We all know that a grassroots campaign is designed to harness “the power of the people” to drive change or influence someone or an organisation.
Groups in the environment movement are prominent users and the recent protests in Hong Kong show how grassroots advocacy can build upon itself to try and deliver desired changes.
Complement this with grasstops advocacy and you have a powerful combination that seeks to gain influence and change at the highest level.
Grasstops advocacy is when an organisation uses its own or members’ contacts to connect with elected officials such as local government councillors, MPs, Ministers, opinion leaders and other decision makers.
Harnessing and leveraging these personal relationships allows an organisation to directly relay its key messages to government representatives, presenting their story on why their request or issue should be heard and acted upon.
It doesn’t really matter what size organisation you have; whether it’s 50, 500 or 5,000. It’s beneficial to find out who knows who in power. One way you can do this is to send members a short survey once or twice a year asking a few questions, such as: who they know, how well they know them, if they would be prepared to contact them on behalf of the organisation, and what their preferred method is of contacting them. A personal meeting followed by a phone call is best.
Obviously the person who will do the contacting needs a thorough briefing on the key messages to be communicated.
A combination of grassroots and grasstops advocacy is a powerful way to gain influence and attract attention to the issue being advocated.
Think about it: as a State MP and Minister for Sport, you are made aware of a petition signed by 10,000 players and supporters of a basketball stadium who want funding to help build some new courts. Then you receive two or three phone calls from people you know personally who explain to you sound and important reasons why government funding is needed to get these courts built.
Both forms of advocacy – quantity and quality – are powerful influences and can be used for any important issues.
If you want to learn more about grassroots and grasstops advocacy campaigns, please get in touch.
Use a tool to keep track of all your members’ contacts and other information, connection dates and successes.
A: 5a Hartnett Close, Mulgrave VIC 3170
T: +613 9803 2588