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How to craft a powerful advocacy message

23 February 2021 at 7:00 am
Jo Scard
Jo Scard shares insights on crafting an effective advocacy message to cut through the noise of 2021 – what is possibly an election year. 

Jo Scard | 23 February 2021 at 7:00 am


How to craft a powerful advocacy message
23 February 2021 at 7:00 am

Jo Scard shares insights on crafting an effective advocacy message to cut through the noise of 2021 – what is possibly an election year. 

2021 is shaping up to likely be an election year. Not for profits will need to be prepared with their advocacy agenda. 

An advocacy message is the core statement you will use to share your mission with the world, it is a crucial component in getting your mission out there and should be crafted strategically with careful consideration. Below are some tips to help you get started. 

Define your primary advocacy goal 

You probably have several mission goals that you want to achieve – and that’s ok, it’s good to go big – but it will make your mission easier to digest, and in turn invest in for stakeholders if you have one clear overarching goal. Once you’ve established what your primary goal is, you’ll gain clarity on what message to lead with. 

Know your audience

Get clear on who you are talking to and why. Who will be influential for this cause? Perhaps it’s government officials, community groups, media or lawmakers. Get to know them. What are their values? What media do they consume? How do they live? Understanding your stakeholders allows you to be strategic in your messaging. This stage takes time and patience but your advocacy mission will have a far greater chance of success if the messaging is highly pointed and tailored to your chosen stakeholders. 

It’s all in the detail

Advocacy messages should be informative and provide your audiences with enough information to take action. Be explicit in your reasonings for reaching out, share your vision and objectives and make sure it’s timely – ask yourself, why now? Test whether you have included enough information by sharing your message with friends. Ask them to relay the message in their own words. If you notice the same details being left out, adjust your messaging accordingly and try again.

Be emotive

Once you have all your key information down, create emotional charge for your cause. Connect to your audience through emotion and make your mission hard to forget. Show what it means for them on an individual level, and on a societal level. Speak to injustices but also to hope. Your messaging should leave stakeholders motivated to take action. 

Call to action

Ensure you provide stakeholders with a tangible action to engage them in your mission. If you don’t, you run the risk of passive engagement. If stakeholders are uncertain in how to get involved, they may look elsewhere for action ready missions or feel deflated by your cause. A few examples of call to actions include; a templated letter to government, petition, donation, sharing mission and rallying. If you wish to include several actions, it is best to nominate one central action, with subsequent others. 

Platforms for communication

Everyone has a preferred mode of communication. It is important to get your message across a broad spectrum so that it is accessible for all. Consider multiple platforms of communication such as face-to-face, email, online resources, media placement, social media and so on. Think about how your message will translate across each medium and consider adapting its delivery to suit different forms. 

Fifty Acres presents free fortnightly webinars for not for profits. To register visit

If you want help to craft your advocacy message, navigate government, come up with a winning engagement strategy or assistance with a strategic communications strategy or PR outreach, get in touch with Jo Scard at Fifty Acres on 02 6281 7350 or visit 

Jo Scard  |  @ProBonoNews

Jo Scard is the founder and managing director of Fifty Acres.

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