Reaching out

No group or project is suspended in a vacuum. Developing the community has to work both inwards and outwards. While work-ing on communication and relations within the community, it is important to reach out for new members and look for alliances among other social actors and relevant movements. 


Power mapping is a visual tool used mainly for social campaigns, but it can be applied to any type of endeavour that can benefit from a planned outreach and communications strategy. In its basic form the tool serves to map out all possible social actors that you see in relation to your project. These can be politicians, Local Government, media, neighbours, other organizations or whatever entities you think are relevant to your cause. These are placed on two kinds of axes according to how influential they are in your society, and the extent to which they agree with your values and goals. This kind of map will allow you to visualise the potentials for co-operation, recruitment or awareness-raising in the wider community.

Usually the map will result with the points aligned in a more or less diagonal stripe with influential and negative actors at one end, and weak but positive on the other. Whatever your plan and strategy it is good to keep a few general assumptions in mind:

• If you want to convince someone, focus on the groups that are around the middle. These are (at least theoretically) undecided people that may potentially support your cause in the future.
• The positive side of the map are actors you may want to collaborate with or support. There should be no need to convince them of your values.
• At the other extreme are actors that are negative or even hostile. There’s no point in wasting your energy addressing your communication to them. Weaken their influence if you can.In subsequent stages of the mapping you can focus on particular groups and even individual people to see what access you have to them and what leverage you can use.

Last modified: Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 12:56 PM