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Amnesty International Campaign Manual



Campaigning materials are the basic tools for informing people, building awareness and getting action during campaigns. This chapter looks at the content, design, production and format of some of these materials, focusing on products such as leaflets, briefing papers, posters and postcards. Other publicity materials, such as video news releases, direct-mail appeals, advertising and media releases, are covered in Chapters 5 and 9.


Choosing the materials / 148

Content / 148

Writing and editing / 149

Design / 149

Printing / 150

Leaflets / 152

Outreach/Briefing papers / 152

Reports / 153

Posters / 154

Placards / 154

Banners / 155

Newsletters / 155

Photo exhibitions / 155

Postcards / 156

Stickers / 156

Videos and audio tapes / 157

Materials from the IS / 158

Internet campaigning / 158

“It is not enough to aim, you must hit.”

Italian proverb Choosing the materials

As in all other communications, the most important stage is to clarify the purpose before deciding the means for carrying it out. Communications must be matched as closely as possible to campaigning and development objectives.

Stating the purpose of a communication in a simple sentence should help you to be precise about the targeted audience. This will influence the form of communication you use.

Clarifying the resources available can help to focus discussions on purpose. You will rarely be able to produce all the materials of the quality you would like.

The following questions may help you decide which is the best mix of materials for any particular campaign.


g    What audience are you trying to reach?

Is it the largest number of people, or people going to a particular venue, or a particular outreach sector?

g    What information do you want to convey?

Do you want to advertise an event or demonstration, or provide details of a campaign, or tell people how to join AI?

g    What action do you want?

Do you want people to come to an event, write a letter of protest or make a donation?

g    What methods of distribution are available?

What display places are available for posters or exhibitions? Who will distribute leaflets? Will there be events or other opportunities to distribute leaflets?

g    How long does the material have to last?

Is it a membership leaflet that may have to last for a year, or a leaflet promoting a demonstration that may need to be distributed within a week and have no use afterwards?

g    How much money do you have? If you have to choose between leaflets and posters, which is better suited to the campaign objectives? If you produce one-colour rather than two-colour leaflets, will this allow you to produce posters as well?


The content of campaigning and promotional material changes all the time. It is, however, useful to bear in mind the AIDA formula:

A    M    attract attention

In many societies people are flooded with information at the same time as they are getting busier and busier. Unless your message can attract attention in the first place, it will have no opportunity to do anything.

I    M    raise interest

Your audience has to be able to relate to and be interested in your message or the issue.

D    M    encourage a feeling of desire

However grim the substance of AI's information, a communication has to persuade the reader to want to do something.

A    M    prompt action

The material must convert the desire to do something into action -- sending a letter, making a donation, joining AI.

People have to connect with the content. It may be true that most AI supporters are interested in the world beyond their own community, but the same does not necessarily apply to the wider community to which AI is appealing.

Human rights violations in Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, for example, can become more real to people if they know that the killings have taken place in a society that has the same number of inhabitants as their city. They can relate something they do not know about to something they do know about. You can give them a tool to construct their own mental images.

If the popular image in your society of the country on which you are campaigning is as a centre of civilization or a popular tourist destination, then use this existing knowledge to introduce the human rights reality. Think about the image that your target audience currently has of a country or issue, and then the image that you would like them to see. How can your materials move it from one to the other?

Your choices will be affected by many factors, such as how much space or time you have to tell your story.

Before drafting, write down the key points you want to get across, find a natural order for them so that one leads on to the next.

If you want people to act, your material must establish a need or problem, make the reader feel involved, and give them the belief that they have the power to do something about it.

In all materials, be concise. Use short words and sentences.

Writing and editing

If you are asking someone to write the text of a leaflet or an article for a newsletter, you need to provide them with a very clear brief. This should state:

N    the subject and angle of the piece;

N    any essential points you want covered;

N     details about the target audience, such as their level of knowledge of the subject;

N     the style of the publication or other factors special to your campaign (provide samples);

N     how long it should be (number of words);

N     when you need it by (add spare time into your schedule to allow for problems).

It can help to note these things down even if writing the material yourself.

