“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner
I am a passionate, committed and motivated advocate to issues in which I believe. Advocacy means to speak up, to plead the case of another or to fight for a cause.
What ensures successful advocacy?
Strategic communications is the key to advocacy.
And, advocacy includes most of the work that is done by nonprofits!
When your nonprofits advocates you are seeking to affect some aspect of society, whether to appeal to individuals about their behavior, employers about their rules, or the government about its laws.
Good advocates are passionate, committed and motivated. Who are your advocates?
- Your staff
- Your board
- Your volunteers
- Your constituents
- Others with like interests (a coalition)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates (with apologies to Stephen Covey):
- Be Proactive – Change starts from within and highly effective people chose to improve their lives through things they can influence.
- Begin with the End in Mind – Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement and extend into long term goals.
- Put First Things First – Identify key roles you take on in life and make time for each
- Think Win/Win – Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial
- Seek First to Understand the other person and then seek to be understood
- Synergize – Through trustful communications find ways to leverage individual differences to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts
- Sharpen the Saw – Take time to build capacity through personal renewal of your physical, mental, social/emotional and spiritual dimensions.
Creating & Implementing Advocacy Communications
Communications Matters created a model designed to help communication practitioners and their colleagues working in other disciplines (program, evaluation, and executive leaders) build a common language and shared understanding for the role that strategic communication plays in advancing lasting social change.
This communications model is built around four central pillars: brand, culture, strategy, and action.
- Brand – Every social change organization, no matter its size or purpose, has three key assets that shape its identity: resources, reputation and relationships.
- Culture – Communicating organizations cultivate certain qualities that make their work compelling to others. You may not have all in equal measure, but you need a minimum supply of each to succeed.
- Strategy – Successful organizations are consistently strategic (deliberate and intentional) about their communication choices, weighing several distinct, yet related, variables before they act.
- Action – Communicating should never be a one way activity. Success demands a continuous, virtuous, self-correcting cycle of sending and receiving, plus the ability to cede control.
Strategic communications is the key to advocacy – just honor the process. Your campaigns will be stronger. And your nonprofit will create and run incredibly successful social change campaigns!
- Create clear goals
- Target audiences
- Utilize concise messages that resonate
- Develop good planning skills
- Tell people what to do
- Make a case for why action is needed now
- Match strategies and tactics with audience
- Budget for success
- Rely on experts when needed
- Set your goals. Is your goal narrow (publicizing an event) or broad (building and engaging with a community or coalition)?
- Identify your target audiences.
- Select the social media platforms you plan to use. Make your choice based on your goals and target audiences. The most well-known are Facebook and Twitter.
- Gather resources and materials to create content and share.
- Find volunteers to help manage social platforms.
- Be sure and integrate into your marketing communications plan.
For a more in-depth understanding of advocacy and strategic communications
- Writing a Communications Strategy for Development Programmes
- Now Hear This – Now Hear This: The Nine Laws of Advocacy Communications
- How to Use Social Media for Advocacy
Enjoy these extra resources on strategic communications!
- Social Media Tips, Tricks and Best Practices from the Pros
- Creating a Strategic Marketing Communications Plan
- Using The Post Method to Guide Nonprofit Marketing Communications
We’d love to hear how your nonprofit uses strategic communications and advocacy!