- Do you have fly-in resources?
- How do I encourage my advocates to speak up – without them “going rogue”?
- What models are there for building a grasstops program?
- Captain’s Model: advocates recruit their peers back in the district.
- Utility Player Model: each advocate has a different job description that caters to the skills that individual brings to the table.
- Storyteller Talent Agency Model: great advocate storytellers are recruited in each priority district to tell their stories on different issues.
- Grasstops Lobbyist (Conventional Model): business owners or site leaders develop one-to-one relationships with their members of Congress.
- Does social media add value in grassroots advocacy? Do posts and tweets matter?
- How can I better engage my advocates and improve response rates to calls to action?
Yes, we do. We have white-label slides from the Presentation Center that you can put in your own presentations. And we have worksheets and tools to help your advocates add value to the fly-in experience:
If we want our advocates to speak authentically on our behalf, we need to let go of control. But just because someone raises their hand doesn’t make them the right steward of our message or our brand. So leading organizations are separating their advocates into two groups. The first group is entrusted to represent the organization in their own words. To minimize the “going rogue” risk, the organization vets them, educates them, and provides advocacy skills training (case study). This group tends to be fairly small, given the resource investment required to find and prepare them for an elevated advocacy role. The second group – everyone else – is given approved talking points in useable content, e.g., news articles and pre-authored tweets, to share with their network (case study).
We’ve seen 4 grasstops program models that stand above the rest. Click through to see example case studies.
A single tweet or post online is a drop in the social ocean. And a thousand comments distributed diffusely across different targets will quickly get drowned out in the noise. But channeling social media activity from your advocates can amplify their voices into real public pressure. Unlike a form letter, social media messages are public in nature. When a Hill office receives even just a handful of tweets from their district, it typically elicits a response. Moreover, social media can be used to find and recruit new supporters – be they new grassroots advocates or influencers themselves. To learn more, see our Digital and Social Media Primer.
Advocate values are changing. Today’s advocates want to shape and create their own volunteer experiences. Grassroots programs are responding by aligning advocate priorities with their own; strengthening community connections and building trust; and preparing advocates to take actions themselves. To learn more about tactics that will address these issues, see our Grassroots Engagement Turnaround Kit.