Correcting mistakes is much cheaper before a piece of work goes to the printer than afterwards. Editing is also important because AI has a reputation for checking facts and being accurate. This can be easily undermined if care is not taken in editing a text that will go to the public or members. Governments have used mistakes by AI to attack the organization and deflect attention from their human rights record.

Editors therefore need to check for accuracy of facts and policy, as well as for grammar and style. They should add sub-headings and titles, and make sure the text is clear and easy to read.

If work has been commissioned, consult the contributor on changes. If their contribution is not to be used, let them know and explain why before publication.


Design plays a central role in attracting attention, aiding comprehension and defining image. It should be determined primarily by purpose and audience. That is one reason why reports and leaflets have a different look.

Styles of print design vary from culture to culture and over time. The following are some principles which might be helpful.


c     Choose a typeface for AI's name and logo and use it in all publications. This will help to create a strong "brand image" in the community. c     Headlines should be big, bold and short. Headlines are your best chance to catch someone's attention and interest. 2,000 people “disappeared” might be better than AI condemns Indonesian Government.

c     Avoid using too many typefaces as this is disruptive and disturbing to the eye. Use one typeface (or one for the heading and another for the body text) and use bold, italics and CAPITALS to give emphasis or to break up the text.

c     Avoid full pages of unbroken text where possible. Break up blocks of text by using bullet points, sub-headings, plain or shaded boxes, horizontal or vertical lines and columns.

c     Don't be afraid of areas of white space. Use it to help make the text or photographs stand out.

c     Use a drop capital or bold capitals to begin each paragraph.

c     Use pictures and illustrations to catch the eye and where they help to tell the story.

c     Keep designs clear and simple, not fussy and crowded.

c     Colour increases design options, but can add substantially to costs. Full-colour printing is more expensive and may mean using a higher quality and heavier paper, which can in turn increase printing and distribution/postage costs. In addition, photocopies of full-colour materials are often hard to read.


There are four main ways of having your materials printed:

N    Duplicating

The duplicating machine is becoming increasingly obsolescent as technology marches on. Using real ink, it can be a messy process. However, it remains a cheap way to produce a lot of leaflets -- a basic stencil can be cut on a typewriter and the only other costs are ink and paper.

N    Photocopying

The easiest and often the cheapest way of producing simple materials in smallish quantities is to photocopy them. Even where the photocopier is single-colour, different colour papers can be used to add impact. Using a poor-quality photocopier because it is cheap can be a false economy, however, if it undermines your message and image.

The quality of printing from laser or bubble-jet printers is now perfectly adequate for reproduction by photocopier. Photographs and other images can be scanned in if the technology exists, and it is increasingly possible to have photographs and other images transferred on to computer disks that can then be laid out on the screen. If this is not possible, you can cut-and-paste -- place different bits of text and pictures on a blank page. Correction tape or fluid can be used to cover up the resulting lines before photocopying.

For large quantities, particularly where folding is involved, commercial printers can be cheaper.

N    Quick printers

Quick printers normally use larger and more versatile photocopying machines than are available in offices. They can print and collate large documents and use full colour. They can often complete jobs very quickly as they do not have to go through the same preparation process as traditional printers. Laser-printed copy is of a high enough quality for the printer to work with. Check with them first what you need to provide.

N    Commercial printers

If you are unfamiliar with preparing copy for printers, consult other organizations that do a lot of printing. Meet local printers and find out what options are available, how much time different sorts of jobs take, and how much notice you need to give. Clarify in what form (film, disk or hard copy, for example) they would like the job delivered. If you are using professional designers, they will probably know the requirements of printers and may also be able to suggest good ones to use.

When dealing with printers be very clear about the specifications for each job and get quotes beforehand. Specifications will include number of pages, cover details, quantity, paper size, paper weight, colour and finish/type, and deadlines. They will also include the form in which you will be delivering your work (such as camera-ready artwork) and whether the job is to be folded, stapled or collated. This should be agreed and written down as many things can go wrong and it is important to be able to hold printers to account if mistakes are their fault.

There are a lot of variables that affect cost and quality of the finished product. Many different types of paper, for example, are likely to be available. Know your options and get estimates for each.

Proofread your copy before it is sent to the printers. They will charge you for mistakes you want corrected later.

