Shape your message
‘Educate. Employ. Empower.’ is something that all unions and all students will relate to in different ways. You know your students best and can use this slogan to promote the demo to your students by working out what these words mean to your union.
Top tips for shaping your message
Link the demo to your priorities. What are your campaign aims for the year? Whether it’s to improve feedback on assessment, secure more affordable accommodation or win extra funding from your institution to support activities, your priorities will almost certainly fit under the banners ‘educate’, ‘employ’ or ‘empower’. Get students excited about campaigning on local issues before talking to them about national campaign actions. James Farndon from Leicester and Rhiannon Durrans from York College SU have been blogging about why the demo is relevant to their students.
Look at the evidence. Use survey results and other data to find out what the big issues are for your students.
Tailor your message to different student groups. Start mapping the different types of students you represent and think carefully about why it’s important for them to be at the demo. Over the next few weeks we will be sending out specific briefings to help you do this. Just this week, Staffs have been telling their BUCS captains about the demo and Kent have been making sure their Freshers volunteers know all about it.
Make it personal. Using data and evidence helps to build a compelling argument but don’t forget to include real life stories that students can connect with. At their recent planning meeting, officers from Cornwall College, St Brendan’s Sixth Form, Richard Huish Sixth Form and Bath Spa Union shared their experiences of the unfair pay and treatment of young people in part time jobs and are looking at how to use these stories to mobilise students.
Ask students what it means to them? Over the coming weeks you’ll have lots of opportunities to talk to students. Ask them what they want to change and use this to support your demo messages. Lots of unions including Cornwall College and Sheffield Hallam SU have been talking to students at Freshers Fairs and Aberdeen have been asking students to write down reasons why they’re marching on 21.11.12.
How are YOU planning for the Demo?
Got some exciting mobilising plans? Have you started planning with local unions? How are you linking #demo2012 to your union campaigns?
Let us know at email@example.com and you might just appear in next week’s Tip of The Week…
Don’t forget, you can access all the demo briefings here and download adaptable materials here.
9 WEEKS ‘TIL THE DEMO