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Don’t Let Democracy Get You Down: How to Advocate for Your Library’s Future (and Have Some FUN Doing It!) A Presentation for the New Jersey Libraries Presenter:

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Presentation on theme: "Don’t Let Democracy Get You Down: How to Advocate for Your Library’s Future (and Have Some FUN Doing It!) A Presentation for the New Jersey Libraries Presenter:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Don’t Let Democracy Get You Down: How to Advocate for Your Library’s Future (and Have Some FUN Doing It!) A Presentation for the New Jersey Libraries Presenter: Stephanie Vance

2 Topics: Creating a Grassroots Campaign What Do You Want? Who Can Give it To You? How Should You Ask Them? Who’s Going To Deliver the Message? How Are You Going to Deliver the Message? How Long Will it Take?

3 But Before We Get Started, Let’s Have Some Fun!

4 Venues: Where are Policy Decisions Made? Federal – Congress – Agencies – Supreme Court – President State – Legislature – State Agencies – Courts – Governor – Initiatives (state-wide) Local – City council – County Commission – Regional Planning Commission – Agencies – Citizen Initiative

5 Venues: Local Venues Specific to Library Policy and Funding Decisions City Council County Commission Local / Regional Planning Public Schools / School District School Board Parks and Recreation Commission Others? True or False: Do you need to go to DC to make a difference?

6 Where to Start: What do You Want? Define the Goal – Repair / replace facilities – More computers – More staff (for more hours) Expressing that Goal – Specific and measurable What’s YOUR Goal?

7 Who Can Give That To You? How can you achieve your goal? Who makes the decisions? Is there more than one avenue?

8 What You Need to Know About the “Who” Once you’ve figured out the chain of command, you’ll know who your audience is. Now you need to figure out: What (or who) influences them? How did they get into office? What jurisdiction do they serve? What are their personal interests? Personal relationship to libraries How? Try Google!Google!

9 What Will You Say to Them? The Magic Formula Hello, my name is [] and I’m from [] (establishes relevancy) I am here to talk to you about [policy / relationship ask] Knowing of your interest in [info about your audience] we think you’ll be interested as well This is important to me because [personal story] That’s why I really hope you’ll [ask] I’d like to follow-up by [follow-up ideas] Can I get contact information for all the appropriate people in your office?

10 Who Will Ask? Building Networks and Coalitions Who is best to deliver your message? – Based on knowledge of audience and message – Do you need to “tweak” the message based on who is delivering? Types of partners (individual and coalitions) Getting Started – Identifying – Approaching – Activating Brainstorm about potential partners!

11 How Will You Deliver the Message? Meetings Phone Calls Written Communications Hearings Media Site Visits

12 Focus on Three Techniques Media, Site Visits and Town Hall Meetings

13 Media Events: Process What’s the hook? – Connections to outside events / already newsworthy items What’s the venue? – Print?, TV?, Radio?, Internet? Develop the message – Hint: personal and thoughtful works here as well Who will deliver the message best? – When to use public officials Following up

14 Message Delivery: Media Options Press releases Press conferences LTEs / Op Eds Editorial Boards Columns Events Local radio / TV

15 Site Visits / District Meetings: Benefits Home style vs. DC style Makes the issue “real” Shows the impact on the district Often easier to get their attention Easier for you to arrange

16 Site Visits / District Meetings: Process Decide who to invite – Don’t Forget Staff – Potential Pitfalls Decide what to show them: You’ll be surprised at what interested them The invitation process Who should attend on your end (“real” people) Logistics, logistics, logistics Recording the event

17 Participating in Town Hall Meetings: Why? Raises your profile Increases your credibility If you engage an elected official, requires them to take a public stance

18 Participating in Hearings: How? When Are They? Understanding the Venue Understanding the Audience Develop Your Message Practice, practice, practice Following Up

19 Now It’s Your Turn

20 The Five Minute Action Plan Based on everything we’ve discussed, what three things will you do in the next six months to advocate for libraries in New Jersey?

21 Contact Information Stephanie Vance Advocacy Associates th St., NW Second Floor Washington, DC (202)


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