12 Virtual Advocacy

What are some online, safe-from-home, but effective advocacy strategies? ​

  1. Raise Awareness — Spread awareness of the issue and/or the solution that you are advocating for! This not only increases the attention that the issue gets from others, but might even recruit more advocates! ​
    • You can do this by sharing tweets and posts about the issue. You can create your own, or share others. Retweeting/reposting from a credible source helps increase the reach of the original post and helps increase traffic to the original account. Just like how you use in-text citations when writing an academic paper, cite content creators by tagging their handles (e.g. “@TheirTwittername”). ​
    • To ensure that you are seen as a reliable source, always cite your statements/facts. Be sure your facts are from reliable sources too! ​
    • Here is an example of an informative tweet from HRSA: https://twitter.com/HRSAgov/status/1659272753806024726?s=20
  2. Email Blasts– This is the modern take on the letter-writing campaign. Instead of sending a written letter to your legislator, a professional email sent to them and their office/staff provides them with all the information they need along with the desired action (e.g. vote “yes” on SB100). Many advocacy organizations even provide a template for what to say. This helps drive home the consistent message the legislator, or other individual in power, needs to hear.
      • A little known fact: some legislators keep a running tally of how many emails they receive on a single issue. Those issues with more tally marks usually will gain their attention as a priority.​
  3. Letters to the Editor (LTEs) and Opposite Editorial (Op-Ed) submissions: Both LTEs and Op-Eds are traditional forms of advocacy as they are sent to the traditional media source: newspapers. They can be sent by anyone and vary slightly​
        1. Letters to the Editor (LTE): An open letter published in a widely read newspaper/magazine that advocates, educates, or vents about an issue. It is best practice to keep these concise and referencing a recently published article by the targeted newspaper/magazine (so that it is relevant to the content recently published, and therefore, approved by intended editors. Include your contact information so readers can reach out to you to join your cause/ask questions. ​
          • Here’s an example of a letter to the editor submission form for The Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/submit-letter-to-the-editor
        2. Opposite-Editorial (Op-Ed) ​
          • These submissions are longer than Letters to the Editor, but still limited. They are considered “opinion pieces”. However, you should still provide reliable data for your statements to not only increase your likelihood of being chosen for publication, but also enhance your persuasiveness. ​
          • Check out this Op-Ed Submission form from The Washington Post:​ https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/submit-an-op-ed/
          • Take a look at this great online resource that aims to increase representation of minority voices in thought leadership…and yes, op-eds published
  4. Online Fundraising — Use fundraising platforms so supporters can donate to your efforts/campaign. Several campaigns use this strategy to fund an array of efforts, from paying full-time staff to buying crucial equipment or donated goods. Direct giving is usually vital lifeblood for non-profit organizations and campaigns at large.
  5. Texting — Use text messaging, SMS, and MMS to get the word out, send links to supporters, and even fundraise via special shortcodes and online forms.


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