Diabetes AdvocateMike Ratrie recently participated in advocacy training sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. Being a fan of Late Night with David Letterman Mike (and with apologies to Dave) offers his insights to others as the following Top Ten list:
Top Ten Tips for Diabetes Advocates
Number Ten The ADA has a powerful mechanism to build advocacy typediabetes.org/congressathomeor click on the link provided and fill out the form to signs up for ADA advocacy alerts. (AADE, AACE, JDRF and others have similar tools, nothing wrong with playingfollow the leader!)
Number Nine We need to build our own DA staff to volunteer partnerships with others to achieve our goals.
Number Eight We need more advocates. With more advocates, we CAN be powerful. Please take and share theDiabetes Advocacy Survey
Number Seven Remember the words of Mark Twain, There are lies, damned lies and STATISTICS!, therefore use stories more and statistics less. Props (pictures, diabetes gear, diaries, Joslin Awards, etc) are powerful reminders of the challenges PWDs face every day. See CGMSafelys tips on advocacy story telling.
Number Six Federal legislators are always dealing with huge sums of budgetary money, so dont be shy about the big ask
Number Five Use Social Media, but: a. Dont antagonize b. Social Media is less powerful than direct meetings (see #3)
Number Four Laying the groundwork and building relationships with staffers are golden ways to help you get your message heard.
Number Three Legislators, especially House members, are likely to have more time and the ability to pay closer attention when meeting you in their districts.
Number Two Our voices matter, especially when we are all working on the same FEW goals. See:Diabetes Action Hub
And the Number One Top Tip for diabetes advocates is: Be persistent and consistent!