You must see and approve the final proofs before printing begins. Printers may insist on a formal "signing off" by you (the client) of the proofs so that if you subsequently find an error it is clear that you should pay for a reprint.

In any campaign there can be occasions when a job will be rushed. Even then it is important that the proofreading be thorough. In particular, check times, dates and figures, and that AI's name is included and spelled correctly.

If you have quite large printing requirements, or a steady stream of work, it can be worthwhile choosing one printer, explaining your requirements and trying to come to an agreement for this work.



In many parts of the world, leaflets are most commonly produced in the following formats:

N    A5 (148mm x 210mm) -- single or double sided. This is the smallest and cheapest style of standard leaflet. One side can consist of little more than a headline or the basic time and place of an event or demonstration, while the other can contain the basic details of a campaign or issue (and a membership and/or donation coupon). This can be eye-catching as a handout and is also good for displaying on notice boards. All other things being equal, you can get twice as many for your money as A4 leaflets.

N    A4 (210mm x 297mm) -- single or double sided. The main advantage of this over the A5 format is size, allowing for more text and therefore more campaign/issue details. It also acts better as a mini-poster. It can still be used as a handout or placed on counters for picking up.

N    A4 -- folded to A5 (4 x A5 panels). Using a single fold can give the impression of a mini-booklet. It provides a good way of breaking up text, which can make it easier on the eye and allows more scope for pictures and illustrations. Single folds are slightly more awkward to hand out than a flat sheet.

N    A4 -- double vertical fold ( 6 x long panels). With the space divided into six panels, the subject matter can be broken up even further. There is more scope for design and for taking the reader through different aspects of an issue as each fold is opened up -- ending with the action section. The format is not very suitable, however, for display on notice boards, but it is popular with many organizations for membership leaflets. It has the advantage of fitting easily into a standard-size envelope.

A paper weight of 80 to 100g is normally adequate for all the above leaflets.


Leaflets can be distributed in the following ways:

N    Handing them out in the street or other public places. This is likely to be most effective if you pick an area or event where the audience is likely to be interested in the campaign. Handing out leaflets at events or protests that you have organized can reinforce the message, give people something to take away and think about, and provide the necessary information to take action.

N    `Campaigning organizations hand out leaflets at other organizations' meetings and demonstrations if they think the people involved are likely to want to know about related issues. It is good practice to ask beforehand if the organizing body has any objections to you doing this.

N    Cinemas or theatres showing films or productions related to AI's work can also be good places hand out leaflets.

N    Pushing leaflets through doors can be very labour intensive. However, it offers more personal contact and the opportunity to discuss issues in person. This may work best if you want to attract a local audience to an event or function.

N    Leave leaflets in places where you hope they will be picked up by the audience you are trying to reach. This could be a shop, the front counter of the AI office, doctors' waiting rooms, etc.

Outreach/Briefing papers

Outreach or briefing papers (A3 sheet with a single fold, printed on both sides) perform the same function as leaflets, but are directed at a different audience.

For people such as trade union officials or representatives of religious or lawyers' organizations, a leaflet cannot include all the necessary information and action points. On the other hand, a full AI report provides too much detail. Briefing papers can give adequate details and are intended to be given to people during or after an AI meeting so that they can:

N     refer back to any particular facts you have mentioned;

N    refresh their memory on the background to the issue and the action being asked for;

N    have easy access to the points that need to be raised and specific details such as addresses to write to.

Briefing papers can be cheap to produce -- one colour on coloured paper can be attractively designed -- and different audiences can be targeted by changing some of the text. To keep costs down, it is possible to print one side with a standard text and the other with a text intended to appeal particularly to trade unionists or lawyers, for example.


AI's reports are the campaigners most essential tool. They provide evidence of human rights violations, make the case for action to be taken to stop the violations, and often give hope to the victims that people will not ignore their suffering in silence.

Reports, which are researched and written by the IS, are the raw materials for protests, lobbying, media releases and leaflets. It is up to campaigners to ensure that the reports do not stay on shelves gathering dust. The release of a report offers opportunities for winning press coverage, especially if the report is studied beforehand for a possible news angle.

