In this third article about agriculture coalitions and alliances, it’s time to talk about the first steps past “yes, we need to make one.” In the first article, I discussed definitions, and in last week’s article, how to evaluate if an issue you’re passionate about needs a coalition.
It’s time to take Action, step 2 in the 5-Step Coalition Building Process.
Get the members of your new coalition together and figure out what you need to do to Take Action.
Stephen, a member of a coalition I manage, brought up the topic of what kind of information they needed to gather at a member meeting:
“We just need to have a kind of resource for factual information about safety.”Stephen, coalition member
Whether it is a website, a member forum, a social media group, or a common file share, information can hurt or help momentum and public perception right away.
Compile members, information, get it made public, do the outreach. Done.
No, not even close. Advocacy is the next stage, step 3 in our process.
During a coalition meeting, Becca S. brought up that in their advocacy plan, the group should include local officials (who were newly elected that year) in addition to their first initiative to be a place for the public and impacted members of the community to get educated on their coalition’s focus.
Note: Advocacy is not lobbying. Lobbying always has a specific piece of legislation for or against its passage. Advocacy is topic-based, need-based, or fact-based, and is an umbrella term for informing the public at large, local officials, and the industry impacted by the goal.
Knowing who to reach, how to educate them, and how to follow up is essential for a thriving coalition or alliance to move forward.
Advocacy is getting the passion and information going in the same direction and directed where it’s needed most.
Ready, Set, Action…then start on Advocacy.
Read more: Coalitions