Authored by: Karen B. Moore – CEO, Moore Communications Group
Ever tried to build a house without a hammer? If you’re not including advocacy in your communications toolbox, then that’s exactly what you’re doing—you’re trying to create a structure without all the tools at your disposal.
Why advocacy as a tool? Because when done well, advocacy is a powerful way to reach your business goals.
For years, advocacy has been used mainly by nonprofits trying to make an impact on Capitol Hill. But times change—and when it comes to advocacy, times have certainly changed for the better. Today, advocacy is an absolute must-have if you’re going to really get your message out to the masses. Here’s why:
Public policy: We’ve all seen the successes nonprofits have had with advocacy. A unified voice has made a dramatic difference in our world over time. Just look at the impact of organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)—how many laws in effect today to help deter potentially harmful alcohol consumption are the result of MADD’s efforts? Today, corporations are partnering with a wide variety of public and private-sector groups to change policies as a way of helping improve life for different segments of people as well as the greater good.
Your brand: What better way to stretch your marketing dollar and strengthen your brand than with an army of people talking about what they love about your company? Ambassadors of your brand are your champions—they’re out there talking you up, telling their family and friends about how your company is doing good in the community.
New markets: Advocacy can help your organization grow. How? Because people who love your business will engage with on social media, exposing your business to their connections and amplifying your reach. This includes the people who work for you (internal advocates) and people who connect with you from outside your organization (external advocates). While good favor on social media won’t completely replace your marketing dollars, a lot of buying decisions today are based on what others say about you online—that fact is impossible to ignore.
Revenue! Profits!: Simply put, if people like you, they’re more likely to buy from you.
A lot of the good a company does, however, can still be crushed by a single negative act. This is where advocacy excels. If you’ve got a loud, unified voice of champions at the foundation of your company, they’ll step up for you when something threatens to bring down the house.