ControlShift's Efforts and Landing Pages tools allow organizations to run distributed templatized campaigns. Templatized campaigns are usually national or international campaigns that share a common goal but have many local targets. These campaigns are based on the idea that applying pressure to many local targets can be more effective than trying to pressure a single national or international institution. These local campaigns lead to smaller victories that add up to a big impact.
What do these distributed campaigns look like?
An organization wants to prevent the passage of a piece of legislation. They create an Effort with a separate petition targeting each member of parliament. After recruiting local leaders and signers, they coordinate the delivery of each petition to its targeted member of parliament.
An organization wants to raise the minimum wage. Instead of sending a single petition to Congress, they create a Landing Page so that members can work to raise their local minimum wages. Petitions are created by regular members and then delivered to their city councils, mayors, town boards, etc.
While both Landing Pages and Efforts use this templatized campaigns model, they are created and run in different ways. With Efforts, some or all local targets are preselected by the organization. Usually the petitions included in an Effort are pre-created by the organization, and members are recruited to lead the campaigns locally. Efforts can be useful if you have a specific list of targets that you want to pressure.
With Landing Pages, the organization doesn’t preselect any targets. Instead, the organization provides the common goal for the campaign, and members are asked to add their own local targets. The organization can suggest or require common text, but members create and lead the petitions. Landing Pages can be useful if you have a specific goal in mind, but don’t have a set list of targets.
Why use a templatized campaign instead of a single petition?
Usually a single petition focusing on a national issue will be targeted to an often immutable institution (like the US Congress). These petitions are easily ignored. With distributed campaigns, you can target each member of Congress, instead of Congress as a whole. When presented with a petition specifically targeting them, which is signed by their constituents, it will be harder for these representatives to ignore the issue.
Templatized campaigns allow you to pursue other avenues of applying pressure. Single petitions usually have single targets, even if that target isn’t the most likely to get you the change you’re looking for. With templatized campaigns you can try pressuring other types of targets. Maybe campaigning each governor, a collection of mayors, or local stores across the country will be more effective.
A single petition ignores the organizing potential and energy of your supporters. With templatized campaigns, each local petition has a local leader. Allowing members to own local campaigns activates them and gives them an increased sense of agency. Additionally, having a local on-the-ground leader allows the organization to more easily stage local events, like rallies or in-person petition deliveries.
For members who do not become leaders, there’s still a local element to the petition. Their signature is targeted to their specific congressperson/governor/store, petition events are happening in their backyard, and campaign updates are specific to their local campaign.