Advocacy Tool Kit - homepage2 by yaofenjin

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									          Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit:


                             ADVOCACY TOOL KIT
      Advocacy means taking action to promote action…taking action to promote
change.

      An advocate is a believer, a supporter, a promoter, a campaigner, an activist. If
you care about the children and youth in Marin County, you can be their advocate.

       For example, you may want to encourage neighbors to donate to a new park in the
community or rally for an afterschool program for teenagers. You may want businesses
to support affordable childcare or to sponsor a preschool. You may want your senator to
vote for children’s healthcare or seek more funding for children with special needs.

       Each is a goal with a positive change in mind. The person who can help achieve
the goal may be a business, an individual, a community leader, or an elected official. And
the person who can advocate for that change…is YOU.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

   •   Get Informed – research your issue, gather any data that is available, identify the
       major arguments, and note any financial or budget-related data. (Be prepared to
       provide data; consider making a “fact sheet”.) You will find helpful data and links
       on this website site related to education, healthcare and obesity.

   •   Identify Your Audience(s) – Think about who can help your cause: is it an elected
       official? The voters? An influential group? A business leader? An allied group?
       Think about the best way to engage them and why they may want to help you or
       support your cause. (Are you a voter/one of their constituents? Are you a member
       of an organization in their district? Is your issue/event/cause in their district?
       How many of their constituents or members are impacted?) For more information
       about identifying your audience, go to (www.xxx.com)

   •   Plan Your Message/Arguments – What do you want to say? What do you want
       the audience to know? Why should they support you? (Can you think of three
       good reasons or benefits?) What do you want this person to do specifically?
       (Donate? Vote? Endorse the cause? Come to an event?)
BE AN ADVOCATE – TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO

Anyone with a passion for a cause or knowledge about an issue is qualified to be an
advocate for change. Here are ten things you can do as an individual to be an advocate
for MarinKids:

   1. LETTER - write a letter to an elected official or decision maker

   2. E-MAIL - send an e-mail (from your e-mail OR from a website) to an elected
      official or decision maker

   3. CALL - make a phone call to an elected official or decision maker

   4. MEET – ask for an appointment for an in-person meeting

   5. LETTER TO THE EDITOR - submit a letter to the editor (in response to a story, an
      editorial, another letter or just about an issue that should be in the news).

   6. OPINION EDITORIAL - write an opinion editorial or guest column

   7. PETITION - start a petition (online or hard copy)

   8. FORWARD E-MAILS - share info with friends, family, co-workers by forwarding
      informative e-mails; this is how your issue can “go viral.”

   9. SOCIAL MEDIA - use social media to advance your cause (send a Twitter message
      or create a Twitter following for your cause; post a “call to action” for your issue on
      Facebook or start a Facebook group)

   10.VIDEO – use your phone or camera to record a testimonial or film an event; post
      the video on YouTube. Send an e-mail or Twitter message to let people know
      about it.



PUMP UP YOUR VOICE WITH COMMUNITY ORGANIZING – TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO

      Community organizing is the process of bringing people together to act in their
shared self-interest and to act on their own behalf. You can build powerful voice by
organizing and participating with others who share your concerns. Remember—there is
strength in numbers!

       Perhaps you see a problem out there that needs to be solved…an issue that needs
to be addressed…something wrong that needs to be fixed. If you think it needs a bigger
response than just from you as an individual advocate, what can you do? Organize! The
process includes contacting people, informing them, encouraging their action, and
coordinating action with others.
       The “community” you organize could be your town, or your neighborhood, your
friends on Facebook. It may be the kindergarten parents at your school, all the parents in
the PTA, or all the PTAs in the county. Your community may be families of special needs
children, foster children or adopted children. It may be the women in your mother’s club,
or dads at the park or friends in your faith-based group. It may be local service
providers, other children’s advocates, fellow teachers or daycare providers.

