9.8 Advocacy messages

Advocacy messages tell the audience what he or she is being asked to do, why it is worth doing and what positive impact it will have on the issue. The languages used in key messages and communications must always be appropriate and understandable to the audience. Clarity and specificity are important, and generalisations should be avoided. They should be specific to each individual crisis and country-specific context. Advocacy messages should be tailored to each audience based on their knowledge level and the potential for them to take the recommended action.

When direct policymakers or implementers are the target audience, advocacy messages should contain precise, practical recommendations, presented as options to solve the humanitarian problem in question.

For wider audiences with little or no familiarity or relevant expertise, the advocacy is more indirect – that is, containing the same recommendations but also urging the audience to convey these to the policymakers who ultimately have the power to take action and solve the problem.

An example of an advocacy messages document can be given upon request. Please contact the CARE International Humanitarian Policy & Advocacy Coordinator and UN Representative.