CPJ's Advocacy Toolkit / Table of Contents
Building an Advocacy Network
Inviting others to participate in your advocacy work is a good way to build morale and increase your influence. You may know others who are already concerned about the same cause, or you may invite others to learn more. You can also contact organizations that are already working on your cause or that may be interested in getting involved. Building relationships with others can facilitate information-sharing, and increasing your network of advocates will strengthen your campaign!
|Keep in Mind: Get Connected. Social media can be very useful for increasing your advocacy network. Learn more about social media in this toolkit.|
Invite those who have personal stories to call, meet with, or write to MPs. This will give legislators a direct connection with those whom a piece of legislation affects, and it can be empowering for those who share their stories.
|Keep in Mind: Coordinate Your Network.|
Working with Government Officials
When it comes to working with government officials, it is important to avoid adopting an
“us vs. them” mentality. Advocacy is about working with the resources that you have. If you are unwilling to work with a certain party or with the current government, it will be very difficult to bring about change. Remember to always interact with politicians in a respectful manner. Whether writing a letter or meeting with your MP, respect will help you further your cause.
Try to find potential allies within the government, and try to find common ground from which to start. Without compromising the firmness of your position, you can build relationships with people who may disagree with you. Through this connection, you can both gain a better understanding of different perspectives. Make small and respectful steps towards your goals.
Email as an Awareness and Advocacy Tool
|Keep in Mind: Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws. Learn about Canada`s anti-spam laws before using email as an advocacy tool. Visit “What Counts” to find out more.|
You can use email to raise public awareness about a specific issue. These emails should be specific and concise. They should tell about the situation and what those reading the email can do about it. Finish emails by asking people to share the message and take specific actions. Add a personal touch to the e-mail (copied and pasted messages are not as effective). Give people a reason to care about the issue you are concerned with. Educate your audience with concise information, and include resources for further investigation. Be direct with the point and tell them how they can help.
Keep in Mind: Mailchimp. You can email up to 2,000 people at one time with a free account using Mailchimp. This is a good resource for campaigning.