Your Voice Matters in Effective Advocacy
As the citizens and leaders in communities who care deeply about the quality of education for all children, principals have the opportunity to provide an active, credible voice on the issues and choices that local, state, and federal policymakers grapple with and must prioritize. The decisions of a school board, state legislators, school chief, and governor—as well as members of Congress—can have a direct and lasting impact on funding, programs, curriculum, educational materials, personnel, and other resources that all schools and students need. Therefore, it is imperative that principals speak up and advocate in order to influence the decision-making process.
- Advocacy is organized action in support of an idea or cause.
- Advocacy is constituents educating elected officials on important issues.
- Advocacy is establishing ongoing and trusting relationships.
Effective advocacy requires several simple, but essential, strategies that are proven to help advocates connect, communicate, and influence the policymaking process. The strategies are:
- Tell your story
- Create partnerships/coalitions
- Engage social media
- Secure traditional media
- Cultivate personal relationships
Policymakers want and need your expertise and input! Why? Because your work and perspective are valid and real, and because you do something critically important in every state and congressional district—you educate America’s children.
Tell Your Story
Speaking (in a meeting or interview) or writing with firsthand knowledge as a principal and voice for educators and children has the potential to influence the media and even change a policymaker’s mind.
Creating Partnerships and Coalitions
Creating partnerships and/or coalitions can be incredibly valuable in ensuring that your voice and priorities are shared and communicated with the press, the public, and policymakers.
Today an op-ed is broadly used as a tool to publicly share the sound, informed, and resolute opinion of any writer.
Social Media 101: Using Social Media to Advocate and Influence Policy
Using social media for advocacy provides a massive and cost-effective platform for networking.