13 Strategies for Your Advocacy Campaign – Part 1 (2023)

The defense comes offraise, "call for help" or speak on behalf of someone. They are the organized efforts of citizens to influence the formulation and implementation of public policies, laws, regulations, programs, resource allocations, and other decisions that affect people's lives by persuading and coercing government agencies and other powerful actors. Advocacy also influences the socio-political processes that empower and empower people to advocate for themselves.

Advocacy typically targets policymakers (legislature) and government officials and public officials (executive) whose decisions affect people's lives. It suits a variety of activities including organizing, lobbying and campaigning.

Characteristics of advertising campaigns:

An advertising campaign can be broadly defined as a strategic action that involves communication and is carried out for a specific purpose or goal. The campaign publicly promotes an agenda, engaged platforms and uses a variety of communication tools and channels to allow a wider audience to hear key messages. These include: public demonstrations, protests, letter writing, lobbying, media and internet use and legal action, messaging and a range of organized communication tactics to name a few.

In their classic study of campaigns, Everett Rogers and Douglas Storey (1987) identified 4 characteristics that most campaigns have in common:

  1. A campaign has a purpose: it aims to achieve specific results from communication efforts.

  2. A campaign targets a large audience: convincing enough people to make a difference.

  3. A campaign often has a specifically defined time limit, up to which the window for further actions closes.

  4. A campaign comprises an organized set of communication activities, reflected in the creation of campaign messages and efforts to educate and/or mobilize various stakeholders.

purpose of advertising campaigns

Advertising campaigns are mainly carried out for:

  • Building support for a policy or amending an existing policy or law based on its implementation and

  • Build public acknowledgment of a problem.

They are used to raise awareness of important issues and to encourage groups or individuals to seek information and services. An increase in knowledge helps shape real-world beliefs, attitudes, social norms, and public behavior.

Strategic considerations for advertising campaigns

Often, citizens and their organizations use a combination of different strategies to achieve their advertising goals. Strategic communication is essential to any effective campaign. It is important to determine the communication channels that will be used in the advertising campaign. This depends on:

  • Communication preferences and behavior within the target group.


  • the complexity of the information to be shared.

  • the budget and resources available for implementation.

Preferred communication channels often vary based on age, social group, ethnicity, literacy and educational level, familiarity with and access to technology, gender, religion, disability or other characteristics. When deciding on communication channels, consider the way they access information, including those living in geographically isolated areas and those who face information barriers.

Strategy 1: Identity formation through common slogans, campaign logo, common goals, advocacy demands

Identity is what people think and feel about the advertising campaign and the central theme it addresses. In the commercial field, this would be synonymous with the brand. Branding is important for advertising purposes because when there is a strong identity that is communicated clearly and consistently, it can more effectively promote the advertising objective. Gradually, the public, authorities and other organizations will recognize the campaign, which in turn will improve its reputation.

Identity is communicated in a variety of ways and typically includes a name, a logo, and a message or slogan. Slogans are messages that people can identify with and understand. A buzzword or slogan is a catchphrase or group of words put together to identify a cause or problem. It could be a one-sentence slogan, as brevity is key to retention. The messages should be clear, compelling statements about advocacy: what needs to be achieved and why it matters. Logos and symbols help support movements and campaigns. For example, the Red Ribbon and White Ribbon logos help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and eliminate violence against women, respectively. Identity is communicated through the distribution of promotional items such as hats, bags, T-shirts, bracelets, pens, etc. These make things visible and thus help to promote them.

Strategy 2: Get charismatic defending champions

As a rule, these are outstanding, top-class personalities who take up a topic and publicly support it. Typically, these individuals are highly motivated, passionate about what they do, and demonstrate a high level of solidarity rooted in shared beliefs, values, and vision. These advocates or opinion leaders are those whose statements influence the media, decision makers and the public. Reporters are more likely to quote such eminent figures when covering a story than ordinary citizens. For example, the Natural Resources Defense Council (a US-based non-profit international advocacy group for environmental protection) has well-known figures such as environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actors Robert Redford or Leonardo DiCaprio as speakers.

Strategy 3: Disrupt and raise awareness through demonstrations, non-violent protests and public disobedience

These are forms of public expression, or “community presence,” that have been used by various advocacy movements, such as the anti-slavery movement that flourished in the 19th century. and better working conditions and the women's movement in different historical periods that promoted gender equality and other struggles for human rights in different parts of the world.