As AI releases many reports, not all will win media coverage. You will therefore have to decide which reports you will devote time and resources to. Sometimes, coverage can be won simply by giving the report to a jouranlist who specializes in the country or issue.

It is good practice to provide the embassy concerned with a copy of the report at the time of the release. This is a courtesy as well as a way of ensuring that the embassy knows that AI is active in your society.

The report should also be sent to your ministry of foreign affairs with a letter highlighting the recommendations made in the report and any action you would like your government to take.

Academics, institutions, libraries, NGOs working on the country, and other organizations may be interested in the report and be able to take action.

Some Sections produce simple leaflets advertising new reports, which are then widely distributed. Reports may be too long for some audiences, so you may want to summarize the information in a shorter format, such as a leaflet or briefing paper (see above). If you do this, inform the relevant IS research team as they may be able to provide fresh information and advice. It is important that all such materials carry the Section's name and address. The IS produces shorter campaign documents for major campaigns.

It is sometimes possible to charge people via a subscription system to receive AI reports. In some situations, people feel that something has more value if they have to pay for it, but it is a difficult balance to reach. Some Sections also market AI reports to the general public as a way of raising funds.


Posters can get you and your campaign noticed because of their size and design, providing they are well displayed. They are best used for:

N    promoting a specific event;

N     reinforcing a key campaign message, slogan or image.

The usefulness of posters depends largely on display opportunities. In many countries there are laws or regulations affecting both the information that needs to be included (even in very small print, such as the name of the printer or tax number) and where posters can be displayed. It is important to be aware of these regulations.

Common display sites for posters include:

N    notice boards in libraries, offices, hospitals, schools, local authority buildings, etc;

N     shop or house windows;

N    walls, fences and lamp posts;

N    cafés and community centres;

N    AI stalls;

N    offices of other NGOs, trade unions, etc;

N    buses, trains and trams;

N    at protests, held by hand.

How the posters are put up may affect their legality or the willingness of people to display them. It may be legal to tape a poster to a lamp post but illegal to use paste. Check with the owner of the site or other organizations that display posters. Do not use tape that damages the surface when removed.

If there are few of these sites in your area, then posters might not be the best way of communicating your message.

The design and content of the poster should reflect its audience and your display opportunities.

A poster advertising a specific event should contain the following elements:

N    who is organizing it and what it is for;

N    what it is _ a concert, public meeting, etc;

N    when it is being held _ the time, the date and the day;

N    where it is being held_ include a map if it is not well known;

N    price of admission if appropriate;

N    a contact number/address.

A poster for a wall along a busy road will need to be big and bold to stand out. A poster intended for office walls may be able to carry more information -- and can be smaller and less bold.

The costs of posters depend on production methods, size and weight of paper, number of colours used, etc. Options for production include handwriting, silkscreen printing, commercial printing and photocopying.

Posters are normally one-sided. Some organizations, as well as AI Sections, have produced double-sided posters. One side has been a striking image, while the other has included campaign information and action requests. Alternatively, one side has been used for the campaign, while the other has contained general information about AI so that the posters can be used after the campaign is over. Posters displayed in windows may have both sides visible.

It is useful to provide local AI groups with posters that feature AI's name and logo/image but which are otherwise blank so that they can be used to advertise local activities. Also, provide individual members with small posters. This can be done cheaply by making the poster the centre or cover pages of your newsletter if you produce one. Make suggestions on where the members could display the posters.


Placards are really posters on sticks. They can help to make the message of any protest or vigil immediately apparent to passers by. They can also contribute to an attractive image that might appear in newspapers or on television.

Attach the posters (A2 -- 420mm x 594mm) to slightly larger pieces of card using staples, then attach the card with the posters on to a small piece of wood (1cm x1cm), about 1m in length.


Banners are useful as a backdrop at a stall, protest or media conference as well as at demonstrations. The more striking and attractive they are, the more likely the event will appear in newspapers or on television. Commercial firms and sign writers produce banners. Many materials can be used.

