One way to advocate for an issue is to share how it personally affects you, in other words, by sharing your story. However, sharing your story as an advocacy tool means more than just stating what you are going through or have gone through. Using stories as an advocacy tool means focusing on a specific issue, strategically using facts and statistics, providing at least one solution, and including a call-to-action. A call-to-action is essentially an ‘ask’ of your audience. Including a call-to-action transforms your story from just a story to a form of advocacy as it moves people from reading to doing. You can find a great example of advocacy through telling a personal story here.
The following guideline (which can be downloaded as a Word or PDF worksheet) walks you through how to communicate your story as a form of advocacy.
What Are You Advocating For?
Identify the issue that you want to advocate for.
You should be able to summarize your key message in 25 words or less.
What is the main impact of the issue? How are most breast cancer patients impacted by this issue?
What would solve the issue?
Be specific and practical
What positive impact would the solution have?
Focus on the impact on your life as well as the lives of others diagnosed with breast cancer
What would you like to urge others to do?
This can be as simple as directing others to sign an online petition
What Is Your Story?
Illustrate the scope and focus on the main impact of the issue on your life as well as how long it has been an issue.
Has it been:
What impact has the issue had on your loved ones?
Your parents or parental figures
Your friends and other family members
What has surprised you about this experience?
What or who has supported you/given you hope/motivated you/inspired you to keep going?