significance threshold analysis (1)

Up to a certain point your campaigning can and will be largely unnoticed and will not be newsworthy. But its insignificance is of great strategic importance, it can allow you to sneak up on your adversary, in any case it can allow you to occupy important campaigning territory without exciting much opposition or attention. Ideally this should mean that by the time you do attract attention, you have already won all (most of) the arguments, built your alliances and have closed off any escape routes your adversary might think of using. Most campaigners fail to recognise the value of insignificance. In the ideal strategy, by the time your campaign reaches significance, it will have positioned itself within the relative environment so that its victory is pretty well a foregone conclusion. This is the ideal. In practice, you should strive to get as close to this position as possible. All that then remains is to take the action that breaches the threshold. This action must crystallise the core values of the campaign and compress its narrative into a single visible expression which makes immediate sense to non specialist media and audiences who previously had little or no interest in the issue at stake. An important aspect of breaching the threshold of significance is to do so in a way that allows your adversary to yield with his self respect in tact.

significance threshold analysis

Diagrams: Significance assessment

Source: adapted from BCG original matrix

Significance criteria

The issue or campagin problem 
Awareness in immediate audiencehigh/low
Awareness in wide audiencehigh/low
Risk of actual occurrencehigh/low
Perceived risk of occurrencehigh/low
Risk of spreadhigh/low
Perceived risk of spreadhigh/low
Cost of impact (human/environment/other)high/low
Cost of avoidancehigh/low
Cost of mitigationhigh/low
Scale of impact (local)high/low
Scale of impact (wide)high/low
The campaign 
Strength of case: evidencehigh/low
Strength of case: credencehigh/low
Strength of support: expert/influentialhigh/low
Strength of support: general audiencehigh/low
Availability of solutiontechnology
Ability to communicatehigh/low