It is crucial for the success of your advocacy to follow up with contacts you have established during the process.
If your advocacy process has led to a decision, such as adopting a policy or deciding to put something into action, you need to follow up with the decision-makers to make sure this is being done. Hold them accountable to their promise to act!
Throughout your advocacy process you will engage with a wide range of people. Establish a relationship with them and see how you might be able to explore new ideas or get involved in other initiatives. Maintaining a good set of contacts across a wide range of fields will also be useful in your future activities.
Here are some tips:
- When attending events, or meeting with potential partners, make sure you take down their contact details or take a business card – be it a phone number, email address, or social media handle.
- Organise these contacts somewhere, either on paper, or on an excel sheet. Make note of where you interacted with them and include comments on what was discussed and how you could collaborate in the future.
- Send a courtesy message the day after meeting, to thank them for meeting, and to ensure they now have your contact details.
- Keep referring back to this list during your advocacy journey and contact potential partners for collaboration.
- Finally, ensure that you give feedback to anyone who has helped you on your journey. Keeping your contacts, including peers and those supporting you online, informed on your progress is crucial.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges the world is experiencing. We don’t always know what to do in our daily lives to address these concerns. But we often underestimate the importance of lifestyle choices. Every day we make choices about the food we eat, the way we treat people, animals, or our environment. They all reflect the principles we live by.
Spend some time thinking about this and become aware of your own behaviours and practices and see if there might be a better way of doing things. It might be as simple as carrying your own shopping bag to the store so you reduce single-use plastics, or buy food from local farmers in your community. It may be more complex, such overcoming your own bias or prejudices, and opening yourself up to understanding other people’s reality.
We are in control of the decisions we make and if we start to think about the consequences of our decisions in the long-term, we will start to put in place practices that will lead to a better world.
Your advocacy journey will be tough at times, but you can't let that stop you. Have a read through some of these tips to keep you going.