Empowering Women, Leading in Grassroots

By: Elizabeth Rhee, Director

Last month, The Herald Group participated in the Women in Government Relations’ annual Professional Women in Advocacy Conference. Myself along with my female colleagues attended a series of webinars focusing on advancing and empowering women with the information and tools to successfully represent an organization or cause. It brought a variety of industries and leaders together to share experiences and learn from one another.

I spoke on the Virtual Grassroots Advocacy Panel along with women professionals from National Journal, Airline Pilots Association and others to discuss how to effectively and efficiently accomplish your advocacy goals through varying grassroots strategies. On top of exploring new tools, techniques and strategies for communicating with legislators and government officials in a COVID-impacted environment, we discussed new considerations and dynamics that will emerge in a post-pandemic world.

Check out four key takeaways that our panel discussed regarding the “GLUE” for any “sticky” advocacy campaigns:

  1. GOAL – This element may seem obvious but is crucial to build out the “why” in any campaign. Make sure you gather the right leaders in your organization to participate in this exercise and guide the conversation into a set of achievable goals. This will help define success at the end of the day.
  2. LOGISTICS – I encourage you to think beyond the traditional tactics for your campaign. Do some research. Take the time to explore new advocate management platforms or peer to peer sharing technologies, even inquire if there are complimentary versions you can test. Make sure you have the capabilities to be responsive and maintain communications with existing and new advocates.
  3. UNITE – Ask yourself, “Who else can I collaborate with for both staffing and resources?” Think through non-profits or advocacy groups that may be willing to partner with on the issue or tap within your organization. You or your colleagues may already have helpful relationships with supportive policymakers and influencers willing to speak out on your topic or amplify calls to action.
  4. EXPAND – Enormous time and effort goes into executing an advocacy campaign. Make sure your news is relevant in order to be sure that it is heard and acted upon by the right audiences! Use engaging content and remote events as a means to communicate with advocates. Amplify your efforts by integrating earned and social media to expand your reach. The value of grassroots advocacy cannot and should not end after one campaign or initiatives, it must be sustained with cadence and continuity to keep advocates engaged and energized.

Amidst the pandemic, grassroots advocacy is evolving every day, but so too is its value in helping organizations achieve their public policy objectives. We love to talk shop and discuss new ideas, so please reach out to us if you are interested in expanding your advocacy efforts or just want to share your thoughts.