In the United States, community advocacy is a powerful tool for social change. In fact, if you want to get your campaign off the ground and garner support from local media outlets, it’s all about building relationships with people in your community. Fortunately, there are seven steps you can take to start this process right now, including reaching out to local media outlets and holding events. We’ll discuss these in detail below.
Identifying Community Members Who Might Be Interested in Your Cause
To build strong connections within your community that will lead to support for your cause, identify members who may be interested in what you’re trying to do at the grassroots level. These might include family members or neighbors who also care about issues of concern common throughout your community, including issues related to poverty, health, education, and the environment.
Connecting with These Members
Once you’ve identified members who are interested in your cause, try connecting with them in person or on social media. For example, if you’re a parent at a local school trying to improve student achievement through more resources for teachers and support staff, consider reaching out to other parents on Facebook or Twitter. Suppose you know that families in your community have been hit hard by recent economic struggles, including unemployment or low wages. In that case, plan a public event at your local library where people can share their stories about what’s happened as well as ideas for finding solutions.
When it comes to building support from members of your community, it’s best to keep the group small. This is because the more people you try to connect with to build support, the harder it will be for each member to feel included.
Connect with People Who’ve Had Similar Experiences
As an example of this step, consider reaching out to members who may have had similar experiences with unemployment or low wages that families in your community face. You can then work together on solutions that might include raising awareness about local jobs programs and opportunities for advancement through education and training so individuals can land jobs within their communities.
Utilize Digital Marketing
Digital marketing for your advocacy campaign can help you get the word out about what you’re trying to do. With digital marketing, you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience with just a bit more effort. You can create an online presence through your own blog or by joining an existing social media community of people who care about your cause.
Also, you can create keyword-rich text and videos that will help searchers find relevant information in Google and other search engines. Keep in mind that the key is repetition when it comes to digital marketing for your advocacy campaign. Slowly but surely, people in your community will hear about what you’re doing and want to get involved.
If you do not know where to start, you can hire a digital marketing or PR company to take care of the campaign for you. That way, you can spread the word about your cause in a way that gets people excited about helping you out. The company will begin by assessing your goals and finding out what’s already been done in PR. Then they’ll develop an effective strategy to meet these goals, including building awareness about all aspects of your advocacy campaign among potential supporters.
Make Your Events Local
Hosting events where you connect with members in your community—including neighbors or family members who care about the same issues of concern that you do—is a great way to build support for your cause. To get started with this step, decide on a location for hosting these events where members can meet and share ideas. A good spot might be in a public building such as a library or community center.
Have Local Media Outlets Attend Your Events
Once you’ve decided on a location for hosting events where you connect with community members, try inviting local media outlets to attend and report on what happens. This will increase the attention given to your efforts in a big way, which in turn can lead to more supporters joining your group going forward.
Keep Your Connections Strong
To keep up the momentum once you’ve started a community advocacy campaign, be sure to keep your connections strong. This involves thinking about ways to continue connecting with members in your group beyond these initial events, such as hosting regular meetings where you work together on local solutions to issues affecting your community.
By following this process for starting a community advocacy campaign—involving reaching out to local media outlets and holding events—you’ll be able to attract support from people who share the same goals as you do.