Arizona Rep. Carter: Tips and tricks for advocacy on online media

Arizona House Representative Heather Carter joined Southwest Human Development to speak about early childhood advocacy and share a few tips and tricks for advocating for change in the community.

Individuals have the power to initiate change and positive community impact by regularly communicating with policymakers and influencers. As new ideas continue to surface and policies change, many take to online platforms to voice their thoughts and advocate for change in the community. Online media is a powerful means of communication that community members around the world can take advantage of to build momentum for impacting change.

There are a number of ways that the community can use technology to propel change, advocate for early childhood programs and support ideas they hold near to their hearts.

Take advantage of Twitter

Twitter is one of the best online media platforms for political conversation. Engage with public officials in a respectful manner that builds a relationship. Tweeting “thank you” to officials and sharing informational articles are excellent methods to stay involved.

Retweet posts from reputable sources and political figures that include information, statistics and perspectives. Stay active by engaging in respectful conversation to stay current in campaigns and trends in a positive way. It’s also recommended to follow a variety of sources for additional knowledge and a well-rounded perspective.

Keep in mind that a lack of response to a tweet does not mean that your legislator did not see it. Elected officials check their phones often and do not always have the time to respond to each and every individual that reaches out to them.

Send your elected officials an email

Visit azleg.gov to search for your elected officials’ contact information and then send them an email. Introduce yourself and share your story via email before a session begins. When bills are being introduced, your message or story will have a greater chance of having an impact.

Establishing an effective relationship before making an ask is one of the most successful ways to advocate for change. When getting an email started, use a relevant and concise email subject line. Help establish a relationship by always going the extra mile to be personal when writing an email.

Be respectful

Live by the golden rule on online media: Treat others how you would like to be treated. Always be kind and address others with respect. Healthy discussion and debate is appropriate when handled with consideration.

Make an effort to see others’ perspectives and be mindful that representatives may not be at all gatherings due to prior engagements, especially during the busy months of January through May.

Research to find campaigns you care about

In a world of thriving technology, social media has found itself at the heart of conversation, debate and influence. There is likely a campaign for a society challenge or topic that you care about.

ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies campaign encourages policymakers to #ThinkBabies and call attention to the importance of the first years of life. Families from around the nation are supporting early childhood advocacy at events at Capitol Hill and online by contacting their policy makers to promoting quality early childhood services.

Early childhood advocates are encouraged to sign up for newsletters from resources like Arizona’s Southwest Human Development, Phoenix-based Children’s Action Alliance and national ZERO TO THREE to stay up-to-date on early childhood campaigns, and what you can do to make an impact in the community.

Visit azleg.gov to find your representatives and take action in your community.