Posts Tagged 'advocacy'

How To Be A Mediocre and Ineffective Advocate

Here are the sure-fire ways to be a mediocre and ineffective advocate.

These are the truths that, if ignored, will take us from the on-ramp directly to the road to perdition as we try to communicate with legislators.

1. Reliance on technology as communications panacea. The craze over the latest Internet techniques to communicate with legislators was legitimate in the early 90s. Savvy advocates know the tools are not the answer, but rather the strategy and message behind them.

2. Transfer of knowledge ...

Continue Reading →

How to Get Your Advocates Off Their Computers and On the Streets: Part Two

This is a follow-up post (see part one here) giving you a basic checklist of what you’ll need to do to get more of your advocates off the computer and in front of their legislators and community groups.

  1. When you have determined the path, create the infrastructure. Without this, it’s like trying to build a plane while you are flying it. Resources should include training, team structure, defined team member roles, team resources, team communications, reporting structures, events, rewards and ...
Continue Reading →

Advocacy Has To Be Customized

Clearly, having an older, more experienced, and more successful person trying to persuade a young staffer can be a recipe for disaster. Many of the necessary ingredients – trust, similarity, just liking a person – are missing. To overcome these hurdles, the advocate should find out what the staffer and client have in common. Where is the staffer from? Is this his or her first job out of college? What college? We know of advocates who break through this way ...

Continue Reading →

Tips for Managing the Rogue Grassroots Advocate

I hear the lament every time I speak before a group of government relations professionals, specifically lobbyists: “What happens if we ask our grassroots to contact their legislators and they say the wrong thing?” or, the ever-popular, “How can we trust them to say the right thing?” It is sometimes used by the unenlightened government relations professional as an excuse for not engaging in grassroots activity. No matter what the rationale, it’s a spurious reason to ignore your grassroots potential.

While ...

Continue Reading →

How to Get Your Advocates Off Their Computers and On the Streets

Here is a basic checklist of what you’ll need to do to get more of your advocates off the computer and in front of their legislators and community groups.

  1. Know your organization’s ultimate persuasion goal. That will help you define #3 below.
  2. No matter how slick your tools, you will have little success moving people offline without a compelling message and a compelling messenger (See: Obama, Barack). This makes it vital to test your messages, rigorously evaluate your messengers, and recalibrate as ...
Continue Reading →

Advocacy Isn’t Persuasion

We always strive to go beyond the existing conversations on grassroots influence and not just move the bar, but raise it relative to grassroots persuasion. Because advocacy is an activity rather than a result, we wanted to focus on what should be the ultimate result of advocacy: persuasion. Is there a pattern of behaviors that “everyday” people use that changes the minds of those “up” the food chain?

No matter your current station in life, all of us will be in ...

Continue Reading →

The Habits of Effective State Advocacy Groups

The results of the following research have been featured in many of my advocacy workshops, as well as various national and regional publications.

In our initial research review, we saw that the specific word “grassroots” was the second highest response as one of the habits of an effective advocacy group. However, upon further review of the responses, we noted that there were numerous responses such as: “active membership,” “lots of members”, and “regular people” that refer to grassroots.

Therefore, I am republishing ...

Continue Reading →