5 Tips for Marketing Advocacy

Marketing your advocacy work can diversify the tone and theme of communications to your audience. Rather than membership-related notices, or requests for donations, your audience can engage with advocacy that aligns with their values and feel like they’re making a difference alongside your organization. 

Here are our five tips for marketing your advocacy work:

Use a purpose-driven narrative

Create interesting stories that relate to your organization’s advocacy work and leverage your network to find people and organizations who align. These stories should draw on the heartstrings of your audience for initial support, with the goal of drawing interest from local businesses, the press, and even legislators. 

As your advocacy campaign evolves, you’ll be able to adjust the ending of your story to show how the additional awareness improved outcomes for those involved. 

Onboard mutually-beneficial partnerships

Identify businesses whose missions align with your advocacy campaign. Consider creating a partnership with them, which will allow you to use their distribution lists to expand the people you can reach. If your campaign leverages in-person connections, you may consider hosting events at these businesses to capitalize on their foot traffic. These opportunities drive goodwill in the community for your partners and maximize the eyes on your campaign.

Bring on spokespeople

In the digital age, most communities and causes have influential figureheads, whether they’re international stars doing advocacy work in human trafficking or micro-influencers working to preserve wildlife. Identify (and thoroughly vet) potential partners to speak on your advocacy campaign, and pitch them your nonprofit as the backing organization. As you work with a spokesperson, be sure to document the process thoroughly to use for campaign wrap-ups and evergreen social media content with a prominent figure.

Reach out to local press

Using your newsworthy story hook and spokespeople, pitch local press on your advocacy sector. Carefully construct your pitches to include the storytelling aspect of your work, and its most “now and noteworthy” elements. Share thought leadership pieces from your organization’s C-Suite or Board that discuss why the advocacy matters, what you’re doing, and how it impacts them, personally. 

Rely on known channels, in a different way

Since the advocacy work is separate from your organization’s usual communications, be sure to add it as a segment in your email marketing. If people unsubscribe from one form of communication you send (fundraising, for instance), they can choose to still get advocacy updates from you, which allows you to still interact with them. 

Use actionable language in your messaging, too. The quick nature of email and social media can cause even your most loyal supporters to forget about your call to action. Show a clear action and result for your audience online. Use a plug-in that already exists on social media (like Instagram’s fundraising option) or show how a message to their legislator (for example) can impact real change. People want to feel important IRL and online. Bottom line: Show them how. Need some ideas for a call-to-action? Download 100+ thought starters here.