What makes advocacy successful?

As with most things in life, preparation is essential in advocacy. You must be able to identify and explain your issues using the tools at your disposal. Effective and successful advocacy has several components:

  • Knowing your issues better than anyone else
    • You need to have a clear understanding of the issues you want to raise with decision-makers. The more focused your issues are, and the fewer of them you have, the more likely you are to be successful
    • Demonstrate you know your issues and the core facts surrounding them, in order to establish credibility
    • Be able to discuss issues in the context of your personal story or experience.  You may want to write out your personal story, if you can, or get help to put it down on paper.  Whether you are a cancer survivor, caregiver, family member or friend, you have a unique story to tell about the issues and challenges faced from your perspective.  Make sure you capture those thoughts and feelings
    • Ideally, if you are advocating to a politician, your examples will incorporate concerns from constituents or reflect their personal interests.
  • Position your issues
    • Being able to position your issues so they fit within the agenda of the person you are advocating to will help draw in their interest and engage them
    • If you’re doing advocacy on behalf of an organisation, such as KCSN, find out what matters to the people you represent – this will help to frame your issues
    • Build alliances with other individuals or groups around common issues and move forward as a united force.
  • Building relationships
    • Make an appointment to visit your local MP and introduce yourself
    • Invite local politicians to community events you may be involved in around your issues
    • Communicate with them constantly about what you are doing
    • Offer to support them in their work by building opportunities for them to get their messages out to constituents, for example, by hosting a town hall meeting on access to medications
    • Offer to provide them with information or other resources that may be of assistance
    • Ask your local MP to provide you with introductions to others in government
    • Go to local events where you know policy influencers will be in attendance.

KCSN is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and abides by the Code of Fundraising Practice, which outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK. The code helps to ensure that the work of fundraising organisations is legal, open, honest and respectful.