Do you support a cause like animal welfare or gay rights? Or maybe you want to campaign on an issue of local importance, such as opposing the building of a supermarket? The most important factor is bringing attention to the cause – if people don’t know about it, nothing will change. Even if they do know about it, change doesn’t happen without support. So here are some ways to promote a cause.
People need to know about your cause. These days, it is easy to set up a website, which is an excellent means of promotion, as people like to look on the internet. So publicise the website address wherever possible. Also, don’t forget the local media, who are always interested in stories about local topics.
2. Non-Violent Means
Yes, you want attention, but the right kind of attention. As seen in the recent ‘student’ riots in the UK (where many of the protestors weren’t even students), causing damage created negative publicity. Violence is never justified, and is counter-productive.
3. Social Media
These are a great new tool. Just be certain that the information you publish is accurate, as many Facebook groups spring up campaigning on a particular issue, but are based on accusations later discovered to be false. However, social media can be used to disseminate urgent appeals.
Leaflets are so easy to design and print out at home these days. You can then hand them out or leave them around for interested people to pick up. I’ve distributed leaflets around the local libraries promoting cat rescues, and these do lead to people adopting cats or becoming volunteers.
Again, demonstrations should be peaceful and non-violent. I participated in one recently to celebrate the International Day of Animal Rights, and it was a joy to be there. It also got attention, as people asked what the demonstration was about. The media were also there taking pictures.
6. Local Politicians
Getting a local politician – or more than one – on your side is essential where the issue is of local importance. They can speak up on your behalf and also keep you informed on progress. Find someone who is sympathetic to the cause and prepared to work on it.
7. Celebrity Support
Having a celebrity on side never hurt. Maybe someone who lives locally wants to preserve an old building just like you, or is known for being an animal lover. If you can get them interested and prepared to lend their name, it will create essential publicity.
As they say – get ‘em young. Of course, this depends on the cause (talking about gay rights might be a little inappropriate with very young children, but they can learn something about animal welfare). And it’s not just children that can benefit from talks and demonstrations.
Are you actively involved in a cause? What do you do to promote it? Have you ever given up through lack of results?
Top Photo Credit: two cute dogs