Advocacy advice

The advice in this column although designed for the arts in the US, applies equally to environment and ecology, suggesting the best tactics to influence politicians, policy-makers and public sector decision-makers.  It highlights the importance of starting the meeting by establishing:

  • the fact that you are a constituent, and that the people you represent are constituents,
  • that you are aware of the political and policy priorities,
  • the benefits that your organisation or service delivers.

The article goes on to focus on the benefits that matter to public bodies:

  • Both arts and ecologies are sources of jobs and economic activity,
  • Arts and ecologies represent resources that improve learning and school systems,
  • Cutting arts and ecologies will not solve public sector budget problems: they represent tiny fractions of overall budgets.

Finally it recommends a team approach to maximise the impact.  This enables the first person to introduce the subject, the second person presents the fact-based evidence.  The third person then contributes a human story of the transforming experience that the arts or environments can have.

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