Creating Advocacy from Scratch: Don’t forget the flavor

Last post, I talked about just adding water to create your advocacy.  But, who really likes JUST rice for dinner?  You need some flavor to add to that instant rice.  Adding flavor to your advocacy efforts means…

creating the direction that you want your advocates to take.

The message I heard from discouraged advocates was – “I just don’t know where to start.”  But, the message I hear all the time from organizations that are struggling with advocacy is…

I just can’t get my advocates to move in the same direction at the same time.

The tools are there, and your advocates are most likely taking it upon themselves to act as they see fit.  But I have heard it said well from Dan Hawkins at NACHCIf 100 signatures are good, then 1000 signatures are better.  When an organization’s advocates work apart from each other, then they may be doing some good work, but as an organization, you want that work to be better.

Adding flavor means
adding incentive.

Having an incentive allows you to create guidelines for your advocates to earn it.  Incentives vary depending on what your advocates like, how much you can spend, and what will garner the effort.  The decision is ultimately up to you.  But here are three ways to keep your audience engaged and attracted to your incentive.

  1. Make it achievable – Even when you create goals for yourself, you may shoot for the stars but create achievable steps in completing this.  According to your cause’s goal – what are some achievable steps that individual advocates or teams of advocates can achieve?
  2. Keep them updated – there are A LOT of online techniques to keep your advocates up to date on how well they are doing as a whole (read: website dashboards).  But the most important tool to use here is email.  Underrated in the game mentality, if you send individual advocates milestone emails thanking them, then you will keep them energized and pleased knowing that they are on  the right track.
  3. Highlight successes publicly – This can do one of two things for advocates who did not get their story highlighted.  A competitive spirit will take over making them want to be the one in the spotlight or a more academic spirit will take over, and they will learn something from the person who was successful.

So go ahead and add a little flavoring to your advocacy campaign… you may even catch yourself saying this in your office –