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Tools to help plan your campaigns

We know everyone is busy planning campaigns, so we’ve put together some of our favourite, free digital tools that we hope you will find useful.

Know what’s on

As a campaign planner, it is important to know what is going on, and when. The Guardian has just the calendar to keep you in the know.

The Global Development Calendar is an interactive calendar with the key events, lectures and summits for those that work in development. The Guardian, quite the calendar expert, also provides a handy UK focused calendar.  This simple wall planner displays the political, sporting and cultural events in the year ahead. Be sure to give it a quick check before launching your campaign this year; clashing with the birth of the Royal Baby in July may hamper your chances of coverage!

The opportunities today for good communication are broad, and there are many outlets business leaders can utilise to  communicate and engage with others.  Our recent Portland Leadership Media Calendar has been designed with the purpose of guiding campaign planners. It provides a snapshot of the most prominent weekly media opportunities for senior business figures and is a must have if you are looking to profile the face of your organisation. You can download the calendar here.

Research your audience

A schedule of events, although useful, is not going to enhance your understanding of your audience. But worry not, as there are tools available to help you learn a little more.

If your ultimate aim is to influence, then there are times when a survey can provide you with valuable insights and feedback that can help you plan your messaging and approach. Dipstick research is easy with Survey Monkey and if you’re after some feedback on the fly, then a Twtpoll could be your answer.

Know who your influencers are

As a campaign planner, identifying who your influencers are is vital so that you can amplify your message.

Twitter and YouTube are two of our favourite platforms because influencers and opinion leaders engage regularly with a devoted following. Ford and Contiki have successfully launched campaigns involving YouTube and Twitter by involving their top social influencers.

A great tool for analysing top line influencers by country is Socialbakers.com. Socialbakers compiles comprehensive statistics about the top influencers on both Facebook,Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Be sure to map influencers online before embarking on any campaign!

Have a global view

Brands are increasingly internationally recognised, so it is important that as a campaign planner, you also have a global view. Luckily, we have a data rich site for you that has a wealth of information.

The World Bank dashboard offers free, open access and comprehensive development statistics such as debt service levels, life expectancy and CO2 emissions. The website gives broader access to policymakers and advocacy groups, helping campaigners make better-informed decisions.

As you plan your 2013 campaigns we hope that these suggestions give you a head start.

Written By

Adam Hall