Here's all the information and resources you need to effectively communicate with decision-makers in government or other institutions.
Follow the steps below.
In addition to obtaining contact information, these resources may help you determine if a specific person is the appropriate decision-maker for the issue you wish to advocate.
One of the simplest ways to influence government decisions is to write a letter to your MLA and explain what is happening in health care.
Email is an effective way to communicate directly with elected officials, including MLAs and MPs. It is fast and inexpensive and it is easy to copy or forward messages to a variety of recipients. The volume of email received by elected officials is increasing dramatically and your email messages may be lost in the overall volume of email. In addition, email is often not read personally by the elected official and a member of the office staff usually responds.
Telephone calls are especially useful when time is of the essence. In many cases you will not get to talk directly to the elected official you are calling. You will often be required to leave your message with a member of the office staff. However, most elected officials keep track of the number of calls on a particular issue and the concerns expressed. Don't underestimate the influence of an official's staff.
Advantages of phone calls are that they are inexpensive; allow for immediate conversation; easy for individuals or large groups; and you connect personally.
These days, one of the most effective ways to reach a government official or decision-maker within an institution is through social media – specifically, Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter and Facebook advocacy is different from the other three tactics due to the fact it is public and interactive. Any comment you make online is able to be seen by a large number of others, and they are able to instantly share your message with their followers or respond to you. Because comments are public, authority figures are more likely to pay attention and respond to them than a private letter or email. If you make a mistake, posts can be deleted, but remember that anything that goes online has the potential to be saved by someone else before you have a chance to delete it.
Social media can be risky, but when used correctly and appropriately, can be one of the most effective advocacy tools. Please refer to the CARNA Social Media Guidelines. Many popular advocacy efforts in recent years have been effective due to becoming "viral", or quickly gaining popularity on the internet. However, your advocacy efforts don't need to become viral to make a difference.
Example of a tweet with 110 characters:
@SMandel_yeg Registered #nurses improve patient outcomes #ABRN http://bit.ly/z11y0I