Introduction: advocacy

When it comes to advocacy, it seems few of us understand what it really means

What is advocacy?

In tough economic times promoting your museum to potential funders and your local community is more important than ever

Persuading politicians

Winning politicians' hearts and minds is important for most museums and galleries. Persistence and a positive message are the keys to success

Dealing with the media

The media are clearly an important way of getting your message across – but you must handle them carefully to be sure it is the right message

Lobbying funders

Simply pleading for cash is unlikely to sway potential corporate sponsors - you need to persuade them of the benefits, to you and to them

Advocacy by others

Encouraging and involving Friends groups and other supporters can help them become powerful and effective advocates for your museum

Well connected

Beyond specific advocacy work, museums should continually expand their spheres of influence within their local communities

Case study: demonstrating heritage value

A village in western India has gained funds to improve local services by demonstrating the heritage value of reviving an ancient craft tradition

Case study: campaigning to garner support

Janet Hendry kicked off a campaign that garnered huge support when she heard that the Broadfield House Glass Museum could be closed

Case study: advocacy online

Using a blog, a photo-sharing website and Twitter, an enthusiastic Friends group has forged strong links between a gallery and its local community