Persuasive conversation campaigns


Persuasive conversations, also known as values-based conversations, are exchanges between advocates and their peers or members of the public that surface personal attitudes and perceptions around social issues to shift existing positions or at least open people to a new perspective. These conversations are typically held around polarizing issues — think marriage equality in the United States circa 2008-2015 or Australia more recently — where wider shifts in attitude could result in beneficial policy changes.

When organized at scale, persuasive conversation campaigns, also known as “deep canvassing,” deliberately catalyze as many conversations as possible to achieve impact at a level that could influence voting. Such campaigns call on large numbers of supporters to carry out conversations either with their own peer contacts or pre-selected sections of the general public. This is carried out either through door-to-door canvassing or through organized phone or digital communications drives.

Input and resources for this framework were provided by: 

Clodagh Schofield with Uplift Ireland, Jasmine Somaiah with CallHub, guides provided on the Freedom to Marry site, content on the Australian marriage equality campaign presented in this ChangeMakers podcast episode and materials from the Victorian Trades Hall Council.

This framework was prepared and reviewed by: 

Tom Liacas, Aram Fischer.

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