Kate Faragher: Thoughts on how to start a campaign



Kate Faragher. founder and CEO of BeSpoke Skills, has over 14 years experience coaching, consulting and training senior executives in national and international FTSE 100 companies as well as at the UK Parliament. She recently spoke at CPA UK's Legislative Drafting Seminar on Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking about how parliamentarians can raise awareness of issues of modern slavery-related crimes through campaigns.

She shares her reflections below.


Last week I had the privilege of being part of CPA UK's #ModernSlavery #ForcedLabour #HumanTrafficking Conference and I’m reflecting on what I took away from it and put into it.

One key message from the first day was "Put Survivors at the Heart of Legislation"; from the second day was “Understand the Complexity”; and from the third, "Find advocates for impact".   

We often cannot even imagine how complex situations lead to coercion. There are often multiple situations that lead to a particular outcome.  We heard how important it is to go to the people who are being affected, then listen and act.  We cannot assume what is happening or what people are going through.  We need to ask.  Sometimes we will be surprised by what we hear.
 
Another key message is we need to take responsibility in our countries and come together across our countries to make a difference.  The perpetrators are relying on speed and complexity to avoid detection.  
 
So here are some thoughts on how to build a campaign that can have impact in different countries;
 
1.     Know your aim – try to make your aim clear and specific.  If you are early in your thinking you may need to go out and speak to people to make sure you are keeping the “survivor at the centre of the legislation”.  If you are further down in your thinking, make sure your aim is also achievable, realistic and measurable (SMART) eg get the message to 5 key villages to STOP #ForcedLabour and START #FutureWorker.    It is better to have one key issue and focus on that and achieve it than having lots of aims and missing the mark. Make sure part of the aim is how you will measure it eg going to the villages and check if they remember the message and know what the message means from a day to day action. 
 
2.     Be aware of the impact you want.  Don’t stop at what change you want, think how the change will impact all people involved.  What are the impact on beliefs and culture?How can you overcome some of those challenges - understand the complexity and embed that as part of your campaign mission. 
 
       Sometimes as leaders we state our goal as "ending slavery and forced labour".  That is a huge goal that may take decades to change.  Start with something specific eg to give all survivors access to trauma therapy within a clear time period.  Notice that goal has a timeline and clear action that can be measured.  You then need to check that your approach will  “Do No Harm” to those involved.  You may need to do a pilot and check with survivors on the trauma therapy if it has achieved the impact you want.  Don't just think of the policy implementation think of the survivor.
 
3.     List your advocates – think who are the key influencers that can make an impact to your campaign aim.  We believe there are about 6 people in between who you know and a key influencer.  As parliamentarians this link may be a lot shorter.  If you think who you know you often realise you know the people that can help you achieve the aim.  Think how you can speak to the key people that can impact your outcomes.  Sometimes the key people are part of a community.  Seek out the change makers.  
 
4.     Know the best activities to increase engagement.  Different countries require different approaches eg some countries need to connect with religious leaders, others with NGOs.  Some of the activities are speaking at townhalls, press conferences, going out to key areas, speak at big events, attract TV documentaries or creating adverts.  Think of the best activity to engage the people you want to talk to.  The right context can help frame a better response.
 
5.     Match the best Activity to the Influencers.  Think how you can best attract the key people to your topic.  Find ways to chat and discuss the important areas and share your understanding of the issues.  Use their language.  Speak in a way that they understand.  If we use words that resonate with people they are more likely to listen.  Use their first language - translate the messages into their language.  The Activity may be to talk to families and help them see that by reducing work at home and increasing time at school the long term outcome for the family will be greater.  This is challenging for all of us.  There is a human trait called "loss aversion" which means we are more likely to worry about what we will lose today than what we will gain in the longer term.  So if you lost £5 today you would be more emotional than if you found £10.  Our behaviour is often to prevent loss rather than enable gain.  So changing people's mindset requires powerful teachers.  
 
6.     Create a powerful message.  People tend to remember short phrases or sound bytes.  We need to take complex ideas and be able to say them succinctly. How can you summarise your message into a few words? This may take time.  Start with a long phrase then constantly try to reduce it and make it shorter. 
 
7.     Think of the barriers that could get in your way and how you could overcome them or navigate them. Try to think of this before you come up against them so you have a  plan.  It can be challenging leading a change campaign.  Find people who can support you and be your advocates and supporters.  Be ready for the barriers and find ways to help people see beyond them.  
 
8.     Think of your key motivators.  Who are you trying to help? Why? How will you measure your own personal success along the way.  Sometimes the going gets tough.  What strength do you have that will ensure you keep going?
 
9.     Plan the timeline.  Planning is key to outcomes.  If you put a date next to your action you will be more motivated to achieve it.  Think of your short, medium and longterm goal.  What re the easy wins and what do you need to plan for?  The more you plan the more likely you will be disciplined to achieve it.
 
10. It may sound strange but reflecting is also key.  Once you have returned to your home after a conference the world can look different and your thoughts change.  What can you hold on to from the conference that will make a big impact?  If we have an early success it often drives us for a longer term success.  What is realistic, what do you need to tweak to make sure you get an outcome that will have impact?  After you have come up with a strategy,  leave it for a while, sleep on it.  Then come back to it with fresh eyes and see how you can improve it.
 
It will take a while to understand the complexity of #ModernSlavery #ForcedLabour #HumanTrafficking to enforce the legislation or amend it to make it more effective but every outcome starts with a first step and a few committed people.  I had the pleasure to meet a whole room full of committed parliamentarians and I’m very excited to see what happens as a result of CPA UK’s project.  Judging by the people I met and the ideas that were suggested we will be in a stronger position to weaken the hold of the perpetrators.
 

 

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