What Is Corporate Advocacy?

TCA Summit

Written By: Shoren Brown

What is corporate advocacy? My colleague Rebecca and I are getting this question from member companies and partners more and more these days. And honestly it seems like everyone has a slightly different definition. Here is our hot take…

At The Conservation Alliance, we define advocacy as utilizing the business voice to influence the outcome of conservation decisions. Advocacy work can and should take many different forms and can be shaped to fit the values and risk threshold of any member company. Here are a few examples that we believe run the spectrum of the “what” and “how” of advocacy that we hope gets you thinking about how your company might engage with us in 2024 and beyond.

Contacting decision makers: I think this one is likely what comes to mind for most folks when they think about advocating on a conservation issue. Businesses can often leverage their economic and reputational influence to become meaningful ambassadors for policy work. Every year, we run a series of trips to Washington D.C., and engage congressional offices and leaders in the Biden Administration regularly in virtual meetings, group calls, and by participating in comment periods, and congressional hearings. The business voice in those meetings and interactions is critically important and can often sway decision makers in different ways than our grantees can. This is the “blocking and tackling” of advocacy work in our minds – and it is incredibly important – but it’s only part of the puzzle.

Media and Marketing: Whether your brand is participating in one of our bi-annual We Keep it Wild Campaigns by educating your consumers about TCA and raising funds for our issue campaigns, or your social media team is sharing a grantee success story to your audience – you guessed right…you’re doing advocacy work! Your company’s investments in TCA play a critical role supporting our tribal partners, local grassroots organizations, and allies in our work to protect wild places and outdoor spaces. Getting the word out about our priority campaigns and showing your support through your email and social channels helps pressure the folks who make big decisions about how our land and water is managed.

Events: For those of you who participated in our Summit last year, many of you got a first-hand experience of what it looks and feels like to be with TCA in the field. Our events focus on relationship-building between member companies and our non-profit grantee partners, as well as elected officials and their staff. Creating these relationships helps build understanding and connection to the people and places that make our work come to life.

These three examples are quite literally the tip of the advocacy iceberg. If you have questions or thoughts please do not hesitate to reach out. Considering the breadth of our work across the United States, and the range of companies we are lucky enough to call members, there is ample room to imagine bespoke and impactful advocacy tactics. We are here to help you figure out how to engage your brand and employees in our ongoing advocacy journey whether you are an old hand or completely new to the advocacy game.