There are various forms of non-violent protest, including demonstrations, rallies, marches, vigils, sit-ins, hunger strikes and other forms of mass gatherings. They all aim to achieve goals like social change without being violent. This type of action highlights the desires of a group of people who feel something needs to change to improve the current state. They help raise awareness of the issues by drawing attention to other people's awareness and support.

A nonviolent protest is a symbolic act. This is an effective way to give disclosure to a policy, practice, or issue it serves. For example, refusing an award can draw attention to an event or issue. Because it seems shocking or unusual, the symbolic act continues to be talked about long after the action. The symbolic act must be chosen very carefully.

Strategy 4: Promotional and awareness-raising events: public hearings, conferences, seminars

Advocacy and awareness events are a gathering of representatives of the core mission to raise awareness of the cause. They help network with a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss a variety of viewpoints and generate new ideas, tactics, and goals. There are different types of promotional events that can be held, one of which is conferences. "A conference is a gathering of people with a common interest or background to enable them to meet and learn and discuss issues, ideas and work centered on a topic of common interest."[1]

Another way to get people excited about the cause is to organize public meetings or town hall meetings or public hearings. These will help spread your message, garner support for your campaign, and hold decision-makers accountable. Invite people directly affected by the issues, the community at large, service providers and representatives of affected government agencies and their local representatives.

Strategy 5: Mobilize a network of activists and organizations

A network is often thought of as a loose association of people or groups brought together by a common interest. A network is usually made up of a number of organizations with different strengths and relationships and trust between them. An advocacy network is a group of individuals and/or organizations working together with a common goal to achieve policy, law, or program changes on an advocacy issue. You can think of it as an ecosystem: different actors work together, some more closely than others. In short, a network consists of multiple actors with multiple goals.


The right to food campaign in India: an example of a network leading a campaign

The Right to Food Campaign in India is an informal and decentralized network of individuals and organizations working to make the right to food a reality. The campaign began in 2001 as a branch of public interest litigation (litigation undertaken to protect the public interest and demonstrate the availability of justice for disadvantaged parties) in the Supreme Court of India and quickly evolved into a national one Movement.

Origin of the campaign: The campaign began with a written petition brought to the High Court in April 2001 by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan. "The prevalence of 'hunger amid plenty' in India took a new turn in mid-2001, when the country's food supplies reached record highs, while famine in drought-stricken areas and elsewhere worsened."[2]This situation prompted the PUCL to write a petition to the Supreme Court of India on the “right to food”. "Initially, the case was brought against the Government of India, the Food Corporation of India and six state governments in specific contexts of insufficient drought relief."[3]The case was later expanded to the broader issue of chronic hunger, with all states and union territories appearing as defendants.

The legal basis of the petition is simple. “Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees the “right to life” and obliges the state to protect it. This right is fundamental. The Supreme Court has ruled in previous cases that the right to life includes the right to live with dignity and all that goes with it, including the right to food.[4]The petition argues that the response of central and state governments to the drought situation, both in terms of policy and implementation, is a clear violation of this right. Most of the petitions used government and field data from Rajasthan. In short, the petition called for immediate use of the country's gigantic food reserves to protect people from starvation and hunger. "This petition resulted in an extended PIL (PUCL v Union of India and Others Writ Petition [Civil] 196 of 2001)."[5]Hearings before the Supreme Court were held at regular intervals and important "injunctions" were issued from time to time. However, it quickly became clear that legal action alone would not lead far. This motivated efforts to build a major Right to Food campaign.

In interim orders of May 8, 2002 and May 2, 2003, respectively, the Supreme Court appointed "commissioners" to oversee the implementation of all orders related to the right to food. The commissioners are “authorized to investigate any breach of these orders and to seek redress with full authority”.[6]Supreme Court. The appointment of the commissioners was an important opportunity for the campaign, although the commissioners were an independent structure created by the Supreme Court. Members of state Right to Food networks regularly assisted the commissioners.

video about itCampaign for the right to food in India

Structure:The network is based on local initiatives and voluntary cooperation. The campaign has a small secretariat that plays a basic moderation role (e.g. website maintenance: www.righttofoodcampaign.in). Most of the Secretariat's work is done by volunteers.

The campaign has a steering group made up of members from various national networks, members of national campaigns for the right to food, invited members of local campaigns and other committed individuals.

