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Ten tips for effective advocacy

The success of lobbying, advocacy or government relations’ efforts depends largely on effective communications.

  1. Examine each issue from all perspectives. Study and understand opposing view as well as your own.
  2. Understand both the strengths and weaknesses of your position.
  3. Define an acceptable outcome for your constituency.
  4. Develop proposals likely to provide a convergence of interests among as many interested parties as possible.
  5. Seek to go beyond the “single interest lobby” by widening support for your proposals.
  6. Offer proposals for “solutions” rather than outlining additional problems that need to be solved.
  7. Indicate how the proposals you are making would help or respond to the needs/priorities of those you are seeking to influence.
  8. Identify the key persons that you have to influence. They are sometimes not the people you might expect.
  9. Evaluate and determine the most appropriate timing for your proposals to be successful. Be prepared to reposition your ideas to take advantage of a new development or circumstance.
  10. Keep lines of communication open. Burning bridges is rarely a good idea.