5 Ideas for Advocacy in the Summer Months
Guest post by Dan Cohen & Edit Ruano, Full Court Press Communications
In the summertime, many organizations experience a lull in their advocacy work either because key organization staff is away or because the beautiful weather makes people less inclined to engage in direct advocacy. Unless your organization is involved in a nonpartisan electoral activity like voter registration or ballot measure advocacy you may not be very active this time of year.
Regardless of the reason, we have identified 5 simple ideas that you can adopt to help reinvigorate your organization during this time of year and help build momentum for fall and winter advocacy campaigns. Some ideas for building your organization’s advocacy during the summer months include:
- Develop a Schedule of Pre-Programmed Social Media Content
There are some great online resources that can help your organization stay active on social media even when you are out of the office. Websites like Hootsuite allow you to load prepared tweets and Facebook posts and schedule them to go out whenever you like. We recommend that you schedule at least 1 Facebook post and 2-3 tweets a week.
- Program E-Blasts
As with social media posts, it is important to consistently distribute emails to those who signed up for your newsletters. The emails don’t have to be long or complex; they simply have to show your community that you want to stay actively engaged with them even in the summer months. Some ideas for email content during the summer are previews of the advocacy work you will be doing in the fall or reflections on your organization’s accomplishments during the first 6 months of the year.
- Sow the Seeds of Advocacy on Editorial Pages
Do you have a few ideas for op-eds that you haven’t developed? Are there individuals in the community who are willing to write an op-ed in support of your organization’s advocacy efforts? Then take some time to coordinate or write these editorials before heading out on vacation! You can send these op-eds to a few media outlets and see if they are picked up in your absence. The bonus is if the editorials run, you can use them to inform your social media content and e-blasts. If they don’t run while you are away, then reach out to those media outlets when you return.
- Delegate the Advocacy Work to Others in Your Organization
Take the opportunity to let go by spending an hour with your staff to brainstorm new ideas about how to engage with your audience/community. Pick 2 or 3 of the most interesting ideas and delegate a staff person to oversee their implementation. Not only will this make your staff feel empowered and excited about being included in planning, it will also help you tap into the creativity that surrounds you during a low-activity period. Who knows? These ideas could serve as a backbone for your advocacy work later in the year.
- Build and Strengthen Your Network for the Future
Summer is the time of year when people want to relax, so why not take advantage of this inclination and host a get-together with potential allies? Reach out to organizations and individuals who you’ve wanted to connect with and invite them to a relaxed gathering. If the conversations prove fruitful, suggest having these new partners “cover” your issues by writing a blog post about your advocacy work. This effort will have the added benefit of bringing a fresh perspective to the work you do.
Again, these are just a few ideas that we identified as effective ways to continue your advocacy work during the summer. But we want to hear from you.
What are some of your ideas for continuing your advocacy in the summer months? Please share in the comment section below.
About the Authors
Dan Cohen is the Founder and Edit is a Communications Counselor at Full Court Press Communications (FCP). FCP is a full-service public relations, public affairs and crisis communications agency that helps companies, foundations and non-profit organizations who wish to use strategic communications to make social change. To learn more about Full Court Press Communications click here.