Dachshund Acquisition Campaign - A light-hearted sample APP

 

Goals: What change needs to happen?

Impacts

Positive Social And Physical Conditions

Notes:

The Dachshund Acquisition Campaign's Household Strategy (DACHS), when successful,  will increase the overall quality of life in our home through the the arrival of a dog - and not just any dog.  Complete policy success requires that we obtain a dachshund - known demeaningly as a "sausage dog" or "weiner dog" to its opponents.  Unfortunately, the fiercest such opponent is my wife, who has veto power over the campaign.  

modified: Fri, 01/14/2011 - 11:28 by David Devlin-Foltz

Goals

Policy Development

Notes:

Dachshund acquisition has been under discussion in our household for many years.  Our home and marriage operate on a consensus basis, so a unilateral move to bring home a puppy is not an option.  But with the recent death of one Aged Cat and the tragic decline of a second household feline, there may be a new window of opportunity  to develop and advance Dachshund Acquisition quite soon.  Seizing this opportunity -- ideally on or about my birthday in late April - requires overcoming opposition and making the case with plenty of allies working alongside me. 

modified: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 09:15 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes

Audience: Who can make it happen?

Primary Audiences

Specific Constituencies

Notes:

The primary audience for the DACHS is my wife, who has resisted the idea of a pet dog for over 25 years for a variety of practical and sentimental reasons. 

modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 13:55 by David Devlin-Foltz

Secondary Audiences

Community Leaders

Notes:

Leaders in my wife's community include friends from our congregation and neighbors with whom she walks occasionally in the morning, some of whom own dogs and are potential allies.  

modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 13:56 by David Devlin-Foltz

Other Audiences?

Notes:

Our two sons have grown up with cats as pets but have recently adopted a pro-dachshund position; this offers opportunities for credible bridging to my wife.  However, this can create some domestic tension and needs to be handled with tact, diplomacy and carefully managed messaging.  

My sons are powerful potential allies, but the DACHS effort may need to reach beyond them to other credible advocates, perhaps working in coalition.   

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:11 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes

Context: What else is going on?

Context

Economic Climate

Notes:

The budget climate in our household is constrained, as in so many households in these tough economic times.  We have one more year of college tuition to help cover and pets are expensive, as we know from bitter experience with the Aged Cats. The financial picture should improve in a year, but by then my policy window would close if a kitten were to appear on the scene before dachshund acquisition is achieved.

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:12 by David Devlin-Foltz

Issue Competition

Notes:

I have always wanted a dog, and I have been advocating for a dachshund for many years.  Clearly, this is a passionately held position.  Like most advocates, I am sometimes frustrated that others can't see the obvious validity and significance of my cause.   But objectively, I know that my wife may attach more importance to many other issues: the welfare of our sons; doing her demanding job well; or even the cost of low-fat milk. 

Your issue will almost certainly face issue competition; this may be temporary - if you are approaching the end of the fiscal year and there is a critical budget debate coming up.  Or it may be a chronic problem: your issue is barely visible to key policymakers because of perrenial concerns that they see as more politically significant.  You may need to consider how to tie your issue to these "bigger" concerns. 

modified: Wed, 12/22/2010 - 14:30 by David Devlin-Foltz

Potential Partners/ Competitors/ Opponents

Notes:

Opposition from pro-cat forces in my wife's family is significant, though probably manageable.  The most threatening competitor might be a kitten offered at some point by a thoughtful neighbor or friend who shares a felinista perspective.  

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:13 by David Devlin-Foltz

Prior Experience

Notes:

The most significant contextual issue affecting the DACHS is my wife's prior experience with a dachshund.  Regrettably, my mother's second dog - not the one I grew up with  - was a dachshund who can be fairly described as psychotic. Fred tore apart some very personal items left untended in an open suitcase the very first time that he and my wife were under the same roof.  The consequent chilling in her relationship with the noble badger hound will be difficult to overcome. 

Key decisionmakers for your issue might not have this kind of deeply personal negative experience with your issue.  But you need to consider any prior efforts to move your issue and learn as much as you can about how policymakers reacted.

 

modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 13:57 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes

Activities: How will you get it done?

Policy and Politics

Opinion Research

Notes:

I believe I am familiar with all the counter-arguments that dachshund acquisition opponents muster, but this can be deceptive.  it is often useful to question assumptions about your opponent's position, or about your supporters' views.  

This may require the services of a third-party researcher.   In my case, perhaps one of my wife's friends could make some careful inquiries and share the results with me.  For most advocates, this requires a professionally-developed public opinion survey and/or focus groups.

