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It is essential to make a good first impression when approaching community leaders. Be prepared, be friendly and have a positive attitude. Remember that you are one among many vying for their attention and support. If you do not pay respect to demands on their schedule and position, then they will likely choose to lend support to other causes.

Listen to what leaders have to say. If you gain understanding of the parameters under which they work, you will likely have a better chance at advancing your agenda to fit within such parameters.

Facilitating working relationships
Try to accommodate before getting accommodations. It is always advantageous to provide something before asking for something in return. For instance, instead of setting up a protest to raise the issue of poor facilities in your locality, ask the leaders responsible to take a tour of the facilities in question with your club. You can make a negative situation a positive one for those involved. Instead of bashing leadership, you can incorporate them in the solution and provide political cover for a history of neglect. Plus, if they agree to tour the facilities, you have engaged them in the process and have begun to hold them accountable.

Focus on the big picture
Know your issue inside and out, but begin by touting your ideas/plans through a general approach. Leaders are usually generalist types, with a working knowledge of many issues, but true expertise in perhaps only a few. Prepare for detail, but sell your issue in general terms. If you are asked for detail, give it.

Honesty is a must
Never stretch the truth. If you are not sure about a question or issue raised, then admit it and promise to get back in touch with more information. Your credibility is a major part of your reputation. Never put it in jeopardy.

Always be flexible
Politics is often a game of compromise. If you show the inability to meet halfway on an issue, you may likely get nothing instead of a considerable amount.

Be aggressive but considerate
Ask for a lot with the expectation that you won't get everything. If you don't ask, you will hardly ever receive.

Persistence pays
Advocacy is like sales. Never give up. Don't be discouraged by people who tell you no, just be determined and find the people who share your goals, those that will say yes.

Focus your efforts
It is better to achieve small victories than to fight many battles with no beneficial outcomes. There are too many stories of groups who tried to do too much and ended up getting nothing accomplished. Narrow, specific focus is a good way to realize success.

Be ambitious
While focusing on specifics is essential, it is important nonetheless to aim high. Have an organized strategy, but do not limit capabilities by selling your team short on expectations.

basics of bicycle advocacy
This is a simple breakdown of the advocacy process and how to get started.

group organizing
How does one begin to assemble and manage a group of like-minded individuals? Find out here.

choosing issues
Choose your issues's how.

acquiring resources
Setup a framework that allows your group the best possible chance to garner resources.

marshaling resources
These are the seeds that will help your group identify possible sources of information, support and funding.

working with the media
Learn the basics to help your group become more media savvy and as a result, more effective.

working with community leaders
Tips on how to create a productive working relationship with those in the community.


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