Democracy Center releases guide on corporate campaigning

The Democracy Center has just published a free downloadable 55 page guide called “Beating Goliath: a resource for corporate campaigners.”

I think this “Beating Goliath” guide does a very good job at selling the strategy of corporate campaigning and also explaining the basic components that make up a corporate campaign.

I also appreciated the authors’ decision to tease out best practices by writing case studies about successful corporate campaigns.  

The people of Bolivia’s campaign to stop Bechtel from privatizing their water teaches us that targeting individual decision-makers can be effective, as can choosing a playing field that suits your strengths (in this case the streets of Bolivia and not the World Bank’s trade court).  

The campaign to stop a Germany energy company from building a new coal plant in South East England teaches us that it helps to make your local issue (stop this coal plant) the emblematic example of a bigger issue (get the UK government to take action on climate change) (author’s note, this is easier said than done) and using satire and humor.   The authors’ also maintain this anti-coal campaign was successful because it built broad-based alliances between established environmental organizations, anti-capitalist groups, and more.  I typically strive to build alliances between issue groups typically pitted against each other by corporations and governments, like union-environmental or environmental-indigenous rights alliances. 

On the flip side, I think the guide’s summaries of tactics is a little on the slim side to be especially useful. Still, the guide acknowledges this and quickly directs readers to better resources.  If you want to know about direct action then check out Ruckus; if you want to know how to research a company go to the Corporate Research Project, and so on.

Anyway, the guide is certainly worth a read.