Here are ten things you can do to increase your advocacy power as a community
organizer:

      1. START A GROUP – invite others to join you in working on your issue; then have
         a meeting to discuss the issue and make a plan for action. If a group already
         exists, sign up and help recruit members. Participate.

      2. START A FACEBOOK GROUP – create a page for your cause and invite your
         Facebook friends to join; let others in your community know by e-mail, flyers
         or word-of-mouth. If a page already exists, join the group. Write a comment
         “on the wall.” “Like it” on the page. Tell others.

      3. CREATE A FLYER - if people don’t know about the cause you care about, make
         a flyer to provide the information. Distribute flyers within your neighborhood
         and online; get others who care about the issue to help.

      4. GO DOOR-TO-DOOR – take your flyer, or just your message, door-to-door in
         the community and let people know about the problem and what they can do
         about it. This is classic community organizing!

      5. BE POLITICALLY ACTIVE – If your issue is being considered by elected officials,
         attend a public meeting and speak during the public comment period; invite
         community members to join you. Write to your elected officials, and organize
         others to do the same.

      6. START A VIRAL E-MAIL – your e-mail might provide information or it might be
         a call to action. You can use words, pictures, music. You can include
         something that might encourage people to forward the e-mail—a great photo,
         the perfect quotation, something funny or something inspiring. Send to your
         friends, family and other e-mail contacts; encourage them to forward the
         message.

      7. START AN ONLINE PETITION – Describe the problem, state your case, and
         make a call to action. Create a way for people to include their name among a
         list of those who care about the issue. Distribute the petition to your friends,
         family and other e-mail contacts; encourage them to forward the message.

      8. TWITTER – master the art of sending a message in 120 characters or less!
         Send Twitter messages to let your group or community know about important
         news or events related to your cause. Get your members to forward the
         message by “re-tweeting.”
9. WEBSITE – launch a website about your issue with facts, status updates, news,
   and blogs. Make it interactive and keep it current. Let the community know
   about it and encourage them to contribute content and spread the word.

10.HOUSE PARTY – invite members of your community over to take action
   together like: writing postcards to school board members, painting signs for a
   rally, making calls on their cell phones to elected officials, stuffing envelopes.
   The tedious work can be fun when you do it together!
  Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_1. Letter:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JUST WRITE A LETTER

If there is a cause you want to support, you can just write a letter. Decide who the
recipient is and grab your pen. Unless your issue requires a long explanation, a few
simple sentences is all it takes.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

If your letter is a basic advocacy letter—rather than an inquiry for information or a
request for help of some kind—it may only be “noted and filed.” You may or may not get
a reply. But it can still make a difference. Your one letter may draw attention to an issue
that had not previously been a concern. And a dozen letters like it may make someone
take notice. And a hundred letters like it might make them do something about it.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Find the address – to get the address for mayors and city council members, the
      Marin County Board of Supervisors and other county elected officials, your
      representatives in the State Assembly, State Senate or Congress, and your
      Governor, CLICK HERE. To get the address for the Marin County Superintendent
      of Schools or local school boards, CLICK HERE. You can usually find contact
      information for other community leaders online.

   2. Write your letter – just write what you care about (your cause or issue) and what
      you want done (support extra funding, vote for a bill etc.). Your letter may include
      background information, important facts you want to share, or contacts for follow
      up. Or you can just write something as simple as, “I’m an advocate for MarinKids.
      Please support programs for children and youth in our county.”