Activities:The Right to Food Campaign has undertaken a wide range of activities to advocate for various demands. Examples are the organization of public hearings, rallies, protests (Dharnas), marches on foot (padyatras), congresses, action-oriented research, media representation and lobbying of MPs. For example, on April 9, 2002, actions of this kind were carried out nationwide as part of a "National Day of Action Midday". “This event was instrumental in persuading several state governments to introduce hot lunchtime meals in primary schools. The campaign also played a leading role in the March for the Right to Work (RozgarAdhikarYatra), a 50-day tour of India's poorest neighborhoods, calls for the[7]immediate promulgation of a national employment guarantee law”.

(Video) Tips for Building a Winning Advocacy Campaign
Strategy 6: Create a buzz in the public media

Media is the plural form of “medium” and includes forms of communication – television and radio (electronic media), newspapers, magazines and written materials (print media), and more commonly today the internet – used to disseminate or transmit information to the public. "Free, objective and qualified media are an essential part of any democratic society."[8]

Media advocacy is the use of any form of media to advance a cause. Media work offers many people a powerful tool to inform and build support about a problem or to make informed and responsible decisions. Not only do they reach large numbers of people, but they also influence public attitudes and opinions on important public issues. Helps create reliable and consistent awareness of the issue and activities. There are several tools that can be used to influence the media, including:

  • Press releases, events and press conferences

  • letters to the editor

  • television interviews

  • Newsletters and Summaries

  • Seminars, workshops and discussions

  • Articles and news, stories of personal interest and success stories.

Messages must have strong content, framed to get media attention. Journalists are always looking for new breakthroughs, like the latest investigations.

There will be more advertising strategies in part 2 soon. stay tuned for more!

(Video) WEBINAR: Effective Advocacy Strategies

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[1]Chapter 12. Training and Technical Support | Section 5. Organizing a Conference | Body | Community Toolbox (ku.edu)[2]The “Right to Food case”:The Right to Food case – Campaign for the Right to Food (google.com)[3]ibid[4]ibid[5]ibid[6]ibid[7]ibid[8]The Role of the Media in Democracy: A Strategic Approach, United States Agency for International Development, 1999. GSDRC, Applied Knowledge Services.The role of the media in democracy: a strategic approach - GSDRC


Strategies for dissemination and public information of the workspace (2020):US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

IOM, Knowledge Uptake (2020): Information Campaigns, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Lauren Birchfield and Jessica Corsi (2010):The right to life is the right to food, Union of Peoples for Civil Liberties v. Union of India and others.

Right to Food Campaign website:www.righttofoodcampaign.in

Steve Buckley (2018):Advocacy Strategies and Approaches: Overview, Association for Progressive Communications.

Ann Christiano and Annie Neimand (2017):"Stop Raising Awareness Already," Stanford Social Innovation Review.

About the author

Sohini Paul has a background in social sciences with masters degrees in geography and regional planning. She is a certified Life and Leadership Coach. She has over two decades of experience in the development sector, supporting the work of numerous social change organizations and addressing issues of local self-government, the right to information and land rights. He has worked on capacity building for civil society organizations ranging from grassroots groups to large networks. Passionate about empowering civil society, Sohini accommodates those who are willing to learn and be happy; this is reflected in his moderation style.

The #Advocacy Strategy #Human rights-based approach #toolbox

(Video) Online Learning | A Multimodal Advocacy Campaign


What are the 5 steps to advocacy? ›

5 steps to effective advocacy
  1. Know your facts. After you've identified an issue that you're passionate about, do your research. ...
  2. Listen to the people you want to help. ...
  3. Engage with the community. ...
  4. Build relationships. ...
  5. Don't give up.
31 Aug 2021

What are the examples of advocacy campaign? ›

Another example might be to stop a local business from using styrofoam containers for their take-out orders. In either case, the process of an advocacy campaign would be to define the problem, identify a solution, get its message out to supporters, and work to bring about its intended solution.

What are the 6 steps to advocacy? ›

Identify your issue
  1. Determine how you will remedy your problem, whether it's through legislation, regulation or funding.
  2. Identify the key stakeholders (constituents, government, other interest groups, etc.)
  3. Construct your argument.
  4. Organize your constituency.
  5. Plan your strategy with specific attainable and measurable tasks.

What are the 3 types of advocacy? ›

Advocacy is also about helping people find their voice. There are three types of advocacy - self-advocacy, individual advocacy and systems advocacy.

What are the 9 kinds of advocacy? ›

A variety of advocacy has developed to recognise these differences:
  • Case advocacy.
  • Self advocacy.
  • Peer advocacy.
  • Paid independent advocacy.
  • Citizen advocacy.
  • Statutory advocacy.