Be clear about what the banner will be mainly used for. If it is as a backdrop for media conferences it should have fixing points (strengthened holes for string or pins) to allow it to be easily fixed to walls and tables or suspended, or should be light enough to be held in place by tape. If it is mainly for use during demonstrations, it should be light enough to carry, have pockets for poles and holes in the material to allow the wind to blow through the banner. Paint should be waterproof.


Newsletters are one of the most commonly used and effective techniques for communicating with supporters and others. They can give feedback on campaigning successes, keep people updated on relevant issues and raise awareness on new issues.

Newsletters can be anything from two sides of A4 or A3 folded to create four pages, to the glossy 16- and 20-page publications produced by many Sections.

It is particularly important that all those involved in producing the newsletter are clear about its purpose and main audience. Consider whether you want a letters' page to act as a forum for discussion and try and make sure there is a mix of longer and shorter articles. Remember that people are motivated by good news and success.

Newsletters can also be a lot of work and expensive. Check that they are the most effective way of achieving what you want.

When costing newsletters it is important to know how most newsletters will be distributed. Postage costs (which might rise substantially with the number of pages used) can quickly rise to being as much as or more than the printing costs. Membership newsletter costs can also quickly absorb the bulk of membership fees, which may leave little other money for campaigning.

If newsletters are external they have more campaigning potential for AI. They can be distributed to sympathetic organizations and individuals to maintain their sense of involvement in a campaign.

Photo exhibitions

Photo exhibitions can be a useful campaigning tool both for Sections and local AI groups. An exhibition can help to attract media coverage for the campaign by:

N     being publicly launched by a celebrity; N     providing good visual images for television and print media;

N     attracting contributors -- the arts or events media.

Photo exhibitions can and have been displayed at the following venues (and probably many more):

N      community halls;

N      town halls;

N      department stores;

N      art galleries;

N      churches and cathedrals;

N      libraries, schools and universities;

N      AI stalls;

N      cinema and theatre foyers.

There is no AI restriction on where an exhibition can be placed. It is a matter of which audience you are trying to reach, what is available and where you can have most impact. The venue chosen might mean that somebody has to be with the display all the time to make sure it is not damaged _ as well as to answer questions.

If local AI groups are being supplied with a photo exhibition during their campaign, then give them an advice sheet on how to make the most of it. This should include:

N      suggestions on suitable venues;

N      suggestions on the sorts of celebrities who could be approached to launch the exhibition -- local politicians, artists, authors or actors living in the community;

N      suggestions for having an official opening that could provide a good opportunity for the group to conduct outreach to key parts of the community. Include practical organizational details, such as how far in advance to send out invitations, what refreshments to supply and how to structure the evening;

N      suggestions on getting publicity: supply a draft media release for the local media on which they need only add the name of the celebrity, venue, time and local quote; suggest they approach the print media and television to request a feature using the photographs in the exhibition;

N      ideas for holding an information and action stall, which would include petitions or draft letters to sign, membership forms and a donation box.

When using a photo exhibition supplied by the IS, consider laminating at least one copy with plastic or getting it framed so that it can be used more than once and will stay in good condition. You can also add your own panels to make it more relevant to your society.


AI often uses postcards as a campaign tool -- preprinted messages to be sent to home or foreign governments. Some Sections have also produced postcards to publicize AI and particular campaigns.

In some ways postcards are a "soft-sell". On one side they have an interesting or attractive image -- an image that you think people would like to send to friends and family. On the other side they are like a normal postcard -- lines for an address, a square for the stamp, a blank space for writing a message and, most importantly, a short explanation of the image. It is this explanation that offers the opportunity to explain AI or the particular campaign. The hope is that the person receiving the card will become more aware of the campaign or AI.

The cards can be provided to groups as one of the materials they can sell or distribute from their public stalls or give to individual members as a gift and action tool. In some countries there are now networks in cafes, cinemas and elsewhere for the distribution of free postcards. Otherwise, cards can be left in venues where you think people will use them.


Stickers are another well-used publicity or awareness-raising tool. Car stickers have been particularly popular in the USA, although much less so in Europe -- perhaps because car bumpers are smaller!

Small stickers can also be used as seals for envelopes or as new address labels to allow the recycling of envelopes.

