When's your next big gathering? A winter wedding? Your Super Bowl party? Maybe you're a leap year baby and your big, once-in-a-blue moon birthday bash is coming up? All of these events present great opportunities to share your advocacy message. We've mastered digital messaging and techniques, but do we know how to support our cause in-person?
- Tell a Story: Sharing your passion for advocacy should be just as interesting as your anecdote about meeting Bill Murray that one time. Explain why this issue matters to you. Your personal connection and story engages your audience and helps frame the issue. Your friends and relatives may not care about the political piece (who knows what Bill No. X is?), but they'll certainly listen to your feelings about it.
- Use Data: Data can make all the difference when you're discussing your advocacy. People always want to know why they should care. What's the impact? I know I can impress my friends by rattling off stats and facts about Medicare Part D. But if you don't have a brain geared to remembering random facts from years of Trivial Pursuit, don't be afraid to pull out your smartphone to look something up. In fact, all of the trends we've seen in social media advocacy started navigating over to mobile - is there an app for your cause?
- Listen: You listen to individuals online through your social media, blog comments and emails. Don't forget to listen in-person! Whether you're talking to your crazy neighbor, Steve, or your favorite co-worker, Alice, listen carefully to their questions. In fact, their inquiries might give you insight into your next blog or a mission point that needs more explanation.
Overall, your online and offline advocacy have more in common than you may think. Your tweet may earn thousands of impressions, but your singular personal connections matter, too. If you're looking for more advocacy engagement tips, whether it's digital or in-person, check out the Digital Advocacy Institute. And tell us what works best for you in the comments!