GEAR -- Getting Equity Advocacy Results

> GEAR Components > Communications

The progress of equity advocacy is driven by several activities: organizing,  capacity building, communications, and research.
Equity advocates must make important decisions about how and when to strategically publicize their message, and to whom. Effective communications advocacy delivers the right message to the right audience by the right messenger at the right time. This requires a communications strategy that weaves in and out of each stage of a campaign to address different needs and goals using the right medium – which could be anything from informational flyers and postcards to printed opinion pieces to TV news segments or social media. At the outset of a campaign, communications supports base-building activities by publicizing the issue and recruiting key allies and partners. Before a policy is introduced, traditional and non-traditional media play a key role in naming and framing the issue, and activating support. During a campaign, media-framing analyses provide insight into the changing perceptions of the issue and policy among target audiences, and social media analytics can help advocates track the effectiveness of their online advocacy approaches. Thoughtfulness around the campaign messaging and dissemination strategies ensures that ideas and information regarding the issue and the policy solutions are reaching policymakers and other strategic stakeholders to advance equity. 
Examples of related benchmarks include:
  • At the BUILD THE BASE stage: 
    The collaborative is committed to implementing and leveraging a strategic communications plan to sharpen its advocacy strategy.
    Communications activities (e.g., fact sheets and other written materials, commentary, articles, media interviews, staged media events, etc.) promote awareness and understanding of the problem, and help to broaden understanding and support for the policy change objectives among target audiences.
    The framing and messaging employed by the collaborative regarding the problem and the policy change objectives are repeated and used by policymakers in the decision-making process.
  • At the BUILD, ADVANCE, and DEFEND stage:
    Media and framing analyses reveal increased and improved prominence of the equity issue in the public discourse following the introduction and adoption of the policy proposal. 
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