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Arnold Public Affairs Advocacy Training Tips

What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of arguing in favor of something – an idea, cause, or policy. All of us advocate regularly when we express a point of view to our friends, families and employers.

Below are three short videos explaining some of the basics of advocacy.

Why Advocacy? Policy-makers need your expertise!

  • First consider the goals and the mission of your organization
    • Advocacy advances your cause and builds public trust
    • By helping to set policy, your organization can make a difference in people’s lives
    • By advocating your organization can help policy-makers find real solutions
    • You can have an immediate, concrete effect on people in need
  • Educate, raise awareness and seek the support of policy-makers
    • Those who represent you at the local and/or state level and may have a vested interest in your success
    • Those who are leaders among policy-makers and may help you through their
    influence with other policy-makers
    • Those who are on relevant committees may be voting on your issue at some point

Successful Advocacy Depends on Creating and Maintaining Solid Relationships

  • Relationships are key to your advocacy success
    • Relationships with decision-makers
    • Relationships with the media
    • Relationships with organizations with like interests
  • Develop a long term plan for building relationships
    • Take an inventory of your relationships
    • Maintain your current relationships
    • Identify policy makers that you would like to form a relationship
  • Meetings and Communications
    • Attend Local Fundraisers & Town Hall Meetings
    • Send Emails, Articles and Other Pertinent Information
    • Use Social Media to Stay Social and Stay Connected

The Importance of Providing Testimony – Be Prepared!

  • Visit the website, find out the specific rules that apply to your testimony
  • Write out your testimony – Keep it short,  3 minutes or shorter.
  • Memorize it so you don’t have to ready it, allowing for eye contact while speaking
  • Bring 15-20 copies of your testimony for committee members
  • Arrive early – usually twenty to thirty minutes before the committee is scheduled to begin
  • Sign in – Most public hearings require witnesses to sign in before they testify so a public record exists.
  • When you testify – Thank the chairperson of the committee and the members of the committee for their service and their interest in this issue.
  • Avoid repeating a previously made point – If the point you want to make is made by a witness before you, think of a new angle from which to make your point.
  • Be willing to answer questions – When your testimony is complete, be prepared to answer questions.

Arnold Public Affairs • 815-A Brazos St. • PMB 545 • Austin, Texas • 78701 • 512-431-5385

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