What is your advocacy as a student? ›

Student advocacy focuses on identifying students' educational needs and then taking proactive steps to gain maximum support for meeting those needs through educational policy and state and federal laws. Proactive measures often are met with resistance and criticism.

What are the 3 strategies to effectively advocate for yourself? ›

10 Steps to Effective Self-Advocacy
  • Believe in Yourself and Prioritize Your Needs. No one knows your needs better than you. ...
  • Know Your Rights. ...
  • Keep Records. ...
  • Prepare and Plan. ...
  • Be Creative and Assertive. ...
  • Get Information and Decisions in Writing. ...
  • Right to Appeal. ...
  • Interim Solutions.

What are 5 advocacy tools? ›

Among them are booklets, pamphlets, seminars, workshops, slide shows, movies, resource guides, press conferences, television debates, radio shows, exposes, phone campaigns, advertisements, public announcements, press releases and posters. Communications are the heart of any advocacy effort.

What are the strategies of advocacy? ›

13 Advocacy Strategies for Running a Successful Campaign
  • Determine a Clear Objective. ...
  • Do Your Research. ...
  • Focus on Building Relationships. ...
  • Drive Change Through Social Media. ...
  • Master Email Marketing. ...
  • Use Digital Tools. ...
  • Educate Members on how to Communicate With Legislators. ...
  • Develop a Grassroots Strategy.

What are the 7 environmental advocacies? ›

Together, thought and action can add up to make a real difference.
  • Recycling. ...
  • Conserving Water. ...
  • Choosing Alternatives to Driving. ...
  • Saving Electricity. ...
  • Buying Used. ...
  • Using Reusable Containers. ...
  • Eating a Plant-Based Diet. ...
  • Working Remotely.
17 Dec 2020

What are the 4 steps of effective advocacy? ›

4 steps to effective advocacy
  • Step one: Ask, don't assume. Your child has come home to you upset about an incident at school and you are concerned about the report. ...
  • Step two: Check your emotions. ...
  • Step three: Define the issue. ...
  • Step four: Collaborate and listen.
20 Sept 2019

What are the 4 steps of self advocacy? ›

  • 4 Steps for Stronger Self-Advocacy. Youth Leadership. ...
  • Step 1: Get to know yourself. It helps to start by figuring out: ...
  • Step 2: Learn your rights and responsibilities. • If you have a disability, you have the right to reasonable. ...
  • Step 3: Speak Up! You can start doing this by: ...
  • Step 4: Team Up!

What are the 6 steps in creating a concise strong advocacy message for any audience? ›

Follow these 6 steps to create a concise, strong advocacy message for any audience.
  • Open with a statement that engages your audience. ...
  • Present the problem. ...
  • Share a story or give an example of the problem. ...
  • Connect the issue to the audience's values, concerns or self-interest. ...
  • Make your request (the “ask”).

Why is self-advocacy important 4 reasons? ›

People who know how to self-advocate are more likely to do well in school, work, and life. They often feel confident in what they're learning and doing. Self-advocacy also creates independence. And it empowers people to find solutions to problems that others might not be aware of.

Can you give me example of advocacy? ›

Most advocacy organizations have broader goals that all of their campaigns work towards fulfilling. For example, an environmental conservation advocacy group may be concerned with a few key pieces of legislation, while also focusing on raising awareness of topics such as climate change and pollution more generally.

What is advocacy and examples? ›

Advocacy is defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.

What are some examples of advocacy in community? ›

Community advocacy can support you over the phone or face to face with things such as; self-advocacy, challenging decisions about your care and treatment, accessing mental health services, healthcare or social care services, end of life care planning, future care planning, advanced decisions and more.

What are the examples of student advocacy? ›

Advocates for Youth Issue Areas
  • Abortion Access. Young people are working to ensure everyone has access to abortion care. ...
  • Contraceptive Access. ...
  • Sexual Violence. ...
  • Honest Sex Education. ...
  • Reproductive Justice. ...
  • Racial Justice and Intersectionality. ...
  • Youth Leadership and Organizing. ...
  • Young People in the Global South.

What are advocate examples? ›

Examples of being an individual advocate for others:
  • Helping an elderly neighbor figure out local shuttle and bus schedules so she or he can continue to live independently without driving.
  • Contacting school officials after learning a child was bullied at school.
19 Aug 2022

What is strategy in advocacy campaign? ›

Advocacy Strategy Explained. Your advocacy strategy is essentially: What the advocacy will be like, where and how it will work, and how its results will be measured. The pattern of activities in advocacy strategy include: Ways of working effectively, given the opportunities and challenges of the environment.

