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Section 1. Overview: Getting an Advocacy Campaign Off the Ground

You understand how advocacy is different from other types of strategy:

___It involves actions that lead to a selected goal

___It usually involves getting government, an agency or private business to correct an unfair or harmful situation

___It is not the same as direct service

___It may or may not involve confrontation

You understand what you need for successful advocacy:

___Your cause needs to be right

___Your group should have some power in numbers and/or clout

___You should have thoroughly researched the issue, the opposition, and the climate of opinion in the community

___You should be skilled in using the tools available to you (including the media)

___You should pick your strategy and tactics carefully

When is advocacy appropriate?

___When a powerful agency, institution or company needs to change but will not

___When nothing else will work

___When you know you have the capacity to carry it through

Other sections of this chapter can help you with different aspects of preparation for advocacy

To understand the issue:

___Research the root cause of the problem

___Conduct an analysis of the power structure

To bring others into your campaign:

___Learn to recognize potential allies

___Choose them (and bring them on board) with care

To identify (and stand up to) opponents:

___Start with the cause for resistance, and from that identify the people or groups who are likely to oppose you

___Once you have identified opponents, prepare for opposition, and plan to counteract it

To make sure you conduct your advocacy campaign efficiently:

___Use the survival tips that will help you achieve your goals and stay out of trouble

To put it together:

___Make a master action plan that lets you consider all aspects of your campaign at once, so you can adjust different elements to fit

___Include your mission and objectives, your allies and opponents, your targets and agents of change, and your strategies and detailed action plan

When you look around for help:

___Check into groups that might normally be against you, but who may help with at least part of your goals

To make sure you are on track:

___Do a careful self-assessment to make sure you are reaching all your objectives and sticking to your timetable

___Check up on the process, to make sure your group is efficiently working together