Get your message across in a creative, unusual or thought-provoking way to reach new audiences and get publicity

 Firebird

Hampstead Theatre’s play Firebird supported our Seriously Awkward campaign 

There are lots of ways to use art and performance to get a campaign message across in creative ways, such as art, film and performance. People have always used art to communicate about political or social issues.

Art

Competitions/exhibitions

Local artists or art groups might be interested in getting involved with your campaign activity. For example, you could hold an art competition locally for illustrations, paintings, designs and photography that links to a theme connected to a campaign.

You can then hold an exhibition of all the entries and invite local people and decision makers to attend. There are lots of ways to use art and performance to get a campaign message across in creative ways, such as art, film and performance.

Illustration

Pictures can tell a thousand words. So using comics and illustrations can be a great way to communicate to different audiences.

They can help explain complex issues, and can make a campaign more engaging for different audiences.

Street art

This is art that’s created in a public place and can take many forms – painting, sculpture, posters, street performances and stencilled pictures.

It can be as simple as using chalk to write on the pavement to commissioning artists to do specific pieces. Public art can be illegal, so it’s important you only do it once you have checked permissions. Ask your council if there are legal areas in your community where you can make street art.

Murals tend to be painted on buildings such as schools, public swimming pools or parks, so need to be done in partnership with the relevant organisations. You can use materials like tiles, pebbles and shells to create a mosaic mural.

Film

This can be a great way to get your message across quickly, and in an engaging way. People can also share videos on social media and help spread the word.

Step 1: The story

  • What is the idea for your story?
  • What type of film do you want to make?
  • What is the message your film is trying to communicate?

Step 2: Planning

  • Who needs to be in your film? If they are under 16 years old, then you will need to have permission from their parent or guardian. 
  • What is your budget and schedule?
  • Do you have equipment? Time? Will you need permissions for locations?

Step 3:The script

You might want a tight script where actors speak word-for-word or you could get the characters to improvise. If you’re making a documentary, research the people you want to interview and write appropriate questions.

Step 4: Framing

The way that you shoot the film is important. For example, if you are interviewing, you might wish to do some close-ups of hands or facial expressions. It’s a good idea to practice shots before you film for real.

Step 5: Storyboards

A storyboard has pictures of scenes and a description of what is happening and/or some dialogue. This helps you visualise each scene and plan your camera shots and any props you might need.

Step 6: ACTION

Filming takes longer than you think. A three-minute film might need hours of shooting. Keep time codes if you’re filming scenes several times – this will make it easier to edit later.

Step 7: Post-production

This is where you piece together your film and is the most time-consuming part. If you are new to editing, try contacting local community or youth groups for support. There are also free editing software packages you can use.

Step 8: Getting your film seen

You have the film, now you need people to watch it. Hold a screening locally and share it widely on YouTube and social media.

Performance

Singing, dancing, acting, clowning, musicals and poetry are all creative and powerful ways to get your message noticed.

Performance is a key campaigning tool in many countries. Where people may not be able to read and write, or where people speak different languages, campaigners often use radio, street theatre or dance to educate the community.

We teamed up with Hampstead Theatre on their hard-hitting play Firebird, which tells the story of a young girl who is sexually exploited.

The theatre, in association with Time Out London, organised a free online broadcast of the play to promote our Seriously Awkward campaign which calls for changes to the law to support 16 and 17 year olds at risk of harm, abuse and neglect.

Flash mob

A flash mob is where a group of people appear suddenly in a public space (in a FLASH), do a short, unexpected action (they MOBilise) and then disappear.

Download this guide