Notes from Advocacy 101 Workshop 

Posted 27 September 2017

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Photography by Jackie Cutlip-Niles

To effectively run an advocacy campaign, the use of three separate appeal methods -- logos, ethos and pathos - will sway the most people. To promote your agenda, use three tools: one that that relies heavily on facts and statistics, one that focuses on authoritative figures whose opinion agrees with yours and one that use character-based, emotional stories.

The Advocacy 101 Workshop on Wednesday, hosted by the Calvert County Democratic Women’s Club, was a chance to learn how to effectively persuade legislators and officials from Stacy Korbelack, an associate professor of English at Howard Community College and president of Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

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Korbelack highlighted the three tools used in advocacy campaigns, and coined by Aristotle, which are shown to convince a general audience, comprised of members individually drawn to one method more the others:

  • Logos is a logical appeal, which focuses on the audience’s reasoning through the use of facts and statistics, analogie, and research.

  • Ethos is an ethical appeal, which focuses on the person’s credibility as an expert with a good moral compass and ethics.

  • Pathos is an emotional appeal, which focuses on the audience’s feelings -- either to garner sympathy, or to incite them into action.

Logos and ethos find charts, graphs, and maps persuasive. Pathos tend to find character-driven pictures more persuasive.

In order to run an effective campaign, each method must work together to complement the other. While each piece of the campaign -- speeches, emails, phone calls, canvassing -- might be restricted to one type of appeal, a well-crafted campaign will incorporate multiple tools, each using a different method.

And, by separating the type of appeal by delivery method, it keeps content more digestible. Send short emails that use one method, and then follow up with a phone call using another method. This allows multiple chances to engage as well as multiple methods.