Tanssin talo 2022 18.09.2020

Forget social media and do not put your trust in petitions – 5 tips for political advocacy work by Rosa Meriläinen

Advocacy is important in the field of dance. You can steer the future of the industry in
the desired direction with it.

Pick up five concrete tips for political advocacy by Rosa Meriläinen, the Secretary General of
the Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations KULTA ry.

1. Set a goal

First, set a realistic, achievable and concrete goal for your advocacy work. It could be
a price tag, for example.

2. A petition alone is not enough

With a petition, you can show that the matter is of interest to a large number of
people. Gathering names is a good start, but it is not enough alone. Once the names
have been collected, the real work begins.
The biggest stumbling block is often that nobody puts the petition forward after
collecting the names. The petition alone does not contribute to achieving the goal. It
requires discussions with the people who decide on the issues as a support.

3. Trust in teamwork

The processes of political advocacy are long. Lobbying alone is time consuming,
demanding, boring and difficult. So rely on teamwork. Find influential partners who
are doing the same thing as you.
Cooperation brings joy and energy. It is easier to be an influencer if you can take a
positive approach. If advocacy work feels like it is dragging you down, you should
take a break.

4. Learn the etiquette

Always remember to behave respectfully. You won’t get support for your cause by teasing or joking. Don’t lose your nerve, even in difficult situations, always focus on the solution. Learn to understand how culture and arts serve as tools in matters that are of interest to decision-makers. You cannot be convincing if you do not understand the other party's values and logic.

5. Forget social media

Keep in mind that no task has ever been completed on social media. What really
matters, happens somewhere else.

Rosa Meriläinen, Secretary General of Kulta ry, and Helsinki Dance House Association
organised a workshop on lobbying for actors in the dance industry on 5 August 2020 in the
rehearsal studio in Dance House Helsinki.

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