Principles of Effective Outreach: The REV Principle
No matter how big our club team is, our campus is probably going to be much bigger! It can be challenging to reach our peers in large numbers, which is why choosing effective strategies and activities is critical.
To start, we should consider the following question:
Does the frequency and fervency of our club’s activities this semester reinforce or undermine the message we have to share?
If our message is that Canadian children are daily losing their lives, but our peers only see us running an event once per semester, then it can be hard for them to take us seriously. It also makes it easy for them to forget about the issue because they rarely encounter our club and our activities. Instead, we want to keep the conversation going so that our campuses are thinking about these important life-and-death issues on a regular basis.
This doesn’t mean we need to be planning large events, like debates, every week. Actually, although such events can be impactful, they also require intensive organization and preparation and only draw a large crowd when advertised well.
Many events that we have listed here require very little organization, no cost, and can be done on a very regular basis without exhausting your team.
The principle to remember when planning events is that we want to REV up our activism. That is, we want to plan outreach and activities that are: Regular (R), Engaging (E), and Visible (V). All three elements are important in order to do impactful activism.
Regular activities help our campus, our message, and ourselves.
We want people to think about the issue on a regular basis – not just once a year. The more we do on campus, the more people we’ll reach with the message. People will also take us more seriously, as our increased level of commitment shows the importance of the message we’re sharing..
The more a message is seen, the more it will be heard and remembered. Regular messaging changes how people think – it reframes the debate and the issue..
Living out our commitment to the pro-life cause on a regular basis also changes us. It becomes not just a conviction, but a lifestyle that involves putting the needs of others before our own needs and fears. Creating a generation of pro-life leaders who live out a true pro-life lifestyle will have a huge impact on the movement’s success now and in the future.
Our activities should also be engaging – this is what makes regular, visible activity so impactful.
For example, you could run a weekly Outreach Table. That would be regular and visible. But if your club members are sitting behind the table and don’t engage passersby in conversation, you won’t have much of an impact. It’s critical to ensure that you make your Outreach Tables engaging by starting conversations and inviting people into a discussion.
Other events are designed specifically to start conversations:
- The QA Project (clipboarding)
- ’Choice’ Chain
- Abortion Awareness Project or the Genocide Awareness Project
If people don’t see what you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter that you’re doing it regularly.
- If your regular events are only internal ones, such as building up your team through socials and training sessions, then you won’t be accomplishing your main objective as a club on campus, which is to reach your peers.
- If your events are in closed rooms and require people to come and find you, you again probably won’t have a huge response.
- If your activities as a club aren’t visible, people will have a hard time knowing there’s a club on campus, and so will miss their chance to hear your message and get involved.
Instead, we need to be out there on campus, with a visible pro-life presence. People need to know our clubs exist and see us in action.