Advocacy – Identify a memorable message

In recent days a number of reports have been released and national decisions made about learning and curriculum in Australia.

For example, PISA 2009 research results were published on 7 December, so it is important to take a look at the implications for Australian education.  Then, on 8 December the education Ministers endorsed the Australian Curriculum and the joint transcript provides some interesting perspectives from each of the members of the Ministerial Council.

So, for me it is time to revisit what advocacy really means as I believe an advocate’s approach will be crucial over the next couple of years, particularly, as the Australian national curriculum is implemented across the country.

One point I wish to make is, there is a difference between advocacy and lobbyingAdvocacy is about working on activities that will influence policy whereas lobbying is about asking the policymakers to take a specific position on a specific piece of legislation.  Subtle, but essential to define.  Wikipedia provides a good definition to consider.

So that individuals can feel comfortable with and a part of any advocacy activities I’m going to spend the next few weeks covering seven crucial strategies and also hope to get you involved in providing more commentary on each topic.

Strategy 1: Identify a memorable message

It is important that you decide what your message is going to be.  As an advocate you will need to repeat it many times in different ways to get it to stick.

Here are some examples:
Our school library provides a vital service.
I make a difference to student learning.
Our school library evolves to meet the students’ needs.
Our school library is a solution to …..

What is the memorable message that you continue to address on a regular basis so that your school community gets a clear idea of what you are doing for them and the school? What is it that you want to keep in front of everyone’s minds?  What relevant and up-to-date impression do you want teachers and students to experience? What perception do you want them to have?

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What people say …

We have already used a lot of the information from the education webinars, most recently in a meeting with the Head of Teaching & Learning. I can't begin to tell you how useful the webinars and your website have been to date and will be to the future of our work.
Jan Kaye, WA.