   3. Mail – just stamp and mail. That’s it—you are an advocate!

EXAMPLE

Dear Senator:

A recent report (from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research) states that the number
of uninsured children in California rose from 1.1 million in 2007 to 1.5 million in 2009. I
think this is a great tragedy. I urge you to support legislation that will secure universal
health insurance for every child in this state.
Sincerely,

(Name, address, city; phone or e-mail optional)
  Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_2. E-Mail:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JUST SEND AN E-MAIL

If there is a cause you want to support, you can just send an e-mail. Decide who the
recipient is and start typing. Use the subject line to promote your cause or summarize
your message. Use the “To” or “CC” lines to send to multiple parties (e.g. the entire city
council or the whole school board) all at once.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

You may or may not receive a response to your e-mail. It may not get opened, which is
why good use of the subject line is important. Remember that many organizations don’t
accept e-mails with attachments; if you have background materials to share, you should
call to confirm. And don’t forget that your e-mail may be forwarded, printed and posted,
or saved forever—with your name on it.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Find the e-mail address – to get the e-mail address for mayors and city council
      members, the Marin County Board of Supervisors and other county elected
      officials, your representatives in the State Assembly, State Senate or Congress, and
      your Governor, CLICK HERE. To get the address for the Marin County
      Superintendent of Schools or local school boards, CLICK HERE. You can usually
      find contact information for other community leaders online.

   2. Write your message – just write what you care about (your cause or issue) and
      what you want done (support extra funding, vote for a bill etc.). Be brief. You can
      write something as simple as, “I’m an advocate for MarinKids. Please support
      programs for children and youth in our county.”

   3. Send – just click “Send.” That’s it—you are an advocate!

EXAMPLE

Dear Members of the School Board:

I was distraught to learn that the entire summer school program has been cancelled in
our district. Please work with other elected officials to seek alternate funding. The PTA
from our school is having a public meeting on this issue next week—we hope you will all
plan to be there.
Sincerely,

(Name, address, city; phone optional. Remember that your e-mail will be visible.)
    Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_3. Call:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JUST MAKE A CALL

If there is a cause you want to support, you can just make a call. Decide who the
recipient is and start dialing.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

If you are calling an elected official, the phone is almost always being answered by an
assistant. If you simply want to register your support to a bill or oppose a budget
proposal, it is customary to leave the message with this person. (Expect them to ask your
name, city and contact information.) You may ask to speak to the elected official directly;
the assistant will likely take a message, and you may receive a call back from the elected
official or possibly a senior member of the staff. Be brief but thorough on the phone; if
something needs more discussion, ask for an appointment.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Get the Number – to find phone numbers for mayors and city council members,
      the Marin County Board of Supervisors and other county elected officials, your
      representatives in the State Assembly, State Senate or Congress, and your
      Governor, CLICK HERE. To get the address for the Marin County Superintendent
      of Schools or local school boards, CLICK HERE. You can usually find contact
      information for other community leaders online.

   2. Plan your message – Prepare what you want to say and use proper phone
      etiquette. State your name (and possibly your city: “Christina, from San Rafael”)
      and what you are calling about (a piece of legislation, the budget, a news story or a
      problem in your community. State what you would like done (e.g. “please give the
      Mayor my message”; “I hope the Congresswoman will support universal health
      insurance for children.”) Say thank you.

   3. Make the Call – It only takes a few sentences to share your concern or ask for a
      specific result on an issue. That’s it—you are an advocate!

EXAMPLE

“Hi. This is Christina from San Rafael. I would like to leave a message for the Principal. I
just found out that summer school is cancelled this year and I’m very concerned. I
wanted to ask the principal to work with other elected officials to seek emergency
funding. And if there is anything that parents can do, I would like to help. I can be
contacted at this phone number. Thank you.”
 Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_4. Meeting:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JUST ASK FOR A MEETING

If there is a cause you want to support, you can ask to meet with the person who you
think can do something about it. It might be the mayor…or it might be the person in
charge of the farmer’s market. If your issue seems complex enough to warrant a back-
and-forth discussion, just ask for a meeting.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

You can ask for the meeting, but your “VIP” may not say yes. Or, you might be referred to
an assistant; you’ll have to decide whether that will meet your needs. For elected officials
—and others—this is customary, at least for an initial/informational meeting. You may
also be asked to handle your concern in another way—send an explanatory e-mail,
provide background information etc.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Call and Ask – to get the phone numbers for mayors and city council members,
      the Marin County Board of Supervisors and other county elected officials, your
      representatives in the State Assembly, State Senate or Congress, and your
      Governor, CLICK HERE. To get the address for the Marin County Superintendent
      of Schools or local school boards, CLICK HERE. You can usually find contact
      information for other community leaders online.

