Many people think that online advocacy is now as powerful as real world advocacy, and while I agree I also disagree. When used hand in hand with offline advocacy efforts online advocacy can be very powerful in advocating for change. Advocacy requires making an impact of some kind, it can be a letter, a protest, visiting an elected official. While they’re are some ways to advocate in the online world those efforts are best done when accompanied by off line advocacy efforts. The same goes for offline advocacy efforts – if a webpage, blog, YouTube video or Facebook page accompanies the offline action it serves to widen the audience of your advocacy effort.
An Example Of Online and Offline Advocacy Combined
First off let me say I’m making this issue up off the top of my head for an example, although it is likely to be happening right now sadly somewhere its not portraying any actual advocacy effort.
A city’s public transit service is refusing to allow service animals on their public transit vehicles. A group of people who benefit from service animals along with their friends and family protest at the cities public transit depot handing out fliers about service dogs along with a link to a Facebook page about the situation.
After a day of protesting the amount of people who follow the facebook page has grown, their friends and family begin following it and it is now nearing what is called being a viral page. Viral content is when it spreads across the internet by people sharing it with family and friends. Local news is likely covering it at this point, and national news is watching closely. Online internet advocacy websites are also likely picking up the story drawing the attention of thousands of other people.
But without the initial public effort the online effort would of likely just been drowned out by the noise of everything else on the internet. In this example the internet was used to further offline advocacy. The truth is online advocacy is hard without offline advocacy and offline advocacy can be furthered with a little online advocacy.
What are some online advocacy efforts that you really got behind?