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  • Writer's pictureClint Ford

Campaign Lessons from Winston

In his stellar 1948 work "Gathering Storm" Sir Winston wrote that "Advantage is gained in war and also in foreign policy and other things by selecting from many attractive or unpleasant alternatives the dominating point. American military thought had coined the expression "Overall Strategic Objective"...Failure to adhere to this simple principle produces confusion and futility of action, and nearly always makes things much worse later on."

In my years of public affairs advocacy I will say that discipline to an "Overall Strategic Objective" is the single biggest success factor. Public affairs can get very complicated; campaigns twist and turn. Different players will want to chase all sorts of peripheral rabbits down irrelevant holes.

As you work through a complex, rapid fire campaign you need to ask yourself at each stage and with each potential tactic "does this fit with our Overall Strategic Objective?"

Select the dominant point and stick to it with discipline.

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