If stickers are for cars or for outside display, they have to be hardy. This normally means they are made of some form of PVC or plastic. Stickers for envelopes can be made of paper with either an adhesive or a gum backing. The latter is most often used for replacement address labels. These are mainly blank but have an AI message and logo printed around the edges. Check with your postal authorities for possible restrictions.

People are most likely to use the stickers if they are attractive. Stickers for cars normally allow for little more than two or three words as they must be readable from a distance. Stickers for envelopes may simply have an AI logo. Supply them to AI members and local groups and encourage them to use them as a way of building community recognition of AI's symbol.

Videos and audio tapes

Video and audio tapes are powerful communication tools and can be used for campaigning, actions, educational, training, promotional and documentary purposes.

The Audiovisual Resources at the IS has an archive of over 2,000 video and audio tapes on human rights indexed by region, country and theme. These can be used in various ways (depending on copyright) to support and enhance your campaign with the membership, media and general public.

To help get AI issues broadcast you can utilize a variety of audiovisual materials produced by the IS which are related to campaigns and actions. Materials will usually have scripts/voice-overs in Arabic, English, French and Spanish and should be available via your section press officer. Here is an outline of the different types of products:

N    Video News Release (VNR) _ a documentary-style story on a country or a theme. 3-5 minutes long, voice-over, what we would called a "finished" piece. There is an additional "B" roll at the end of the VNR which contains extra footage related to the piece which a broadcaster can use to make another/longer product.

N    Audio News Releases (ANR) _ a radio version of the above.

N    News Access Tape (NAT) _ often called an "unfinished" piece and which can be anything from two to 30 minutes in length. There is no voice over but the images can tell a story related to a theme or country. The point of the NAT is to provide broadcasters with images to cover AI issues. Some broadcasters will not run our "finished" pieces and this is a good compromise.

N    Audio News Access Tape (ANAT) _ a radio version of the above.

N    Feature _ a documentary-style "finished" piece, with voice over and which can be five to 10 minutes in length. AI makes these primarily for major campaigns.

N    Audio features _ a radio version of the above, either with a suggested script or actual voice-over.Remember that each broadcaster is different. Some do not like VNRs produced by NGOs, while others may broadcast what is offered. Audiovisual materials are usually prepared for the launch of a campaign and therefore a “news hook” is already provided. They can, however, be offered as additional footage/audio for documentaries and can be used for educational and campaigning purposes.


c    Watch/listen to the audiovisual material. If you do not know what you have access to, you won't know what to promote or how it relates to the campaign or issue you are promoting. As you are watching or listening to the material, think how you can best persuade the broadcaster to at least take a look at what you have.

c    Identify which broadcasters you will approach. You may find that the audiovisual material is best suited to a news or feature program. It may fit on a youth show. Remember that there are many types of television and radio stations you can contact. Duplication of audiovisual materials can get expensive so try, where possible, to get the media to pay for copies.

c    Respect the embargo but get the story. If you are contacting a newsdesk, speak to the forward-planning department a few days before the launch of your campaign. Let them know what audiovisual materials you have and gauge whether they are interested or too busy to talk right now. You could follow-up with a fax. Television editors take longer to make news stories, so if they are interested, provide them with material a day before the launch but stress the embargo time. Radio stations can turn a story around quite quickly, so getting the material to them on the day is usually fine.

c    Follow-up for next time. Always check whether your material was used. This way you can see whether you can trust an editor when they say they will use it, and remain in friendly contact for next time.

Materials from the IS

The IS produces a variety of materials for AI campaigns and actions and distributes them to Sections. Typically, these would include some of the following: an A5 report in book format, a magazine-style briefing, a set of appeal leaflets, a poster display, a set of postcards, a focus article of Amnesty International News. Sections are serviced directly by the IS Marketing and Supply team. Groups in countries without Sections are serviced by the relevant regional development team.

An order form explaining what materials are being produced and at what price is sent out by the IS in the weekly mailing to Sections. Limited quantities of copies of the materials are made available free of charge to smaller Sections. The aim is to receive orders in good time to allow the IS to print and distribute the materials so that they arrive with Sections well ahead of the launch date.

