It can be very difficult to cope with this ‘marketising’ pressure on your campaign as very often this pressure will come from senior levels of the organisation.
Yet there needs to be a continued focus on what the advocacy campaign is all about; the advocacy campaigner needs to be sensitive of the wider needs of the organisation, but also needs to continually push the point that the focus for the campaign is policy or practice change. I would argue that the ‘marketisation’ of advocacy campaigns is showing that the practice and understanding of advocacy campaigns are not embedded in the organisation and more effort needs to be made to helping to educate colleagues.
The advocacy campaigner could do more to support internal communications, which embrace the whole theory of change not just the high profile impact, by offering to bring supporters along on the whole of the journey and share the whole story with them.
The advocacy campaigner could support work that gives the organisation profile, but in a way that is helpful to the advocacy campaign and consistent with the theory of change. Media coverage can often help an advocacy campaign, but push for it when the issue needs it not just the organisation.
And the advocacy campaigner could make sure that the key people know who was involved in the advocacy campaign. In the past while my organisation’s involvement may not have been always front of mind for the public, the key allies and targets all knew about our involvement.