How to Be an AAUW Advocacy Rock Star

AAUW members met with members of Congress during Lobby Day at the 2011 AAUW National Convention.

AAUW members met with members of Congress during Lobby Day at the 2011 AAUW National Convention.

March 01, 2013

From a young age, we’re taught that most of what we need to know can be found by answering the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why). But the most important, and often the most elusive, question to answer is the H — the “how.”

That’s why AAUW’s Public Policy and Government Relations Department has compiled a set of how-to resources to guide you in advocating for women and girls, whether it’s through a meeting with your elected official or a social media campaign. Use these how-tos to familiarize yourself with tried-and-true techniques, explore new ways to make your events a success, or train new members and leaders who want to get involved in advocacy.

You can find these resources at the links below:

  • How to Build a Phone Tree: A phone tree can help you spread a brief message quickly and efficiently to a large number of people. Once your phone tree is set up, you can use it to quickly mobilize AAUW members or supporters to take action on an urgent legislative issue; notify members of meetings, hearings, actions, and last-minute changes; or increase turnout at state and branch events by providing personal invitations to reinforce mailed or e-mailed notices.
  • How to Hold a Meeting with Your Elected Officials: Connecting with your senators, representatives, and other elected officials about AAUW public policy issues in a face-to-face meeting is a great way to develop relationships with them and to influence the positions they take on issues that are important to you. This resource will help you set up a meeting with a lawmaker, prepare for that meeting, and follow up afterward.
  • How to Work with the Media: Reaching out to the media can help you draw attention to AAUW priority issues and events you are planning. This resource will give you tips on planning your media outreach, contacting the media, writing advisories and news releases, and earning coverage.
  • How to Write a Letter to the Editor: Writing letters to the editor for your local newspaper is a great way to energize branch members, promote AAUW visibility in the community, and spread the word about important issues. Letters to the editor can be used to correct and clarify facts in a previous news story, oppose or support the actions of an elected official or agency, direct attention to a problem, spur news editors to cover an issue that is being overlooked, or urge readers to support your cause. This resource will help you write and submit your letter to the editor.
  • How to Write an Op-Ed: Opinion pieces in local, state, and national newspapers can be very influential in shaping public debate, promoting AAUW visibility, and spreading the word about important issues. Op-eds are typically longer than letters to the editor, focus on a broader issue, and aren’t necessarily tied to previously published stories. This resource will help you write and submit an op-ed on a public policy issue of your choice.
  • How to Use Social Media for Advocacy: Social media can have tremendous rewards for your AAUW state and branch advocacy efforts if you’re creative and persistent. This resource will help you create a social media strategy for advocacy and make the most of popular social media channels to spread your message about public policy.
Deborah Swerdlow By:   |   March 01, 2013