a world class communication strategist with a vast experience in devising and executing successful landmark campaigns. He had a major impact during his ten years working for the Labour Party, firstly through innovative local campaigning and fundraising and then ahead of the 1997 election directing and sequencing campaign activities in the constituencies Labour needed to win to form a government.

Known for his campaigning in the run up to the successful 1997 Labour election, Alan later moved on to become Head of Campaigns and Research at The Football Association, where he developed its real first plans for modernisation including opinion research to the FA, insights from which included paving the way for the FA to appoint England’s first overseas manager – Sven Goran Eriksson. His quantitative poll, ‘The Football Universe Study’, was the FA’s first ever measurement of the ways in which people in England interacted with football.

Alan has recently co-authored the ground-breaking book ‘Campaign It!’, published by Kogan Page that explains the basics of campaigning, the power of cause and shows how campaigning techniques, attitudes, philosophies and principles can be applied to achieving any outcome.

In this talk Alan Barnard talks us through his ideas around the way you can apply lessons learned from political campaigning communication and stakeholder management in complex projects.

Alan Barnard“Change is a really emotional thing for human beings” In his discussion about the human love of the status quo Alan discusses the opposition this creates for Projects and the importance of managing communications with stakeholders to minimise potential problems.

Alan uses political campaigning as the best example of a campaign that aims to change attitudes, emotional responses and beliefs. Political opinions are often fixed and convincing people to believe in a political party or policy can be challenging but similar to the way Project Managers need to gain buy in from stakeholders.

Alan says the way to do this is a ‘Campaign of Communications’ which he defines as “a planned sequence of communications that makes use of all appropriate channels to achieve defined outcomes in a specific time-frame by influencing the decision-makers who will allow success” but he also describes this as “Story telling with a purpose”.

Story-telling is incredibly important to human beings, Alan references cave paintings, the oral tradition and crime novels to show how inherent stories are to the way we live our lives. As an example of a story gone wrong he uses the HS2 story, a high speed rail that cuts 15 minutes off the journey between London and Birmingham that is costing 50 billion pounds. According to Alan this story shows a misunderstanding of what the average consumer will want to hear about this project, 50 billion seems like a lot of money to cut 15 minutes off a journey. Alan claims that increased capacity is in fact the story they needed and by launching into the project without a considered and fully formed communication plan that takes into consideration the audience’s needs.

Alan says some interesting things about belief and how integral it is to a successful project, communications are there to change mindsets.

To look at Alan’s website and to find out more about Campaign it! follow this link.