Advocacy without a target is just hot air

Advocacy without a target is just hot air

Advocacy is an activity by an individual, organisation or group which aims to influence attitudes and decisions within the political, economic, and social systems in which it operates.

Clifton and its consulting team have been involved in numerous advocacy campaigns during a 25 year history.

They range from advocacy over lifestyle choices including the launch of the Quit anti-smoking program and Life. Be in it. Both were launched in Victoria on behalf of the state government, adopted nationally and now, in various guises, internationally.

We have advocated the need for a desalination plant with a highly intense community awareness campaign and a specific program to generate support from an initially antagonistic local Gippsland community.

We were retained to launch and promote the first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

We have been retained by local councils and private organisations to initiate advocacy campaigns over contentious issues as part of state and federal elections.

We have been advocating for private prisons and their place in the correctional system in Australia for 20 years.

We were retained by the world’s largest cork manufacturer, based in Portugal, to lead an international campaign on behalf of the use of cork stoppages for vintage high quality wines in the battle against screw caps.

Whatever the campaign and based on our experiences, the six major steps to successful advocacy – whether a not-for profit, a commercial organisation, a state or local government – are the same.

  • Establish your targets
  • Set a goal
  • Define your message(s)
  • Build an appropriate team
  • Map out a timeline
  • Develop your communications, activities and measurements including KPI’s and evaluation techniques.
All advocacy must have a target: a decision-maker (or decision-makers) who needs to change what they do. One of the classic traps of advocacy is to pursue activities that create noise, but are not focused on the right decision-maker in the right way.
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