Strategies for Advocacy
Strategies provided by Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Build relationships. Get in touch with your elected officials. Who do you know who is an elected or appointed official? Who do you know who knows someone? People are more likely to give "credit" to those they know and trust.
Gather information. Read the paper, listen to news, ask questions or get information from your local AAA.
Prepare. Think about the point you are trying to make so you can state it your own way.
Communicate. Let your friends and neighbors know why they should care.
Getting in Touch
- Face to face contact is best. Attend meetings where public officials are likely to be present. Make appointments to talk about issues.
- Letters are next best. Only use one topic per letter. Be brief. Don't ramble. Ask for what you want (e.g. support, a vote).
- E-mail is effective. For members of Congress, this is preferred.
- Phone calls work. If possible, call the official's direct line. Be brief and to the point. If you leave a message, give your name, topic, phone number and when to reach you. If the topic of your call is for a vote, just ask for support.
- Post cards - use sparingly. Post cards are best used in campaigns for/against an issue. They are usually just stacked. If you want yours read, send a "vacation" type post card.
- No need to communicate every week/day/hour. Too much too often can destroy your credibility.
- State your case up front. Tell what you are going to tell, and summarize your point at the end of telling.
- Give facts and figures where possible. This will add credibility to your case.
- Relate your issue to a local situation. Put the issue in context of the official's district and constituents.
Who to Contact
Find your legislators here.