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Making Advocacy Personal

Health. Education. Access. Abstract concepts may sound noble, but they rarely spur people to action. Personal stories do.

That’s why it’s critical that, when advocating at the policy level, you spotlight the people who will benefit.

Sometimes these are stories of struggle. A child struggling to read and write underscores the need for a new education initiative. A patient battling debilitating illness highlights the need for access to life-changing medicine.

In other instances, these are stories of success. A downtrodden small business owner gaining new customers reveals the power of local infrastructure investment. A single mom making a home for her children conveys the impact of equitable housing policy.

If you’re ready to make your policy advocacy more human, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Designate a spokesperson. A dedicated spokesperson can bring consistency to your message, put a face on your issue and show that there are real people behind your organization.
  • Profile beneficiaries. From blog posts to public awareness posters, amplifying the stories of those who stand to benefit can bring your narrative to life. Emphasizing the human element will remind others that policy impacts real people.
  • Get visual. Policy documents can be long and wordy. Personal stories must be visual. Whether it’s podcast interviews, YouTube videos or social media images, real faces and real voices will animate your narrative.
  • Visit the capitol. There’s no better way to connect those who make policy and those who are affected by it than a meeting at the state or U.S. capitol. Seeing the personal side of their policy decisions can make an impact with legislators.

Does your policy advocacy need a more human face? Contact Woodberry Associates to explore how to integrate advocacy, strategy and human interest to meet your policy goals.