   2. Explain why you want the meeting – when you call, explain the topic you’re
      calling about, why you want to see this person (are you their constituent? Is the
      issue in their district?) and why you think a meeting is necessary (it’s a long story,
      it’s a complex issue, you have materials that should be reviewed together).

   3. Prepare for the meeting – if you get an appointment, be prepared to use the time
      wisely. Get fully informed in advance and print any background materials that you
      will want to leave behind. (You may combine in a folder or binder if needed.)
      Prepare a single fact sheet or other visual that you can refer to during the meeting.
      Bring one or two other people who might support your cause; be sure to let the
      office know they are coming. During the meeting, describe your issue and explain
      what you want done about it. Describe what you are already doing and how many
      people are involved. Explain how you think this person can help.

EXAMPLE
“Hi, this is Cheryl from Marin City. I would like to make an appointment with the county
supervisor about the need for a full-service grocery store in our community. A
neighborhood group is working on this issue, and we want to talk about how the county
might be able to help. We are available any weekday during school hours from about 9
am to 2 pm.”
 Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_5. Letter to
                       the Editor:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JUST WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

If you see something in the paper that inspires you to comment, just write a letter to the
editor. You can respond to a news story or an editorial. Or, you can write about an issue
that’s not in the paper but that you think readers should hear about.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Each paper may have its own guidelines for submitting a letter to the editor. Generally,
you will have a word limit (it’s 250 words at the Marin Independent Journal); but it’s
generally a good idea to keep it to three to five sentences. You are also required to
provide your name and contact information; the paper usually only prints your name and
city, but they need to contact you (by phone or e-mail) to confirm that you actually wrote
the letter they received. Also, your letter may or may not get printed; some papers only
print two or three letters each day. Remember that your name will be printed and that
thousands of people will see your letter; letters are also printed in the paper’s online
edition, and there are archived. [Finally, remember that people respond to letters to the
editor, and not all the comments are supportive or sympathetic.]

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Get the address – You can submit a letter by regular mail or by e-mail; you can
      get the contact information from the paper’s website. Most papers prefer to
      receive letters by e-mail today; be sure to include your letter in the body of the e-
      mail and not as an attachment. Write “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line…and
      include the subject! (Click here for information about submitting letters to
      newspapers in Marin.)

   2. Write your letter – Be brief and to the point. You can mention that you are
      responding to an article or an editorial, or you can just state your case.

   3. Send – insert your letter into an e-mail or pop your paper letter in the mail.

EXAMPLE

Dear Editor: I’m writing in response to the article about the teen center being at risk of
closing. This would be a disaster for our community. The teen center provides after
school programs, safe weekend activities, plus counseling and support programs. I urge
everyone to support the center and support our teenagers.

(name, city + contact info)
 Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_6. Opinion
                       Editorial:


BE AN ADVOCATE! WRITE AN OPINION EDITORIAL

If there is a cause you want to support or an issue you want to address, you can write an
opinion editorial or guest commentary and try to have it published. An opinion editorial
(often called an “op-ed”) is a column that you submit to a paper (or online journal) that
appears on the opinion page. An op-ed provides excellent exposure to your organization
or activity; it appears in print, online and it can be shared by e-mail and social media. It’s
like a really big letter to the editor—and you can do it!

