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3 Key Insights on Starting Digital Advocacy

By Nianna St. Claire • April 7, 2024


We are living in a more technologically advanced world. Gone are the days when people resorted to libraries and books for knowledge. We can now utilize social media, email communication, blogs, and various digital channels to promote and mobilize support for various causes – and that is what digital advocacy is! It allows advocates to reach a wider audience, and compared to traditional advocacy methods, it requires fewer resources, making it more cost-effective. Digital advocacy is one of the best ways to spread awareness and make a difference in today’s society. And as Robert Downey Jr. said in that one Iron Man movie, “We’re going to use technology to our advantage.”


Keep reading to find out how you can own your digital advocacy journey.


Setting Clear Advocacy Goals Is A Must.

What exactly do you hope to achieve? Defining your aspirations through your advocacy efforts, whether policy change, raising awareness, or mobilizing a community, will guide your strategy.


Is there a specific way you want your audience to feel? Should they feel happy, sympathetic, or angry while viewing your content? All of this should be considered before starting any online campaign.


Having a clear vision of what you’re working towards can inspire you to stay resilient and persevere in your advocacy efforts. It also makes it easier to communicate your advocacy objectives to stakeholders, supporters, and potential collaborators, helping them to understand and eventually buy into the purpose behind your efforts.


A list of goals that are being accomplished.



More Creativity, More Attention.

When browsing the Internet, whether on YouTube or a website, consider what ignites your curiosity. Is it the over-the-top thumbnail? The catchy title? The first 30 seconds of content? Undoubtedly, the most unique concepts online garner the most attention. Creativity in digital advocacy is like the mitochondria in cells – crucial. In a crowded digital space, creative content stands out, engages audiences, and fosters emotional connections, making it more likely for advocacy messages to resonate, gain traction, and create impact. Creative approaches also enable advocates to communicate complex issues in accessible and compelling ways, driving greater awareness and support for their cause.


Here are a few ways to curate an advocacy approach that draws people in:

  • Incorporate engaging visuals (e.g. infographics, photos, videos)

  • Use interactive multimedia content (e.g. interactive websites, quizzes, challenges)

  • Entertain your audience through the use of humor and relatable memes

There are many ways to be unique. Be original, and don’t rely on a formula. There is no one way to advocate for a cause.




Two fingers are running on a proverbial treadmill: a phone screen showing social media posts.



Monitor The Progress of Your Digital Advocacy.


Although usually overlooked, continuously monitoring your work allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts and identify areas of improvement, which is essential for success. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic and social media engagement aids in assessing how well your strategies resonate with your audience and drive action. Besides, the digital landscape constantly evolves, so monitoring allows adaptation to changing contexts and trends. By staying informed about technological shifts, audience preferences, and policy environments, you can adjust your advocacy strategies to remain relevant and effective. Remember, a ship doesn't reach its destination without constantly checking its course!



Video of a chick (baby chicken) looking through a spyglass while sailing on a boat.



Own Your Advocacy Journey.

With the rise of new tech advancements, advocates must get involved in digital advocacy to make a difference in today’s society. Clearly outlining the goals they wish to achieve, being creative to capture audiences' attention, and making information easy to understand while continuously monitoring their efforts can successfully get messages across.


But what's better than connecting with others on a journey similar to yours? Catch a glimpse into Let's Unpack It's approach to digital mental health advocacy by checking out the recap of our recent collaborative event with the Rotaract Club of Barbados, Mind Over Matter: A Youth Mental Health Forum.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Nianna C. St. Claire is a young Guyanese-Montserratian serving as a Let's Unpack It & UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Mental Health Focal Point for Montserrat. Renowned for her innovative ideas and unique approaches, she strives to make a meaningful impact in the realm of youth advocacy.

 

In a moment of despair, we could all use a little help and support. If you're going through a rough patch, and/or dealing with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please reach out to one of these Caribbean Mental Health Hotlines. You can also find some other resources compiled by Let's Unpack It here. Help is just one click or one phone call away.



Photo containing QR codes that allows you to access a list of mental health resources in the Caribbean.


We all have a mental health story. And, when we are open enough to share it, we can build hope, dismantle stigma, and help others to know that they're not alone. So, if you're comfortable, take a moment to share your lived experience here. #CareToShare

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