Share4Rare toolkit for patient advocacy
Build your strategy
Forming a strategy for the future is similar to creating a concrete action plan, and will provide you with clarity about what you do, for whom you’re doing it, and how you succeed. It helps you to stay on track and reach goals that are true to your brand and goals.
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A strategy can be implemented in all different levels and corners of advocacy. It can be used internally to translate a common goal into objectives that can be carried out, or externally to communicate and lobby a high-over goal or provide guidelines for creating content for your social media channels. In this way, all levels of those involved will be on the same page, and will work with one shared goal in mind.
What is a strategy?
A strategy defines your area of focus so you can put your effort into it, gives guidance on how you can locate your assets and resources, and helps you to create a scope for what is outside your capability or focus. It can be seen as a process to define your long term direction, but regarding on the level of your strategic plan, it can also determine what you do from day to day. Most strategic plans are divided into three sections: short (1-2 years), medium (5 years), and long-term (more than 15 years).
To build your advocacy strategy, you can use the Strategy Plan template that can be downloaded.
Mission, vision and values
In order to work as a team effectively towards a common goal, there are three elements that can be used: a mission and vision statement, and shared values or beliefs. The mission and vision statement are living documents that need constant evaluation on how it is interpreted and carried out. You can fall back on your mission and values to create long-term goals and guide your employees, and your vision can be used to create strategic short-term planning and set up milestones that you can celebrate when achieved.
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A mission statement defines an advocate’s purpose by telling what it does for its customers, its employees, its community, and for the world. It focuses on the now, and what advocacy has to do to make things possible. A mission statement is an opportunity to explain your goals, and your norms and values for decision-making. Strong mission statements serve multiple functions, help you define objectives, and live for a long time, and serve as a guideline for reaching a joint end-goal.
For creating a mission, answer:
- What do we do?
- For whom are we doing this?
- How are you helping them?
A vision statement is the strategic part that defines the intended future goal of an advocate. A vision focuses on the future, and the desired end state of the advocacy. It describes specific objectives that help set priorities and choose where to invest resources. Good vision statements provide a framework for decision-making by sketching a desired future state that helps long-term strategic thinking.
To craft a vision, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are our hopes and dreams?
- What problem are we solving, and to whom?
- Who and what do we hope to change?
Values are core definitions or keywords you believe are important. By carrying out your values, you define your priorities that help you make the right decisions. If your values are shared by the community, it drives a desired culture. To define your values, identify the time that you were happiest or most proud of yourself or an organisation. How did this experience give your life meaning? Usually, companies have around 6 values. Keep in mind that values can change, and that they need evaluation and updating throughout the years.