Politely Persistent

  

Perhaps one of the most important elements of advocacy is persistence. The ability to continue to put pressure on a situation until your case is heard and your problem resolved is hard to do when you are already tired. At the same time, sometimes you have to press forward to help a loved one. So my advice here is don’t take no for an answer, stay engaged, and advocate onward and upward until you get what you need – politely and persistently.

I think that a Government entity will sometimes give you what you want because you are a pain in the behind and they don’t want to deal with it – so be a pain in the ass to the extent that is required. At the same time, it is paramount that you protect your credibility by laying a paper trail and not losing your cool.

It is also important to be efficient and save your energy by thinking about your advocacy strategy in advance of doing anything. Thinking ahead will prevent you from running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

Lean on others. Where required, prop yourself up with family and friends. People will help if you ask them to, especially others who share your situation. Parent groups are one way to get support and they understand the situation. Take a break if you can. It is important for the advocate to take care of themselves because it is important for them but also for others.

So gather the strength where you can and soldier on. And when you have a successful advocacy event put up a tip on UNTAPE and tell us how you did it.

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