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Introduction to Strategy Planning. NIGERIAN TOBACCO CONTROL STRATEGY PLANNING MEETING Lagos  16-19 May 2005. Q1: What do we want?. Any advocacy effort must begin with very concrete objectives.

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Introduction to strategy planning

Introduction to Strategy Planning



16-19 May 2005

Q1 what do we want

Q1: What do we want?

  • Any advocacy effort must begin with very concrete objectives.

  • The more specific, clear and concrete the objective, the more effective the planning process will be.

What do we want this can be the most difficult question to answer ask yourself

WHAT DO WE WANT?This can be the most difficult question to answer. Ask yourself:

  • How specific is it? Could it be achieved in the short-term (1-3 years) or is it a longer-term project?

  • How much impact will it have/how effective would it be?

  • Will it help lay the foundation for other objectives or is it an end in itself?

What do we want cont

What do we want (cont.)?

  • Will it happen anyway?

  • How much would it cost and who would pay?

  • Is it best tackled at the federal, state or local level?

  • Are there options you should just not do?

What do we want

What do we want?

  • For each potential goal you need to have an honest assessment of:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses as a movement

  • Public support (actual and potential) for the agreed-upon goal

  • The barriers you face as a movement (tobacco industry resistance, political corruption, hostile media, etc.)

Q1 what do we want1

Q1: What do we want?

  • Remember, advocacy is an art, not a science. It is fundamentally about achieving desired goals. Many paths may get you there.

  • In setting your goals as a movement, don’t think too small but don’t think too big either! Small victories can build on each other and give you and your supporters a sense of your ability and power to change things. But if the goal is not ambitious enough, it may not inspire people to act.

Q2 who can make it happen

Q2: Who Can Make It Happen?

  • Who has the power to give you what you want? Depending on the objective it could be:

  • -- Parliament

  • -- The President

  • -- a mid-level national or local bureaucrat

  • -- a combination of any or none of the above

Map the decision

Map the decision

Q3 what do they need to hear

Q3:What do they need to hear?  

  • You will need to craft "messages" to incorporate into your written materials, press statements, talking points, etc.

  • Important!: When formulating messages, the question you need to ask is not: “what do we want to say” but “what must we say to persuade them to take the actions we want". These will often be very different!

What do they need to hear to persuade them to do what you want

What do they need to hear to persuade them to do what you want?

  • Core messages speak to the broad public interest.

  • Tailored messages address the self-interest and special concerns of your target audience.

Examples of core messages

Examples of Core Messages

“Our society cannot wait to act until millions of our children become victims of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.”

“Ratifying the FCTC will show that the government cares more for the future health of the country's children than for the economic wealth of the tobacco industry.”

Examples of tailored messages to the president

Examples of Tailored Messages (to the President)

  • Ratifying the FCTC will be a politically popular move with the public which has already shown strong support for tobacco control measures.

  • Other countries on the continent like South Africa and Kenya have already ratified the FCTC. Our country must not be seen as lagging behind.

  • If we ratify the FCTC our views will have more weight in the formation of the Conference of the Parties.

For tailored messages

For tailored messages…

1. The more political intelligence you gather about the concerns and motives of key targets, the more effectively you can tailor the messages they need to hear to support your advocacy objectives.

2. Your messages will vary depending upon the policy you want to change and the people you are trying to convince.

Use research to support your advocacy efforts

Use Research to Support Your Advocacy Efforts

Existing local and international research, public opinion polls, household surveys, etc. can and should be used to support your advocacy efforts.

You can also produce your own research and conduct your own focus groups. See:

“Low Cost Research for Advocacy” by PATH Canada for ideas.

If your are talking to the ministry of finance about an ad ban

If Your Are Talking to the Ministry of Finance About An Ad Ban….

“Advertising restraints will not harm the economy. The advertising industries in countries with advertising bans have not suffered significant losses of jobs or been bankrupted.”

If your are talking to the ministry of health about an ad ban

If Your Are Talking to the Ministry of Health About An Ad Ban…

“Advertising restrictions and bans have proved effective in keeping fewer young people from starting to smoke.”

