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ActionAid’s campaigning postcard

I have not always been the biggest fan of campaign postcards. There are some campaigning organisations for which the campaign postcard seems to be the only possible activity – with every newsletter or magazine there is another postcard waiting to be signed and sent off.

But just before Christmas I received a campaign action from Action Aid UK. At first it seemed as though it was just another postcard. But after a cursory glance it was more and it caught my attention.

It was very cleverly designed and on the front cover there was a space for a 5 pence piece and on this space there was an adhesive substance that would allow you to stick such a coin. The message was aimed at Tesco and highlighted the fact that a 5 pence increase on the price paid for a kilo of apples by Tesco could allow a fruit picker in South Africa to feed their family properly.

Action Aid’s supporters were being asked to put their hands in their pocket, put 5 pence on the card and send it to Tesco’s chief executive – or even better to hand it into their local Tesco store.

Now I know that this stunt is not original; I can remember debt campaigners taking similar action years ago. But this action request really resonated with me, and there and then I found a 5 pence piece, signed the card and sent it off.

I liked it because Action Aid presented a clear problem – the poor wages of fruit pickers. They then showed the solution – a 5 pence increase on the price paid for a kilo of apples. And they encouraged you to take action and to show your commitment by sending Tesco a 5 pence coin. Excellent!

I will follow this campaign with interest to see what result Action Aid gain from this card, and it shows me that there is still a place for a well thought-out postcard campaign action.