Keeping the Network Alive Over Time
Issues come and go and their importance or urgency will come and go as well.
As an issue falls off the radar, it is not uncommon for your networks to fade away as well. So it is important to keep your networks alive over time in order to be able to mobilise them when they are needed. Without them, campaigning will be a lot harder.
It sounds silly really, but it can be that simple. If you haven't heard from someone for a few months give them a call and see how they are getting on. You do not need a reason to call them, just ring to check in. Set aside some time to do a ring around every so often. Networks are often as much about personal relationships as they are about professional relationships so don't be shy.
Show that you are still active
Just because your issue is not on the front page of the paper anymore, does not mean that you are not still busy behind the scenes. It is very easy to continue working away unnoticed by those around you. So be sure to keep communications out of the office regular and ensure that your networks are all on your mailing lists. (See the Communications with your Members help sheet for more on this.)
Remind people that the issue hasn't gone away
This is often one of the harder things to do - particularly in a media soaked world that is obsessed with the 'sound bite'. One of your biggest challenges will always be to keep an issue alive, and keep it on the radar of your networks. Networks are always about cross collaboration so make sure that your networks know how their issue fits in with yours. Keep up a range of actions to remind people that your issue hasn't gone away.
Help others out with their work
The importance of supporting the campaigns of others cannot be overstated. Networks are a two-way street so when someone turns to you for help it is important to give them as much support as possible. Endorse their rallies, sign their petitions, promote their events and so on. It's a great way to keep in contact with these people and it means that when you call on them, you are much more likely to receive their support.
Remember that this is a cross-campaign issue
Of course issues do actually completely go away - you win or lose campaigns and some simply become no longer relevant. In these cases it is still important to keep your networks alive. Activists are usually activists for life. Other campaigns will come up that you will get involved in, and when they do you'll be particularly grateful that you have kept in touch with your networks over time.