As you might surmise, there are a number of aspects of a policy advocacy strategy that has to be put together and developed. These include: identifying your issue, your goals, determining the relevant decision makers, identifying those who can influence the decision maker or the decision makers, identifying opposition and the obstacles to reaching your policy goal, determining your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your opponents, and deciding on the key messages as well as the individual tactics to use to advance your public policy goal change.
The first step is to identify the specific issue to address in your advocacy efforts. This issue should be of particular and direct importance to your organization. Your goal must be to demonstrate support or evidence, and hopefully your goal is achievable.
Start your advocacy strategy planning by developing a detailed statement of the problem that you’re going to address, along with your proposed solution as well as any underlying cause.
Once you’ve identified the problem to address, then policy, fiscal and political implications will help determine your goals. It also may make sense to develop multiple goals and then compare and contrast those to determine which ones you should actually pursue.
When you’re identifying your advocacy goals, it’s really important to describe the change that you desire, the action or actions that need to be taken, the governmental entity or entities that will have to make the public policy change, the likely timeline to achieve these changes and your goals, as well as your desired deadlines to achieve these goals. It’s also important to develop the data and evidence that will be necessary to achieve your advocacy goals.
These are just some of the preliminary planning steps that you’ll need to take. I cover more steps to take when developing your advocacy strategy in today’s podcast, or you can refer to a previous article I co-wrote with Ray LeBov on the topic, Strategies and Tactics to Implement Public Policy Changes.
You can find the full transcript of today’s podcast here.