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Anyone can submit an opinion editorial; you don’t have to be a professional writer, an
elected official or someone famous. However, a piece is more likely to be printed in the
paper if it comes from someone with professional expertise or personal experience. (This
might be the Public Health Officer, the director of Homeward Bound, or a volunteer with
Canal Alliance. It could also be the owner of a preschool, a couple who can’t find
affordable childcare, or three dads who started “Fitness Fridays” in the neighborhood.)
Most papers usually ask you your piece to be limited from 550 to no more than 650
words. Like letters to the editor, an op-ed is submitted for consideration by the paper;
there is no guarantee that it will get printed. (You can usually expect to hear from the
paper’s editorial staff within a week or two if they plan to publish your piece.)

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Select a Paper and Submission Info – several Marin papers accept op-eds or
      guest columns; if you are not sure, call the news room to confirm. For information
      about submitting an op-ed to the Marin Independent Journal—in their column
      called “Marin Voice”-- CLICK HERE. For info about the six Marinscope weeklies,
      CLICK HERE.

   2. Write Your Op-Ed– If you are not familiar with the format of an op-ed, just open
      the paper to see how it’s done. To read all the recent Marin Voice pieces, CLICK
      HERE. An opinion editorial can tell a story, present information, invite
      participation, challenge the community, expose unfairness or make a call to action.
      (Be sure to include a “byline”; this describes you as the author. It includes your
      name and any job title, position, affiliation or experience that is relevant to why
      you wrote this piece.)
    3. Submit – cut and paste your op-ed into an e-mail; use the submission information
       you found online (per #1 above). Write “Op-Ed” in the e-mail subject line—and
       include the subject! Be sure to include your name and contact information. Click
       “SEND.” There. You did it. You are an advocate!

EXAMPLES

All Children Deserve Good Dental Care

By Frima Stewart and Shirley Watt

One year ago this month, a 12 year old boy from Delaware died from a preventable cause—dental disease. In this
heartbreaking case, the bacteria from an abscessed tooth that went untreated spread to the child’s brain. The infection
was fatal.

Dental disease is nearly always preventable. With the proper dental care at home, good nutrition and regular visits to a
dentist, no one should suffer from dental disease. (MORE…)

Breastfeeding is Good for Babies, Good for Business

By Margie King

This is National Breastfeeding at Work Week—a celebration of working women who are breastfeeding and the companies
that support their employees who are nursing moms.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breast milk is “uniquely superior for infant feeding.” It is now widely
understood that breast milk is good for both babies and new mothers. Despite what the purveyors of infant formula would
have you believe, formula is an inferior food source for babies. (MORE…)

Get Involved and Join the Human Race on Saturday

By Linda Davis

This Saturday, from 7 to 11:30 a.m., the place to be is at the 28th annual Marin Human Race to support your favorite
nonprofit or school.

The event, produced by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, is for everyone, from competitive runners and
walkers to those wanting to get some exercise, to people who just want to take part in the event’s free festivities.

Each year, thousands participate to raise much-needed funds in Marin’s largest collaborative fundraising event. Last year,
$350,000 was raised for 100 non-profits and schools. (MORE…)
 Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_7. Petition:


BE AN ADVOCATE! START A PETITION

If there is a cause you want to support or an issue you want to address, you can start a
petition to help document the number of people in the community who share your
concern. A petition can be a paper document or it can now be created online. Either way,
you help by allowing people to add their support without having to do anything more
than sign their name.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

A petition is a written request (or demand) for change or a protest against something that
is signed by individuals and usually presented to an elected official or public entity. A
petition can include a short description of the protest or requested change followed by
places for signatures. (For verification purposes, those who sign are usually asked to also
print their names and provide an address and/or other contact information.)

There are many websites that can help you set up an online petition. This electronic
version can help with distribution (i.e. directing people to it through e-mail, Facebook,
Twitter), but it can also cause some to question the legitimacy of all those who “signed”
the petition—especially if all that appears is a “screen name” or an e-mail address not
based on a proper name.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Draft the Petition – Simply describe your issue or cause or protest in a few
      sentences, and provide a place for community members to sign.

