Enacting change is hard work, and it takes numbers, time and consistency to enact that change, whether at the local, state, regional or national level.
You can use your blog as a vehicle to make change. How? By writing blog posts telling people how they can get involved.
It’s not very hard, but it does take time and patience. Here are 10 steps you can use on your blog, making it an effective advocacy tool:
- Educate your audience about your issue. Whether you are trying to help feral cats or want to make changes allowing dogs to tag along with you while visiting your favorite beach, people needs to know why the issue is important to you.
- Put a call to action on your blog, urging readers to take action by writing a letter and sending it via email to the contact list.
- Develop a letter writing campaign. Have links to two or three letters that could be used as templates to send to your city councilor, state representatives, or US Senators and Representatives.
- Share names and addresses of key contacts, along with their email addresses. Most representatives at the state or federal level are easily accessible through email. Split this down by regions so people in different districts can easily access the correct contacts.
- Develop talking points. Public officials receive tons of mail. By using different talking points, it will make your letters stand out.
- Give examples of how to incorporate personal stories. While personal stories do not necessarily create change, they do give public officials information about how people are affected or will be affected by the change.
- Provide concrete facts and numbers. When public officials are weighing decisions, they rely heavily on facts. The more numbers you have, the better chance your idea will be enacted.
- Create a platform of flexibility. Change at the local, state, regional or federal level is likely to go through extensive vetting, and some change, albeit not 100 percent of what you’d like, might be better than none.
- Develop an accountability system. Create a list of people who have signed on to the platform. Publicize who is supporting the regulation or law. The more organizations that are signing on gives the bill additional credibility.
- Be patient and persistent. One blog post will not create an advocacy campaign. One blog post per week with an intense social media campaign targeted to the people in your town or state can create the momentum needed to enact the change. Many bills are rejected the first time around. It can take months of years of hard work. Keep blogging, promoting, and don’t lose focus.
Have you used your blog as an advocacy tool? What’s worked for you (or what hasn’t)? If you haven’t yet, what issues are close to your heart that you could write about?
BJ Bangs, recipient of the 2017 Winn Feline Foundation’s Media Appreciation Award, blogs at bjbangs.net (Paws for Reflection), a blog that’s all about cats. An award-winning journalist, photographer and communication’s professional, BJ is a catvocate and is working to promote Feline Fix by Five Months Initiative nationwide. At Paws for Reflection, we’re serious about cats, delving into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. She has been published in national magazines, including CatFancy and CatTalk, and regional publications.