Ok, so we already know what advocacy is and how to run a successful campaign but do we fully appreciate how important it is?
Probably not, or else we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Advocacy campaigning is nothing new, it’s not revolutionary or trying to replace something else. What is new, however, is how we are talking about it.
We are now using advocacy as an education tool, not only about educating people through the importance of getting involved but educating people on how everyone can contribute. Barriers are being broken down daily, be it from something like the #BlackLivesMatter movement or the LGBT fight for equality.
Recognising that there is a deficit in our society is merely the beginning, solving the problem is the second step and ensuring we create the proper support channels to prevent regression is the end goal. Not too much to ask I guess!
The growth of advocacy organizations living online is to be expected due to our place in the digital era. Activism doesn’t necessarily mean standing with a placard outside a building anymore; create an online petition, set up a Facebook group, influence others through email blasts, the options are endless.
Learning how to increase your reach is another useful trick. People react to groups who are engaging, responsive, community-driven and rewarding. Remember you must give power to your issue by mobilizing it. Arrange rallies, online meetups, Q & A’s, peaceful marches, podcasts, anything that will help spread your message.
We recognize advocacy as an educational tool because essentially it is a call to arms. Only recently we saw the success that came with the remake of the Spice Girls smash hit Wannabe to encourage Girl Power.
The famous video has been remade to push a series of UN global goals including education, gender equality, equal pay for equal work, child marriage and an end to violence against women.
The video has been launched by Project Everyone, the campaign which aims to eradicate poverty, injustice and fight climate change, which is backed by names including Richard Curtis, famous for films from Notting Hill to Bridget Jones’s Diary, and actors Freida Pinto and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
“This is about modern day girl power,” said MJ Delaney, who directed the film. “The Spice Girls were about a group of different women joining together and being stronger through that bond. These differences are what we want to celebrate in this film, while showing there are some universal things that all girls, everywhere, really, really want.”
Ultimately there should be no expiry date on advocacy issues as long as there is still worthy causes to fight for. Time will only tell if global organizations such as Project Everyone can actually enable long lasting change. It is great to see that campaigning, canvassing, and public interaction is at the forefront of this activism and long may it last.
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