   2. Distribute for Signatures – you can walk door-to-door, greet people at the bus
      stop, or meet them coming out of the grocery store. You’ll have to announce your
      cause and invite people to sign. (e.g. did you know they’re planning a 60-foot cell
      tower next to the park? Sign this petition to help us stop it.) For information
      about creating an online petition, CLICK HERE.

   3. Submit – when you have collected 100 signatures, or 500 or 1000—whatever
      number you think shows real community concern—plan to submit the petition to
      your designated decisionmaker. (This might be the mayor or a county supervisor;
      it might also be a planning commission or a property owner.) You can mail the
      petition with a cover letter or short note of explanation; be sure to provide your
      contact information. You may also attend a city council meeting, planning
       commission, school board meeting etc.; speak during the public comment period
       and offer to submit the petition. You can also announce your petition at a press
       conference or other media event. And once you do, you are an advocate!




EXAMPLES



                        PETITION AGAINST THE HILLTOP CELL TOWER

We, the undersigned members of this community, want to declare our strong opposition to the
60-foot cell tower that is being planned for construction next to the park in our community. We
believe this is dangerous for our children and local families; we believe there are alternate
locations away from residences and recreational spaces; and we believe that the concerns of
residents should be considered before any cell tower is approved.

Signature___________________________________________
     Printed Name
___________________________

Address____________________________________________
      
      E-mail
_________________________________

Signature___________________________________________
     Printed Name
___________________________

Address____________________________________________
      
      E-mail
_________________________________

Signature___________________________________________
     Printed Name
___________________________

Address____________________________________________
      
      E-mail
_________________________________

Signature___________________________________________
     Printed Name
___________________________

Address____________________________________________
      
      E-mail
_________________________________

Signature___________________________________________
     Printed Name
___________________________

Address____________________________________________
      
      E-mail
_________________________________
  Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_8. E-Mail:


BE AN ADVOCATE! SEND AN E-MAIL

If there is a cause you want to support or an issue you want to address, you can create an
e-mail for distribution or forward an e-mail from someone else. The e-mail can inform
and educate, expose and challenge, identify a problem and offer solutions. By forwarding
the e-mail to friends, family, co-workers, and other online contacts, you can help
magnify the message and expand community awareness. This is how e-mails “go viral”
and one message from one source can get to hundreds or thousands of people.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Many people don’t open all their e-mails; if you want this opened, make sure the subject
line is clear and informative (and may intriguing); you may want it to include your
message right there. Remember that your e-mail may be forwarded, printed and posted,
or saved forever—with your name on it. Make sure the message is exactly what you want
people associate with you. If you want e-mail recipients to take action based on your
message, make sure it’s clear what you want them to do; providing a direct link makes it
easy and much more likely the action will get taken.

THREE EASY STEPS

   1. Draft Your Message – Draft your message right in the body of the e-mail. Write
      what you want people to know. Provide links to websites that might be
      informative. Use fonts, colors, photos or graphics to make the page look more
      interesting. And if you want action, say so; be clear and include any link or
      direction the reader will need. If you really want this e-mail to “go viral,” ask your
      recipients for forward the message to their contacts as well.

      [If you are forwarding an e-mail from someone else, simply click “forward” after
      reading it and move on to #2. You do have the opportunity to change the subject
      line or add a comment of your own at the top; this might be appropriate since you
      are sending it on to your own contacts.]

   2. Identify Recipients – E-mail allows you to distribute to dozens or even hundreds
      of people in just a few seconds. Include anyone you want to receive your message
      in the “To” line of your e-mail, or use any lists you might have.

   3. Send– Once you are satisfied with your message, check the spelling, check your
      recipients and click “SEND.” And once you do, you are an advocate!
EXAMPLES

To: friend@comcast.net; sister@yahoo.com, co-worker@sbcglobal.net

Subject: Help Needed to Save Friday Night Dances at the High School



Dear Friends and Neighbors:

If you remember the movie FOOTLOOSE, you’ll recall a boy who moved to a town where the
teenagers weren’t allowed to dance! That’s crazy!

