Key Principles of Advocacy
Whatever issue it is that you are advocating for, the following principles of advocacy will greatly enhance your chances for a successful resolution. CPF was built on the efforts of volunteers, members, chapter representatives, and branch and national board members who understood the following:
- Know your case and document your facts.
- Whenever possible, ensure that you are familiar with current policies.
- Know opposing cases and arguments and develop a strategy for countering them. You may find that role-playing will help you to refine your strategies.
- Advocacy by coalition requires effective collaboration. Ensure that each person has a clearly defined role and that communication within your group is timely and effective.
- Know your resources and allies. Consult these people, inform them of your issues and enlist their assistance.
- Intervene at a level that is high enough to get the job done.
- Take a positive approach. Assume good will on the part of the system and communicate this assumption to those within the system. Use positive documentation and give credit where it is due. Whenever possible, recruit those within the system to your cause.
- Demonstrate to those in the system the ways in which system interferes with or defeats its own goals.
- Never engage in an overt power struggle without the agreement of your planning group.
- Always be aware of the vulnerability of those within your group. The group must assess risks and weigh them carefully against possible gains before choosing confrontation.