Guide to campaign planning: OASIS

The purpose of this guide is to ensure that all government communications are effective, efficient and evaluated.

Guide to Campaign Planning: OASIS text on this page (PDF, 136KB, 2 pages)
OASIS template (PowerPoint, 109KB, 8 pages)

On this page:

About this guide

This guide is for all government communications professionals, regardless of discipline or organisation.

It applies to every kind of planned communication and campaign, from the most effective way to put out news via press and digital, at no cost, to large-scale multi-million-pound behaviour change campaigns.

This guide will help you develop your plan and structure your thinking. The time it takes to develop a campaign plan varies greatly. For press/digital campaigns, your plan may take a few hours, while for long-term behaviour change campaigns the audience analysis alone may take weeks.

What is a campaign

A campaign is a planned sequence of communications and interactions that uses a compelling narrative over time to deliver a defined and measurable outcome.

All government communications should be viewed in the context of a wider campaign, for example, what do we want to achieve and where does it fit in? This way we can ensure that all our work links to a clear objective and we can evaluate the impact of everything we do.

Examples of campaigns:

OASIS framework

OASIS is a series of steps that can help bring order and clarity to planning campaigns. The aim is to help make the planning process rigorous and consistent.

The 5 steps you need to create a campaign using OASIS are:

  1. Objectives
  2. Audience/Insight
  3. Strategy/Ideas
  4. Implementation
  5. Scoring/Evaluation
OASIS framework stand for: Objectives, Audience/Insight, Strategy/Ideas, Implementation, Scoring/Evaluation.


The CORE role of government communications:

  • C – Changing behaviours that benefit society
  • O – Operational effectiveness of public services
  • R – Reputation of the UK and responding in times of crises
  • E – Explanation of government policies and programmes

Set out what the communications activity is intending to achieve.

Start with the policy aim and develop communications objectives that will deliver this.

Include the role that communication will contribute to achieving the policy aim and the role that individual activities or channels will play in meeting the communications objective.

Objectives should be achievable, measurable – expressed numerically where possible, focused on outcomes, not outputs and related to changing attitudes and/or behaviour.

SMART objectives

Keep objectives SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Audience and insight

Who is the campaign aimed at? Do you need to change or influence their attitudes and behaviours to help you achieve your objective? What are the barriers to change that your campaign can help to address?

Understanding your audience is critical to an effective campaign. It is important that we use insight to create a full picture of who they are and how they will reach the desired outcome.

Use your own commissioned research, data from elsewhere in government or publicly available information.

The Market Research Society’s Research Buyers Guide provides useful sources of audience insight. Cabinet Office holds a bank of research too. To access content available within the GCS, or to join the Insight and Evaluation basecamp group, email

EAST framework

If you are working on a large-scale behaviour change project, you should look at using the EAST framework to inform campaign planning. It stands for:

  • Easy
  • Attractive
  • Social
  • Timely


Strategy and idea

Use the insight to set out your approach. You will also need to cover proposition/messaging; channels; and partners/influencers.

Map the audience’s journey and design communications relevant to different stages of the journey. Where possible test or pilot your approach to assessing its effectiveness.


Once you have defined your approach, you should set out how you will deliver your communications and what tactics you will use.

Develop a clear plan that allocates resources and sets out the timescales for delivery. Bring influencers and partners on board to increase impact and use low-cost approaches where possible; particularly PR and partnerships.

Scoring and evaluation

You should monitor outputs, outtakes and outcomes throughout your campaign and evaluate them once it is complete.

Within OASIS, Objectives and Scoring are especially important for the purpose of evaluation.

Learning and resources

Watch our recorded webinar on setting up OASIS objectives (GCS members only)

“I have a better understanding of the campaign planning process”

“I will apply the model in my planning”

What are learners are saying


GCS uses the OASIS framework (Objective, Audience insight, Strategy, Implementation, and Scoring) as the foundation for its world-leading campaigns.



Keep objectives SMART:

·      Specific

·      Measurable

·      Attainable

·      Relevant

·      Time bound


The CORE role of government communication is:

·      Changing the behaviours that benefits society

·      Operational Effectiveness of public services

·      Reputation of the UK and responding in times of crisis

·      Explanation of government policies and programmes


Audience insight


Think of various audience

·      buyer

·      user

·      influencer

·      lodge and gatekeeper

·      department and agency


Segment your audience:

·      demographically

·      geographically

·      by usage

·      by culture

·      by attitude

·      use multiple variables


You must also consider:

·     accessibility requirements

·     brand safety



Use Project Initiation Document (PID):

·      stakeholders and partners

·      agents, staff, individuals

·      delivery




What choices are you making and why:

·      context

·      vision and aim

·      insight

·      top line message

·      overall approach (resource allocation, priorities, milestones, interdependencies and risks)


Customer journey mapping

·      scope

·      map

·      measure experience

·      identify solutions

·      apply insights



Focus on CARE:

·      Content

·      Amplifying the message

·      Reasons to share

·      Emotional appeal


Five parts of a message:

·      Who: character

·      What: resolution

·      Where: setting

·      When: conflict

·      Why: plot


Keep behaviour change EAST:

·      Easy

·      Attractive

·      Social

·      Timely


Six Ts of social media:

·      Timely

·      Tested

·      Topical

·      Type

·      Threshold

·      Targeted



Consider the DORIAN communication tactics:

·      Direct

·      Online

·      Regional

·      Influencers

·      Antagonists

·      News


Scoring (evaluation)


Three Qs of evaluation:

·      Outputs

·      Outtakes

·      Outcomes


Use tools:

·      Government Communication Service standards, guidance and frameworks


Seven drivers of reputation:

·      Leadership

·      Innovation

·      Performance

·      Products and services

·      Fairness

·      Citizenship

·      workplace

Tools to help you write your plan

  • GCS guidance – A range of practical guides written by Government Communicators including guidance on Evaluation, Partnerships, Customer Journey Mapping, how to write a communication strategy and much more.
  • – free ideas and tools to help you develop your campaign. Tools to help you gather audience insight.
  • Office for National Statistics (ONS) – A wealth of data (including Census data) that can be browsed by theme or alphabetically.
  • News Media Association – Provides insight into the national, regional and local media landscape.
  • OFCOM – the communications regulator provides insight into trends such as ownership and usage figures for television, digital radio and landline/mobile phones.
  • The Cabinet Office Insight and Evaluation team has specialists that can provide advice to GCS colleagues on evaluating campaigns, or planning evaluation against SMART objectives. Contact

Tools to help you measure the effectiveness of your campaign activity

Online survey tools – there are a range available that offer the ability to run free, customisable surveys, polls and questionnaires, as well as paid back-end programs that include data analysis, sample selection, bias elimination, and data representation tools.  Before using any free or paid-for survey tools, please check with your organisation’s IT/Data security team, as well as your Data & Insight team for their latest guidance and support.  

Online analytics tools