On Saturday April 22nd, the JLC Advocacy committee hosted a JLCU entitled Advocacy 101. As someone looking to get more involved in advocacy in our local community, but not quite sure where to start, this topic was especially interesting and the presentation very informative.
The Advocacy 101 JLCU presentation was divided into four parts detailed below:
1) Networking: Alexa Goutos presented on the importance of networking to get your spread your message. She presented some very valuable tips for successful networking that although they may sound simple, we may often forget to implement. For starters, be genuine; Only attend events you are excited to go to and only exchange info and make plans with people you actually intend to follow through with and connect. Also, during conversation, instead of looking for what others can do for you, listen to the person you are talking to and offer your own skills and services.
2) Contacting Representatives: Kate Spear then offered some very practical advice for contacting your local representatives. A simple Internet search can reveal your local representatives. Although you can email, send letters or call, calling is the most effective method to use. When you call your representative you will most likely speak to a staffer who will make note of your stance on a given issue. Do not be afraid to reach out to your representatives, their job is to listen to you and vote accordingly.
3) FakeNews and How to Avoid it: Joy Johns spoke on an issue that seems more topical than ever right now: Fake News. Some tips she shared to avoid accidentally believing a fake news story areas follows: a.) Google the story: if no major news outlets have picked up the story, chances are it might not be real b.) see who is posting the story, if it is not a source you recognize Google them and see if they are on a list of well known Fake News sites, there are more Fake News outlets out there than you might realize, I know I was surprised to see just how many there are!
4) Perfecting Your Elevator Speech: Erin Satterthwaite finished off the highly educational JLCU with a talk on refining your elevator speech. When you finally get to talk to the right person make the most of it. Have your elevator speech prepared ahead of time and feel comfortable with your message, practice makes perfect! That way you can go out there and speak with confidence and conviction.
Thank you to the Advocacy Council for hosting such an educational event!
By Kirsten Butler, 2016-17 Topics & Trends staff member