Effective Advocacy Principles

Advocacy efforts depend on lots of things for success – good ideas, hard work, money, effective marketing, and many other factors that are more or less controllable. This post is about four principles, the use of which can influence a campaign’s chances of success. The example of advocating for household use of solar energy technology should make these “effective advocacy principles” more concrete.

1. Facts – Facts can change perceptions or, maybe, spur people to take action. The more the facts relate to real life, the more likely people will be swayed by them. For example, you would be wrong if you think I care about a lifestyle that produces X tons of greenhouse gases a year. I do care about the potential cost savings I could realize by installing some solar power equipment.

2. Logic – Simple logic, as in avoiding common logical errors in your reasoning has to a priority. You can also use logic against your opponents. Trust me when I say it won’t be hard. But, back to the solar power example: Try to promote it through a ballot initiative (to offer a break on property taxes perhaps) that encourages people to use solar power. A logical sound argument might help make the case, once you‘ve managed to get our attention. .

3. Marketing – All advocacy is about selling. You want to sell some political action, or some lifestyle change, or something else. How do you do that? Convince people that there is something in it for them. Most of us don’t care what moral imperative you think you’ve discovered and embodied in your proposal. We might philosophically agree with , for example, the need for wider use of renewable energy. We are definitely interested in what‘s in it for us. Present a compelling case that we’ll get concrete benefits from putting solar panels on our roofs and, we’ll be (a little) more likely to do it.

4. Science – Use scientific concepts, principles, research, and theory promote your cause. Psychology’s been heavily used in advertising and in persuasive writing. Study copywriting. Dig up stuff from the natural sciences and social sciences. Use what you dig up to strengthen your idea. Use what you’ve learned to strengthen your sales pitch. Allay my fears that I won’t be able to run the microwave and TV at the same time on a cloudy winter day. Isn’t that what can happen if you depend 100% on solar power?


~ by chetdavis on January 7, 2008.

One Response to “Effective Advocacy Principles”

  1. I really believe this amazing blog post , “Effective Advocacy Principles | Activism Tools and Ideas”, really pleasurable plus it was indeed a
    great read. Regards,Adolfo

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