Building Support in the Community
Questions answered in this section
Who can I talk to about my passion?
How can I get other people on board?
Getting people on board with the thing you care about is KEY to getting change to happen. Here are a few approaches you can take to building support:
Tell your story
Writing down, in a clear way, the reason you care about an issue is a powerful way of showing people why it matters.
Just saying "mental health is really important" is one thing, but saying "mental health matters to be because I have experienced really tough times and I didn't know how to get help" is even more powerful. Your personal story adds weight to your message, and helps the people you are talking to relate to what you are saying.
Remember, when sharing your story, it's important to think about it before hand, make sure you know the parts you are comfortable sharing, and the parts you don't want anyone to know. You don't have to fully expose yourself to get people to listen to you!
Share content on social media
Social media is another great way to get people to hear your message:
Create your own post (make sure to include a photo) that tells your network about your issue, and share it with your friends
Share another organisation's content and add a personal message to it so your friends and family know why it matters to you
Send messages to politicians, or tag them in activities or information you think they should take action on.
Try using mass message platforms if you have an important message you want to get out to a lot of people.
Talk to the media
Your local paper is an incredible resource for you and your cause, They love stories of local residents, especially if it's one that showcases something that needs to change, or something that other people can relate to. Get in touch and tell them your story, let them know you're available for a photo! If the story is big enough, larger papers might get on board too.
Talk to your friends and family
It sounds strange, but starting with the people closest to you is both a good way to practice talking about your issue, and an important step in building your support network. Remember to be open, listen to their experience and perspective, and try not to turn it into an argument – you want them to come along the journey with you!
Start a petition
By getting a petition going you can create an easy way for your network to get on board and show support for your cause. There are plenty of online petition tools like Change.org and the petition site. You can also do it the old fashioned way by getting signatures on a piece of paper. Write up a little overview of your cause, create a table for signatures (make sure you include lines for their name and address) and print it out. You can ask local cafes and other businesses to put it on their counter. This is a good way of getting signatures from people outside of the network you are directly connected to.
Once you have a number of signatures, you can take your petition to an MP or present it to parliament. Be sure to register your petition with parliament so that they consider it.
Join Youth Action!
As a Youth Action member you can stay connected to important issues and get access to a huge group of people who can help you in achieving your advocacy goals! Sign up now, it's free.