Advocate don t educate

Advocate, don’t educate

Advocate don t educate1

Advocate, don’t educate

Advocate or educate


The addictive effect of nicotine is mediated at least in part by stimulation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens


Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine

Advocate or educate?

Keep it simple

Keep it simple

Keep it simple1

Keep it simple?

What are powerful simplifying concepts

What are powerful "Simplifying Concepts"?

These are short phrases or labels that capture the essence of what you are trying to accomplish in ways that resonate naturally with most people:

“a tobacco free future for our children“

"freedom from addiction and disease“

“health before tobacco industry profits”

Messages that speak to the brain

Messages That Speak to the Brain

What are Numbers That “Sing”?

  • Another term for this is “creative epidemiology”. This is a way of presenting statistics in ways that convey scientific information but also move an audience emotionally. For example, “Every day in America, 3,000 children start smoking; 1,000 of them will die early from the diseases smoking causes.” Or: "If we do not act, 2 million of our citizens now alive will die from tobacco caused disease."

Introduction to strategy planning


“The deaths of 350 children under age five could be prevented each day if only 70% of their parents’ tobacco expenditures went to food instead…Each year, 10.5 million children are needlessly malnourished, due in part to their parents’ expenditure on tobacco rather than food.”

-- WBB Bangladesh, “Hungry for Tobacco”

What messages speak to the heart

What Messages Speak to the Heart?

What words and phrases best evoke important cultural values? What might be effective "responsive chord messages" (i.e. questions that evoke responses already embedded in people’s minds)?



“Many poor tobacco-growing countries argue that they need the revenue from tobacco. But who in your family are you willing to sacrifice so that the Government can earn more taxes? Would you want your brother, or sister, or child to start smoking so that

the Government can earn more money?”

– Phillip Karugaba, Uganda

Say what you mean

Say what you mean

Say it again

Say it again

Q4 who are the most effective messengers for our target audience

Q4: Who are the most effective messengers for our target audience?

  • When deciding who your messengers will be, think of the following questions:

  • Who will our target audience most trust or listen to?

  • Who does that audience most want to please?

  • Who does that audience honor, respect, fear, or even love?

Q who is the right messenger

Q: Who is the “Right” Messenger?

  • A: The answer will always change, depending upon the situation.

Who are the most effective messengers for our target audience

Who are the most effective messengers for our target audience?

Think creatively!

For example, if your target audience is the Prime Minister, the most effective messengers could be former or current aides, a cabinet member, business or labor leaders, leading scientists, journalists, religious leaders, etc. Or it could be friend from University, a spouse, or a celebrity. This is where intelligence pays off.

Who are the most effective messengers for our target audience1

Who are the most effective messengers for our target audience?

Additionally, you will need to ask:

Who does our target audience dislike, distrust, and/or not take seriously?

What other allies do you need

What Other Allies Do You Need?

  • People with legal expertise in the legislative process and in drafting strong proposed laws

  • People with an understanding of the political power structure your tobacco control advocacy efforts must confront

  • Knowledge of the political operations, governmental ties, and advocacy strategies of the tobacco companies that operate in your country

What other allies do you need1

What Other Allies Do You Need?

  • Tobacco control science and economics expertise; connections to the WHO and other international organizations and experts that can provide access to knowledge, human, and financial resources.

What other allies do you need2

What Other Allies Do You Need?

People with:

  • an understanding of what messages key decision makers need to hear to persuade them to enact the laws and programs you want

  • knowledge of how your nation's mass media will react to tobacco control media advocacy

  • knowledge of and experience with successful NGO policy-advocacy strategies in your country

  • influence with organizations willing to provide financial and human resources to support coalition-building and advocacy activities.

Mobilise others

Other campaigns

Childrens’ health, childrens’ rights

Anti-poverty groups

Medical associations (nurses, oncologists, pulmonologists, etc.)

Environmental groups

Commercial interests?

Pharmaceutical companies

My enemy’s enemy is (sometimes) my friend

Mobilise others

Mobilise others1

Mobilise others





A coalition network is

A coalition/network is:

  • A group of individuals and/or organizations united around a common issue or goal.