The order form is usually accompanied by a manuscript-request form, so that Sections or groups wishing to translate the texts and produce their own versions of materials can do so. Translations into core languages (Arabic, French and Spanish) are done by the decentralized units: Amnesty International Arabic Publishing (ARABAI); Editions francophones d'Amnesty International (EFAI); and Editorial Amnistía Internacional (EDAI). The units may also produce versions of the materials.

The English edition of the annual Amnesty International Report is distributed from the IS on a similar basis, as are copies of the International Newsletter. Also available are publications, including a number of leaflets in various languages, which give general information about AI and its concerns.

Internet campaigning The Internet is a gift for campaigners. You can supply information to millions, making your material look as slick as the wealthiest multinational company's on-line publishing effort. The cost is negligible; connecting to a computer on the other side of the world is just as easy and costs the same as connecting to one down the road. The disadvantage is that only in the wealthier countries will significant numbers of people have access to material produced in this way. It is therefore important, as with other campaigning materials, to have a specific target audience, and a specific purpose in mind before embarking on an Internet campaign. For more detailed information on campaigning using information technology, see Chapter 2.

A well-designed two-colour leaflet produced by the Dutch Section

Brief for publication

The following criteria might be helpful to consider when drafting an article or a leaflet. You can use them to plan your own work, but you might also provide them as guidelines to someone else.

N    Format (e.g. leaflet/article/poster)

N    Length (number of words)

N    Purpose/main message

N    Points/facts that must be included

N    Audience (who you are trying to reach, what you know of them, how and where

    the material will be distributed)

N    Intended audience action (attend meeting/send donations/join AI/send letter)

N    First draft needed by (date)

N    Final draft needed by (date)

Worksheet for a printing job

A worksheet listing the following criteria can be a helpful record when working with a commercial printer:

N    Job name/title (e.g. Poster for campaign on China)

N    Trim size

N    Paper weight/ type/ finish/ colour

N    Quantity

N    Binding (folded/ stapled/ stitched/ collated/ perfect bound)

N    Form supplied to the printer

N    Date to be supplied

N    Final proofs ready by (date)

N    Signed off by (person/date)

N    Job delivered by (date)

N    Cost quoted/name of firm

N    Contact name at printers

An AI fold-out leaflet aimed at youth

In several countries AI groups established information stalls when Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden was being performed. Leaflets were handed out about human rights violations in Chile, a subject dealt with in the play.


While posters are always popular among AI members, many end up on the walls of members' homes or stay in boxes rather than being displayed in public.


When supplying local AI groups with leaflets, provide a suggestion sheet about where they may be able to distribute them. Leave a space when printing so that they can include a local contact address and number.


The largest posters are those seen on advertising billboards used by commercial enterprises. Some companies let AI have the space for free or a very low rate. Even then the poster still needs to be specially designed and printed, which can be quite expensive. Posters on billboards can provide a good photo opportunity for a press launch.

Some campaigning organizations specialize in creatively altering commercial billboards to get their message across or because they find the official message offensive. This is usually illegal. The company whose billboards are targeted might take private legal action or those caught altering billboards may face criminal prosecution.

Following the crack-down on pro-democracy protests in China in 1989, the Australian Section produced a glossy and attractive brochure (A4 sheet with a single fold) featuring pictures of some of China's most famous tourist destinations. The text focused on AI's human rights concerns in China. These brochures were distributed through Australian travel agents as the strategy had identified tourists as an important audience to reach.

A newsletter sent by fax to a wide range of people inside Saudi Arabia has been one of the key campaigning tools used by Mohammed al Masari, a Saudi Arabian dissident living in exile. It has reached people eager for information, partly because of restrictions on the flow of information and news inside Saudi Arabia.

Right: A photo exhibition staged by AI groups in Greece to highlight human rights violations in China. Below: AI groups in Ecuador organized a photo exhibition to highlight the human rights situation in Chile.

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In 1995 the South Korean Section took a general AI photo exhibition around different cities, arranging local launches with national AI figures and local politicians. Media channels and posters put up by local supporters and members were used to publicize the exhibition. In each city new members were recruited and in some places new AI groups were established.

Postcards produced by an AI group in Poland (top), and by the Norwegian Section

Amnesty International Campaign Manual