There are many ways to successfully outreach to various audiences nowadays thanks to improvements in advocacy software, but make no mistake, having a high-speed internet connection won't see you become an overnight success.
Don’t expect one Facebook status to attract 100 new users or a sudden hike in revenue from one batch of emails. Recently, we have been exploring the many ways in which Issue and Advocacy Groups can successfully build and maintain a community outreach. We have separated our outreach into 3 main channels:
This is the engagement which focuses on physically getting everybody in one place. It may be considered old school now but real life interaction is still one of the best ways to forge long lasting relationships.
- Lots of Advocacy groups nowadays organize events to help raise awareness for their cause or service they provide. For instance, Pieta House in Ireland have enjoyed much success in recent years running the Darkness into Light 5km Walk and also Cycle for Suicide to help raise awareness for Suicide prevention.
- Training days within the community or at company HQ are always a popular move. Teaching your members/users more about your service bolsters confidence and helps your community go from strength to strength.
- Having Town Hall meetings where you can hold discussions on a particular topic or just to keep people up to date on your roadmap is a great way to continue to grow your base.
- Running competitions offers more of an incentive to actively participate in something because a physical reward will always attract a certain group of people.
The community that lives online is now the most powerful group that exist. We can make our message travel further now thanks to various social media platform and it is something which should be embraced.
- Facebook pages and communities work well to deliver your group's message and give people an overall sense of what your ethos is .
- Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are all other platforms which are great for delivering content.
- Whatsapp is fast becoming the most popular instant messaging app and it's no wonder as it is so simple to use. A great place to set up a group text when trying to organize events.
- Educating your users can also be done through online tutorials or live webinars.
- Keep news circulating by setting up a monthly newsletter. What's the point of collecting a bunch of emails if you are not going to use them?
It's much easier to engage people when you are being endorsed and this is where the really good marketing skills come in handy.
- Building connections with the right people in media are important here. If you can get an article in a publication related to your service then you're immediately expanding your reach and mass appeal
- There is no point in having a Facebook account if you aren’t going to use it. Having a strong social media game is important because it is ultimately free PR. Things tend to viral these days so always put in the effort and who knows, one day it could pay off.
- Having a famous face is never any harm when you are trying to expand outreach. Many groups have celebrity ambassadors, Angelina Jolie is one of many celebrities who acts as the face of Unicef while David Beckham often lends his famous face to the Make A Wish charity.
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Listening to our current users, we are aware that there can be an internal struggle of team management when it comes to organizing quickly. To get people out on doors, the back and forth over Whatsapp, Messenger, and (insert other apps here) can be endless. We aim to streamline this process for you with Ecanvasser. Now organizers can commit via the Walk app (their canvassing app!) and get notified in the run-up to the event so that they don’t forget. By building it into the door knocking process life has gotten a lot easier for campaign managers.