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:22 by David Devlin-Foltz

Relationship Building with Decision Makers

Notes:

After 25+ years of marriage, it seems odd to seek an improved relationship with this key decision-maker.  And yet, clearly I have not succeeded in making the case adequately.  Perhaps demonstrating commitment and empathy during our remaining Aged Cat's decline will add credibility.

modified: Wed, 12/22/2010 - 15:05 by David Devlin-Foltz

Communications and Outreach

Coalition & Network Building

Notes:

Broadening the influences on the decision - maker may help me succeed where my own efforts have fallen short.  My own outreach to my wife's morning walk companions and other dog-owning friends can lead to sustained and consistent messaging in support of dachshund acquisition.  Our sons might be able to reach out to their friends.  As with many coalitional efforts, there is some risk that keeping everyone on board may require over-simplifying or diluting the message.  Keeping the focus on a dachshund is difficult without coalition members who are actual dachshund owners.  

 

 

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:15 by David Devlin-Foltz

Dialogue & Negotiations

Notes:

In my case, negotiations with my wife over pets have always been civil and respectful.  We have even reached agreement in principle on the concept of getting a dog at a point when one or both  of us can reliably care for it.  So there is some common ground on which to build.  I may consider this incremental policy progress, but the sticking point remains the decision-maker's past negative experiences with a dachshund.  Unless I am willing to accept a lesser dog, complete DACHS success may demand additional persuasive measures.

For many advocates, as for me, a negotiated settlement may require an uncomfortable degree of flexibility.

modified: Wed, 12/22/2010 - 15:58 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes

Inputs: What do you have? What do you need?

Organizational Capacity Building

Skills Development

Notes:

My decades of unsuccessful dachshund advocacy suggest that my messaging or negotiating skills are insufficient.    The opinion research identified as one potential activity should help me address my messaging problem, but I may need additional coaching from my wife's friends.

As might be true for most advocates, identifying and addressing a skills gap can be painful - but necessary. 

 

 

modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 13:59 by David Devlin-Foltz

Preparation/Planning

Message Development

Notes:

Apparently my message: "cats are cold and indifferent and dachshunds are invariably warm and delightful and generally awesome" could not overcome that awkward "Previous experience" problem highlighted under "contextual factors."    Some additional message development is needed.  I will base this on opinion research and broader consultations, as noted under "Skills Development." 

modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:17 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes

Benchmarks: How will you know you're on the right track?

Advocacy Capacity Benchmarks

Collaboration and Alignment

1. Reach consensus among four of my wife's friends - including her "walking buddies," and my sons, regarding revised messaging strategy based on their prior research, by January 31st.  This will facilitate new message roll-out before Valentine's Day.

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 14:00 by David Devlin-Foltz

New Advocates

1. Five additional influential friends of my wife from neighborhood, work and church agree to collaborate on pro-dachshund message delivery by March 15th.   At least one additional advocate will be a dachshund owner.

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:20 by David Devlin-Foltz
Progress Updates

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:15 by David Devlin-Foltz

two significant new advocates recruited in Mid March: Associate minister and chair of board of trustees of our partner congregation in Houston.  Both were on message. 

Organizational Capacity

1. Achieving consensus among my fellow advocates about revised messaging is useful.  In addition, I must be willing to consistently deliver better messaging and to avoid counter-productive messages.   This should contribute to an improved relationship with the key decision-maker and perhaps to serious consideration of Dachshund acquisition. 

My benchmark:   Beginning with January campaign "soft launch,"  have at least one conversation per month with my wife on the topic of dachshund acquisition during which I consistently employ new messages.  

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:19 by David Devlin-Foltz

2. In addition to better messaging, I need to improve my negotiation skills.  So as a second advocacy capacity-building benchmark, I will 

Complete three one-hour training sessions with a professional negotiations trainer by April 15th. 

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 13:36 by David Devlin-Foltz

Policy Change Benchmarks

Attitudes or Beliefs

1. By February 28th - two months after the DACHS's launch - responses from my wife indicate receptiveness to new positive  information about the advantages of Dachshunds as pets. 

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Fri, 01/14/2011 - 11:50 by David Devlin-Foltz

Political Will

1. We maintain a cat-free household for a minimum of four months following the immiment demise of Auxiliary Aged Cat, indicating possible wavering in my wife's pro-cat sympathies and keeping open the possibility of dachshund acquisition. 

 

  • Not Met
  • Partial: Open
  • Partial: Closed
  • Fully Met
modified: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 20:21 by David Devlin-Foltz

Overall Notes