Advantages of coalition network

Advantages of coalition/network

  • Increases available human and financial resources

  • Increases visible support for goal

  • Creates common front (and consistent messaging)

  • Educates and mobilizes concerned citizens & groups

  • Expands reach of campaign

Disadvantages of coalitions networks

Disadvantages of coalitions/networks

  • Sharing control and slower decision-making

  • Balancing goals and needs of coalition vs. that of member organizations

  • Sharing credit and visibility

  • Differing organizational cultures and constraints

  • Differing strategies

Success factors

Success Factors

  • Common goal that all members sign on to, with strategy decisions left to smaller group

  • Differing but clear levels of commitment

  • Respect for each others’ self-interest

  • Mechanism to take quick decisions and action

  • FLEXIBILITY: Give and take

Key questions when forming a coalition network

Key Questions When Forming A Coalition/Network

Who needs to join our cause during the first phase of our campaign?

As we progress, what kind of groups do we need to influence decision-makers in government?

How can we efficiently recruit the allies we need?

Do we need a formal coalition? If we do need it, who do we include?

Ten commandments for tobacco control coalitions uicc tobacco control strategy planning guide 2

Ten Commandments for Tobacco Control Coalitions (UICC Tobacco Control Strategy Planning Guide #2)

  • Ensure that building and maintaining a coalition is not the primary objective

  • Keep the coalition loose and flexible

  • Focus on “leadership” more than “management”

  • Be proactive

  • Find lobbying expertise

  • “without involvement there is no commitment”

  • Don’t get too far in front of your own forces

  • Keep proper perspective

  • Recognize collaborate achievements

  • Use best practices (lessons learned)

Q5 how can we get them to hear it

Q5:How Can we Get them to Hear It?

  • Lobbying?

  • Focused Media Advocacy?

  • Public Protest?

  • A combination of these?

Campaign methods

Campaign methods

  • Letters

  • Parliamentary inquiries

  • Industry conduct exposure

  • Research and reports – with spin

  • External experts

  • News stories

  • Events

  • Direct action

Introduction to strategy planning

  • Advocacy Commandment: Do what is needed, not what you are comfortable doing!

What are effective ways to gain the media s attention with stories that best convey our messages

What are effective ways to gain the media's attention with stories that best convey our messages?

  • Make stories newsworthy.

  • Give your stories a “public health” frame. This means:

    • Translate the individual problem into a social issue

    • Assign responsibility for the problem

    • Present a solution

    • Make a practical appeal

Introduction to strategy planning

  • Examples:

  • Tobacco company caught doing an illegal promotion

  • the release of a report with new scientific findings

  • a statement from prominent figures calling on the government to ratify the FCTC

Q6 what resources do we have

Q6: What Resources Do We Have?

Take careful stock of the advocacy resources that are already there to be built on. This includes past advocacy work that is related, alliances already in place, written and visual materials, staff and other people's capacity, information and political intelligence. In short, you don't start from scratch, you start from building on what you've got.

Embrace technology

Embrace technology

  • Computers, e-mail, internet, databases are your strength

Q 7 what do we need to develop gaps

Q7: What do we need to develop? (GAPS)

After taking stock of the advocacy resources you have, the next step is to identify other or additional advocacy resources you need that aren't yet there. This means looking at alliances that need to be built, and capacities such as outreach, media advocacy, and research which are crucial to any effort.

Q8 how do we begin first steps

Q8: How do we begin? (First Steps)

What would be an effective way to begin to move the strategy forward? What are some potential short term goals or projects that would bring the right people together, symbolize the larger work ahead and create something achievable that lays the groundwork for the next step?

Q9 how do we tell if it s working evaluation

Q9: How do we tell if it's working? (Evaluation)

As with any long journey, the course needs to be checked along the way. Strategy needs to be evaluated revisiting each of the questions above (i.e., ask yourself: Are we aiming at the right audiences? Are we reaching them? etc.) It is important to be able to make mid‑course corrections and to discard those elements of a strategy that don't work once they are actually put into practice.

Introduction to strategy planning



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