We all have some cause we are passionate about, whether it’s finding the cure for breast cancer or raising awareness about environmental issues. For me, it has been raising awareness and support for pregnancy and infant loss, topics that even in today’s society are considered taboo to talk about. But like cancer or autism, pregnancy and infant loss awareness is a cause that has a foundation. What do you do if you are passionate about something that isn’t well known? Perhaps it doesn’t affect the millions of people that diabetes does, so it doesn’t get much attention. Or maybe it’s hyper local—the creek in your downtown is polluted and you wish people cared to clean it up, for example.
So what do you do? Start your own awareness campaign!
You’re probably reading this thinking, “No way I’m smart/talented/rich/organized enough to do that.” If you are, STOP. You CAN do it. And here are some steps you can take to get started.
First, do your homework. You will need to present the facts about your cause and why people should pay attention to it. Gather relevant facts and figures, and then decide how you’ll want to present them.
Next, develop a mission statement. I know that just sounds like some nonsense buzzwords, but you will need one of these. When you start marketing your awareness campaign, you’ll need to tell people exactly what it is you hope to accomplish and how you want them to help you do it. If you need a little help, check out About.com for tips for writing a mission statement.
Contact experts who know something about your cause. If it’s environmental, get in touch with scientists and environmental engineers from your area. If it’s medical, find doctors or other specialists. Explain your concerns and ask them what can be done to help. Try to get a quote that you can use in future marketing materials—having a professional endorse your concerns will help make people stand up and take notice. Keep a list of your contacts, in case you want to go back and ask one of them to be a speaker at a future event.
At this point, you want to form a committee. While it’s not unheard of for one person to get a project off the ground, it will make things easier if you have a helping hand or two or five. Start with your friends and family. Tell them about your idea and ask them to pitch in. (This is where you can test out your mission statement!) If one of the experts you spoke with seemed particularly interested, consider asking them to be a part of the group, even if just in name only. It can lend credibility to your effort.
Now that you have your facts, mission statement, and committee straight, start spreading the word. How you go about this will depend on your particular cause. Some ideas to consider:
- Create poster boards and signs to hang up around town.
- Write letters to the editor of your local paper.
- Set up a website and use social media to get the word out.
- Hand out business cards.
- Set up a table at a local fair or storefront.
- Ask local businesses to help distribute your literature.
- Hold a rally.
There are numerous ways you can start getting your cause noticed. The trick is to be creative, be confident, and be bold.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and change the world!