What are the types strategies? ›

What Are the Three Types of Strategy- And How You Can Apply Them!
  • Business strategy.
  • Operational strategy.
  • Transformational strategy.

What are 20 ways to help the environment? ›

20 ways to help save the planet
  • Refuse plastic wherever you can. ...
  • Cut coffee-cup waste by carrying your own reusable cup. ...
  • Invest in a refillable glass water bottle. ...
  • Love your old bags! ...
  • Recycle all paper and cardboard packaging. ...
  • When you buy meat and fish. ...
  • Get tough on grease and oil. ...
  • Look for organic cotton products.
22 Jul 2018

What are 10 ways to help the environment? ›

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth
  1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. ...
  2. Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. ...
  3. Educate. ...
  4. Conserve water. ...
  5. Choose sustainable. ...
  6. Shop wisely. ...
  7. Use long-lasting light bulbs. ...
  8. Plant a tree.
11 Aug 2021

What are 30 ways to help the environment? ›

Want to make your life more environmentally friendly? Here's 30 ways
  • Recycle. Recycling conserves natural resources, reduces pollution and saves energy. ...
  • Turn down the bag. ...
  • Buy only what you will use. ...
  • Buy second hand. ...
  • Don't invest in idle equipment. ...
  • Donate used goods. ...
  • Buy products with less packaging. ...
  • Avoid disposable products.
17 Jun 2019

What are examples of campaign? ›

21 Memorable Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You
  • Coca-Cola's Share a Coke Campaign. ...
  • Dove's Real Beauty Campaign. ...
  • McDonald's I'm Lovin' It Campaign. ...
  • Nike's Find Your Greatness Campaign. ...
  • Old Spice's The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Campaign. ...
  • Always' Like a Girl Campaign. ...
  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. ...
  • Red Bull's Stratos Campaign.
23 Nov 2022

What is the best advocacy in the Philippines? ›

10 NGOs Advocating for Human Rights in the Philippines
  • KARAPATAN. ...
  • Philippine Human Rights Information Center. ...
  • Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau. ...
  • Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples' Rights. ...
  • Campaign for Human Rights Philippines. ...
  • PREDA Foundation. ...
  • Free Legal Assistance Group.

What are the example advocacy groups in the Philippines? ›

Pages in category "Political advocacy groups in the Philippines"
  • Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law.
  • Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.
  • Citizen National Guard.

What is the best advocacy for students? ›

What is the best advocacy for the youth? In reality, there's no one “best” advocacy since all social issues are equally important. To give you an idea, some of the most relevant advocacies for the youth include climate change, mental health, education, and gender equality.

What are the 14 types of marketing campaigns for IMC? ›

Here are 14 types of marketing campaigns:
  • Brand awareness campaign.
  • Rebranding campaign.
  • Search engine marketing campaign.
  • Social media marketing campaign.
  • User-generated content (UGC) marketing campaign.
  • Email marketing campaign.
  • Public relations campaign.
  • Product launch campaign.
26 Jul 2022

What are the 3 types of campaign? ›

The following are several types of marketing campaigns you can use to achieve various marketing goals within your organization: Traditional media campaign. Seasonal push campaign. Product launch campaign.

What are some advocacy strategies? ›

13 Advocacy Strategies for Running a Successful Campaign
  • Determine a Clear Objective. ...
  • Do Your Research. ...
  • Focus on Building Relationships. ...
  • Drive Change Through Social Media. ...
  • Master Email Marketing. ...
  • Use Digital Tools. ...
  • Educate Members on how to Communicate With Legislators. ...
  • Develop a Grassroots Strategy.

How do I make my own advocacy? ›

Follow these 6 steps to create a concise, strong advocacy message for any audience.
  1. Open with a statement that engages your audience. ...
  2. Present the problem. ...
  3. Share a story or give an example of the problem. ...
  4. Connect the issue to the audience's values, concerns or self-interest. ...
  5. Make your request (the “ask”).

What is your advocacy in your community? ›

Community advocacy is a strategic approach to influencing outcomes and driving change on behalf of your community. It involves representing your community's rights and needs to the level of government best able to respond.

What is your personal advocacy? ›

Individual advocacy involves supporting people to exercise their rights by providing assistance to: voice concerns, access information, resolve issues or to identify available support options.


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