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Here’s Your Guide to Conducting Digital Advocacy

Highlights from our WhatsApp Chat discussion

4 min readSep 29, 2020


Advocacy exists so all people can have their voices heard, issues tackled, views considered, rights protected, and thus serves as an organized process of influencing a targeted audience, individuals or institutions into appreciating and achieving a given positive cause. Digital advocacy happens when the advocacy process is done digitally relying on digital tools such as social media, blogs, websites, etc.

The growing number of digital tools such as social media platforms has made these tools a central component of most movements such as the #MeTooMovement, the #BlackLivesMatter, 40days-40smiles, etc. This has happened because these platforms amplify advocacy efforts by reaching more people, are accessible to anyone with internet access or mobile phone, and make the entire advocacy process cheap and quick.

To conduct digital advocacy effectively, one needs to have a clear plan in mind, a good understanding of the target audience, and a clear picture of the intended results. The first step to achieving all this is by having a digital advocacy strategy. A digital advocacy strategy is what helps you describe and focus on your goals more clearly when it comes to choosing the right digital tools, promoting your messages, and measuring reach.

A key area of emphasis when creating your digital advocacy strategy is the goal-setting stage. Goals provide a road map to the success of your campaign by giving you long term vision and short term motivation. So one needs to set out SMART goals that are solid and well thought through. If for example, an advocacy goal is to improve the level of services offered to the youth on sexual and reproductive health in Uganda. How SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) can this goal be?

Another key area of emphasis for a successful digital advocacy campaign lies in figuring out your target audience. This can be achieved by creating a descriptive image of a typical member of your audience clearly showing their local contexts, needs, and expectations. This is referred to as a “persona”. Personas are an integral part of your advocacy campaign and should be developed by interacting directly with the users. Don’t just ‘come up’ with personas, base them on real people and try not to confuse demographic and persona. This template below can help guide you as you build a persona.

In addition to the personas, you can employ ‘power mapping’ to help you identify who has the power or influence over the problem you are addressing. This could be a government body, an individual, or a company. The XY charting plot below can help you determine who your campaign should focus on.

From here on, all you need to do is choose that right platform that is most suitable for your audience, creating catchy and engaging content and your advocacy campaign should be ready to kick off.

Another key aspect to put in place is for your campaign is a monitoring and evaluation plan. Evaluation is about judging the quality and impact of the activities and helps question why some actions went well and others did not, and why some activities had the desired impact while others did not. This helps you ascertain what works and what doesn’t thereby improving your campaign.

The key to conducting a successful digital advocacy campaign lies in having a good well thought out strategy. A strategy when followed acts as a directional tool all through your campaign activities and helps you focus on your goals more clearly, and provides a guide as you choose digital tools, promote your messages, and measure your reach. This blog serves as an intro summary of what is available in our digital advocacy toolkit. Check out the full detailed tool kit here for more!

Written by Arthur Kakande (Communications Lead) at Pollicy




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