Creating a Grassroots Strategy

John Cassibry • September 22, 2022

Grassroots communication is one of the oldest strategies in the book. While social media has had a profound effect on communication, it’s easy for your message and target audience to get lost in the multiplatform universe. Grassroots communication can be a viable strategy in order to cut through the noise and authentically connect and gain support through opportunities your organization provides.

The term “grassroots” gets thrown around a lot, but inherently, it refers to the roots of an organization – the foundation of your mission or purpose. While often associated with political campaign strategy, a grassroots communication strategy is crucial for non-profits and other organizations looking for donations, advocacy or other means of support. Grassroots campaigns are a fundamental approach that stick to the basics, bringing awareness to what it is your organization advocates for and effectively communicating your core mission. In the same way roots give life to a lawn, a communication strategy garnering grassroots support can breathe life into your organization.

Grassroots support comes in a variety of ways from petitions and calls to action to volunteer, events and donation opportunities. Grassroots communication strategies find ways to leverage and promote opportunities conducive to growing and maintaining support.

While no method is better than the other and there is no “one-size fits all” strategy with grassroots communication, there are certain tactics to keep in mind that can improve your efforts, engage your audience and reach vital support networks.

1) Identify your audience. Organizations, and nonprofits specifically, need to have a strong understanding of who their supporters are and how their supporters engage with the organization. It’s also helpful to understand how your supporters interact with others advocating for the same thing. A clear understanding of this will help you create content that’s both relevant for your audience and shareable amongst other supporters with network connections.

2) Tie your brand identity with your communications strategy. In other words, customize content with your logo, color palette, and fonts that make up your brand kit. Visual cohesion positions your organization as consistent and reliable.

3) When sending out forms or documents requesting information, make sure the questions and requests are clear and tailored to the specific need or ask. The responses will provide valuable insight for you to leverage. Bonus points if you can personalize the content to reach a specific person or audience.

While these are some of the ways to get your message across in the strongest way possible, interpreting the responses are of equal importance. Social media analytics, email open rates, event attendance, and other metrics are helpful when evaluating the efficacy of your strategy.

If support from your audience is the intended goal in mind, an effective grassroots communications strategy can help plant the seed.

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