Advocacy campaigners work hard to get media because it can greatly amplify their voice.

Work With Media

  1. Create a ready list of local media contacts who cover your issues.
  2. Contact reporters prior to 3:00 pm, before they get on deadlines.
  3. Find a “hook.” Look for a local story angle. Or connect your issue to something in the news, even a current controversy. Grab some of the attention by linking to what you want to say.

Letters to the Editor

  • Watch for your issue in the paper and respond immediately. Remember to watch for any online discussions.
  • Letters should be: short (200 words or less); to the point; clearly written; not inflammatory; and signed (include email and phone number).
  • Editors like creative, concise, and insightful commentary. Ensure your letter ends with a call for action.
  • Check your paper’s website for how to submit.

Social Media

  • Facebook and Twitter. Brainstorm a list of posts and tweets early so you can keep the conversation active. Follow others on your issue, even those with a different take — you’ll be better informed and better at responding.
  • YouTube. Create and post a video. Interview people impacted by the issue. They are the true spokespeople for the cause. Spread the word to get views.
  • Blog. Use your own blog or better yet, convince bloggers you follow to pick up your issue. The multiplier effect can be amazing.

church FP

The Flemingdon Park STAR project (Skills Training to Access Resources) trains community members to become self-advocates and community advocates.

Advocacy is about building authentic relationships and seeing what emerges naturally. If an issue emerges, you have to find a way of actually having a conversation with all the players, especially the ones at the grassroots whose voices won’t get up the ladder.

Helena Houldcroft, Flemingdon Park Ministries, Anglican Diocese, Toronto

Re-appropriating “Evangelists”

People who work on social media campaigns often use the Christian term “evangelists” to describe their networks of spokespeople. “Who are your evangelists?” they ask, seeking the passionate voices that will help spread the campaign. Equip church members to be evangelists of the cause:

  • Ask members to post links to their social media accounts
  • Have someone take and post photos that others can share
  • Provide talking points to inspire posts and tweets
  • Do a media blitz, using the sheer numbers in your congregation to get media attention
ADVOCACY TIP: Petitions raise awareness of your issue and show decision-makers there is a constituency of concern. You can still go door to door with a piece of paper, but you can go around the world in a second if petitioning online. Check out: www.change.org; www.ipetitions.com.