Digital Advocacy 101

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Do you participate in advocacy? It's defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. As you can see, it's a sweeping definition - and I bet you advocate for something, whether it's personally or professionally. When you think about your advocacy efforts - do you consider how an online presence fits in? If you do, you're not alone.

Many organizations have found tremendous benefit from engaging online. If digital is not currently a part of your outreach to advocates, it isn't too late for you to consider how it can help you and your organization. In general terms, digital advocacy is an approach to engaging your audience online and inspiring them to take action. A digital strategy helps any advocacy organization or campaign understand what they need to do online and why. There are several tactics to consider - and these only scrape the surface of what's possible:

  • Develop user-driven websites and tools that motivate constituents to action.
  • Craft consistent designs across web and social platforms.
  • Target key audiences through native, social and traditional digital advertising.
  • Produce compelling advocate videos.
  • Deliver mobile-responsive solutions that persuade and motivate action.

A good digital strategy helps your community make the right decisions about the messages to promote and the relationships to build. Ultimately, you need to give your advocates the best chance of using channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, websites and blogs to reach the right audiences. If they can find new allies, they will most certainly help advance your campaign's policy issues. Digital advocacy campaigns try to organize lots of people at once, but even as our technology advances, advocacy is still fundamentally about cultivating real relationships with people.

The goal of digital advocacy is just to leverage things that already exist -- the key is knowing which of the tools and strategies out there now are best suited for your specific advocacy challenges.

To find out more about some of the strategies you could employ, check out the Digital Advocacy Institute!