Well, we’re about to be in the same situation because the dances now offered every Friday night
are about to be CANCELLED! Budget cuts have made it too expensive for the high school to pay
overtime for the custodians and the extra costs of campus security. Our teenagers need a safe
place to get together on weekends, with a little supervision and a lot of fun.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

With just a few volunteers and a few modest donations, we can keep the music on and the dance
floor open.

If you are willing to make a small contribution or volunteer a couple hours, please contact
Sherry@comcast.net.

THANK YOU!
   Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_9. Social
                         Media:


BE AN ADVOCATE! JOIN THE SOCIAL MEDIA MADNESS

If you really want to make a statement these days, you need to know about social media.
What’s that? Social media is the media that offers conversations, announcements, sharing
and interactions online. Examples are Facebook (where you create a page about yourself
—or your group-- and you can send/receive messages) and Twitter (where you can post
very brief messages and attract a following).

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Social media is available to almost everyone at very little cost; you simply need a
computer and Internet access. You don’t have to have advanced technology skills and
you can communicate instantaneously. And growing numbers are using some form of
social media (e.g. Facebook is no longer a college phenomenon since it has been
embraced by “reunion-minded” folks in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.) And it can be
fun; and fun matters.

THREE EASY STEPS

1. Go Online – Visit your social medium of choice— you may want to use social
   networking site like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn; or you may want to blog,
   or use video sharing on YouTube. There are many options out there. Most websites
   these days offer several opportunities for you to “become interactive” by “becoming a
   friend” on Facebook or “following” on Twitter.

2. Follow the Directions – Most sites will ask you to register, and then you just have to
   follow the directions. The site asks for information or responses and then creates a
   page or sends a message.

3. Click Enter - once you click “enter” you have begun! You have entered the world of
   social media, and you can use that media to advance your cause. Be a friend or send
   a Tweet—and you are an advocate!
EXAMPLES

To: friend@comcast.net; sister@yahoo.com, co-worker@sbcglobal.net

Subject: Help Needed to Save Friday Night Dances at the High School



Dear Friends and Neighbors:

If you remember the movie FOOTLOOSE, you’ll recall a boy who moved to a town where the
teenagers weren’t allowed to dance! That’s crazy!

Well, we’re about to be in the same situation because the dances now offered every Friday night
are about to be CANCELLED! Budget cuts have made it too expensive for the high school to pay
overtime for the custodians and the extra costs of campus security. Our teenagers need a safe
place to get together on weekends, with a little supervision and a lot of fun.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

With just a few volunteers and a few modest donations, we can keep the music on and the dance
floor open.

If you are willing to make a small contribution or volunteer a couple hours, please contact
Sherry@comcast.net.

THANK YOU!
 Marin Kids Website_Tools _Advocacy Tool Kit_10. Video:


BE AN ADVOCATE! POST A VIDEO

If you want to be seen and be heard these days, you should be doing it on YouTube. Use
your phone or camera to record a testimonial, film an event or document an injustice.
You can upload any video image from your computer or use a webcam. Millions of
people use or watch YouTube. It’s a captivating way to connect, inform and inspire.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

YouTube allows you to post videos of up to ten minutes in length. You can automatically
share your videos on Facebook or announce them via Twitter. You can link to them from
your organization’s website or just tell people about them by e-mail.

THREE EASY STEPS

1. Register with YouTube– go to YouTube.com and register for free.

2. Post a video – click on “Upload” at the top of the page and follow the directions.

3. Tell the World- once your video is posted, tell your friends, family and co-workers
   and count your viewers! You are an advocate!



EXAMPLES

Watch the video about the Grand Jury’s report on street gangs: http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=d1P8mahxtqA

Watch the video about the San Rafael Farmer’s Market:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJHn-fcn5vw

Watch the video about the 2010 Census in Marin County:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIeKhch0BI

Watch the video about the County Budget:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rxVrzxR6nM

								
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