Written by Emily Verellen Strom

Another lesson I took away from my recent trip to The Redford Center‘s retreat was about “Insurgent Strategy”, from a talk given by Scott Miller, CEO of Core Strategy Group.  I have had so many conversations with filmmakers and campaign strategists about the overwhelming force of the status quo and seemingly insurmountable power of opposition lobbyists.  It can feel like we are fighting an impossible battle on so many different issues.  Scott acknowledged that fear and shared with the group his six “Insurgent Principles”:

1)  DO THE DOABLE – When thinking about campaign strategy and prioritizing a long list of goals, focus on the most winnable asks and actions first.  Those wins will fuel the rest of your work as it becomes more challenging.

2)  USE CHANGE TO GET CONTROL OF THE DIALOGUE – Sometimes “change makes more change happen”.  So, when you start with the winnable, use those wins to inspire deeper change.

3)  MOVE THE MOVABLE – Scott described a continuum of support for your issue:  Hard Opposition, Soft Opposition, Undecided, Soft Support and Hard Support.  Focus on those audiences that you have the best chance of reaching and influencing – the Undecided and Soft Support.

4)  GET COMFORTABLE WITH DISCOMFORT – We all need to talk to more people that we disagree with so we better understand the opposition and what drives them.

5)  TAKE WHAT THEY GIVE YOU – Look for “holes” within the oppositions’ platform that you can find compromise on.

6)  NEVER FIGHT THE BATTLE ON THEIR BATTLEFIELD – Make sure that you are taking control over the messaging and direction of the issue.

Scott shares more details of these principles, here.

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