In the globally connected marketplace of ideas and information, everyone can find a cause that truly speaks to them and their experiences. For many of us, these causes shape our lives, focusing our passions, and even inspiring careers in helping the public. However, most of us need to find smaller ways to advocate for the causes we truly care about.
But in the days of social media activism and virtual soapboxes, how can you effectively broaden your reach as an advocate?
Here, we explore the tools and methods you can use to make a bigger difference.
Maximize the Positive Potential of Social Media
Social media has its pros and cons. However, the simple fact is that social media is effective because of its broad user base. For example, 3.6 billion people use social media to some extent in their lives. As you attempt to advocate to a broader audience, social media will be invaluable in your approach.
It’s important to remember, though, that social media isn’t always used as a tool for good. It can be easy to get lost in some of the less helpful features and miss out on the full positive potential of social media platforms.
For instance, selfie culture has changed our lives and societies in both positive and negative ways. While self-image and body issues certainly have not been improved by the emergence of social media, these tools offer exceptional means for documenting stories and experiences that might make a difference in someone else’s life.
Social media is a natural megaphone. By maximizing the positive potential of this tool, you can broaden your reach for the causes you care most about.
Share Multimedia Resources
Did you know the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text? Similarly, people appear to be more moved by imagery, with more retweets of tweets with images over those with text.
Being an advocate for a cause requires getting your point across and having it stick. People’s brains work differently. Everyone has a different learning style. Meanwhile, some forms of communication are downright more effective than others.
To broaden your reach to its fullest potential, you’ll have to dabble in a wide range of communication tools. These include but are not limited to:
- Blog posts
- Live events
We all have forms of communication that we prefer over others. However, sometimes one medium is better for getting the message out. For instance, photography can be a tool that helps us understand and connect with our environment, both by showcasing natural beauty and exposing pressing environmental issues.
Explore different outreach styles and coordinate with a team to take advantage of other skill sets.
Give Streaming a Try
In the COVID-19 era, many fundraising events have been replaced by virtual alternatives. Meanwhile, the medium of live streaming has taken off. As an industry, streaming now represents $70 billion in value. That’s because streaming is a unique way of captivating an audience and making them feel like part of the community.
While particularly popular with video gamers, streaming is now everywhere. Popular streaming platform Twitch, for instance, hosts everything from gaming to political content. And platforms like these are also a massive source for charity fundraising these days.
Whether it’s speedrunners bringing in $2.4 million to charity or HBomberGuy racking in $340,000 while playing Donkey Kong 64, these YouTubers and streamers are being advocates in the medium they know best. As you look to broaden your own platform for advocacy, consider the power of streaming in sharing a message and engaging an audience.
Coordinate Live Events
Finally, consider coordinating, organizing, or hosting live fundraising events. With pandemic concerns, this might be more of a difficult task than streaming from your home office. However, these events can still be effective with social distancing and safety standards in place.
Fun community events are great moments to attract corporate sponsors to a cause and spread a message throughout a region. Alternatively, heartstring events cater more to your specific audience, where the expectation is to donate.
People want an excuse to go out and meet up with their social circle. Provide these opportunities while promoting causes that are close to your heart. The right live event can open doors you never before thought possible.
Be an Ambassador and an Advocate
As the world continues to reel from the damages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plenty of causes in need of advocates. From helping the most vulnerable to raising awareness of climate change, you can support your causes with the power of your voice. Consider all the platforms and potential open to you, but don’t forget that being an advocate is also about being an ambassador.
Make sure your voice is acting to serve and raise up vulnerable communities. Share the spotlight, and put the focus on those whose stories must need to be told. A more caring world awaits.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.