Here is the ToolKit that Alan Davey referred to in the letter
AND here is the PDF text
Why the arts matter Advocacy toolkit
1. Introduction 2. Three top tips 3. Actions 4. Messages 5. Stakeholders 6. Making the case 7. Grant award logos 8. Charity lobbying guidelines 9. Regional communications contacts at Arts Council England
By working collaboratively, the arts sector can make a compelling case for why the arts matter.
This toolkit is to help your organisation make a persuasive case that cuts to the arts should be as small as possible and that any reductions should be managed intelligently over four years to minimise the effect.
Please share your case studies, facts and figures with your Arts Council regional communications officer. It will really help us in making the case for the arts if we have access to your examples.
Please let us know if you have any feedback about this toolkit.
2. Three top tips for making the case
• Be positive in your approach. Aim to shape and respond to government policy rather than criticise it.
• Tailor your approach and tone to be in tune with the people you want to influence.
• Make the case collaboratively with other arts organisations. This will add weight to your message.
This toolkit is designed to help you to influence the Government’s spending review. This process is already underway, so the sooner you can do your bit to make the case the better.
Here are some of the practical actions you can take to make the case for why the arts matter.
• Think about how the key messages apply to your organisation
• Email your MP to tell them why the arts matter and how this applies to your organisation. Invite them to see the work of your organisation.
• Email your stakeholders to tell them why the arts matter, urging them to make your case to MPs
• Tell your social networking followers why the arts matter to you. Ask them why they matter to them and urge them to make your case to local and national politicians
• Update your website with content on why the arts matter and include this content in your newsletters
• Include information on why the arts matter in your media releases and be interviewed (perhaps with representatives from the Arts Council) about arts funding
We have put together some key messages about why the arts matter. If we work together to use these messages, we can strengthen their impact.
The full messages are available on our website athttp://www.artscouncil.org.uk/about-us/why-arts-matter/
• the arts are essential to our quality of life • the arts are a UK-wide international success story thanks to sustained
investment • the arts budget is tiny, and the return on investment is huge • sustained support of the arts will allow them to play a vital role in Britain's
economic recovery • the arts are central to a government that places a healthy society at the
heart of its agenda • any cut to the arts will have a disproportionate effect for a relatively tiny
saving to the public purse
You can tailor these messages so that they are relevant to your organisation and work. It is useful to provide facts and figures about the impact of your organisation.
• the number of people you employ • the number of people attending performances, exhibitions and workshops • the secondary spend your organisation generates
• your connection to the creative industries • your work with communities and young people • your links to tourism • your links to health, regeneration and other agendas • the number and activities of volunteers who work with you would link to the
Government’s ‘Building the Big Society’. As well as facts and figures, anecdotal feedback from your audiences is also
Summarise your case in a concise way. If your message is clear then it will be easier for other people to understand and support your campaign.
Who do you want to influence? Who influences them?
The key to making the case successfully is to identify the people who have influence and to equip these people with the right messages to influence the decision makers at the right time.
Think about your organisation and your stakeholders. • Who do you have strong links with? Who might they be able to influence? • How might you be able to involve them in making the case?
One of the most important groups of people to influence in the spending review process is MPs.
Who are MPs influenced by?
• local councillors • people living in their constituency – the voters • the media • the blogosphere • local businesses/business leaders • community groups and leaders, school governors • Peers • local political party • other MPs
Harnessing the influence of board members, trustees, leaders and artists
Consider holding a session with the members of your board or trustees on making the case for the arts. You may be able to work with them in the run up to the
spending review by identifying who they may be able to influence and preparing them to use key messages.
You might also want do something similar with artists, curators or artistic directors. They might also be good spokespeople for the campaign.
Involving your audience/friends/volunteers
Think about how you can involve your audiences, volunteers and any ‘Friends’ groups in making the case. In what ways can they help spread the word about how your work makes a difference to them? For example, they could write to their MP or get involved in a social networking campaign. How else could they help?
6. Making the case
Working with MPs and other political stakeholders
Here are some tips on how to make the case effectively to your MP. For a fuller guide to working with MPs click here.
All MPs have influence that they can use in Parliament or in the government. If you don’t already have a strong relationship with your local MP consider cultivating their support as soon as possible. Bear in mind that MPs receive many appeals for support and have a limited amount of time. MPs are usually available in their constituencies on Fridays and weekends.
Do research the MP’s interests. For example, research memberships of Select Committees and All Party Parliamentary groups, find out if they have asked relevant questions in Parliament, and see if the organisations they are patrons of will help you to tailor your approach.
Use your networks to make a compelling offer for your MP or an appropriate minister or shadow minister. For example you could host a visit themed around children and young people with other arts organisations in your area.
How to contact your MP
to find out who your local MP is. It is best to contact the MP via their constituency office (rather than Westminster). Find the MP’s personal website to get their constituency contact details. Otherwise you can send a message via www.theyworkforyou.com
. However a personal approach is best.
Make your approach relevant to the MP’s constituency. If you have a city or area wide remit then it might be more appropriate to ask a person who lives in the MPs constituency to contact them first.
Invite your local MP to an event or to see the work of your organisation. Offer to provide a behind the scenes guide or tour, with the opportunity to meet some of your staff and some of the people who benefit from what you do. If your invitation is accepted, suggest that you set up a photo call with the local media.
Developing the relationship
• Follow up your contact with the key stakeholder and thank them for visiting your organisation
• Continue to invite them to opening nights, launches, events. • Provide regular updates on what your organisation is doing, for example
through press releases and your social networking channels. Use the key
messages in these updates. • You could also encourage people who have benefited from your work to
write to their MP or other key stakeholders expressing support for the work you do
Over the long term this approach helps politicians and key stakeholders to see the value of the arts to their constituents and the local community.
Working with the media
Getting a relevant story into the media can help to communicate messages about arts funding to MPs, local authorities and other stakeholders.
Our sample press release shows how you may be able to incorporate the key messages in your news releases. This fictitious example release shows how ‘Why the arts matter’ messages have been incorporated to demonstrate the link between public funding and the outcomes of that investment.
A few tips on working with the media:
• Developing relationships with journalists can help to get your stories in the news. If a journalist knows you, and knows you can deliver good content, it makes their job easier
Events with MPs
• Positioning leaders or artists from your organisation as spokespeople strengthens your message regionally and nationally. A good spokesperson helps to get your story into the news.
• Regional radio stations often feature discussion shows on issues that affect local people. Volunteer your spokesperson to take part and highlight why the arts matter in your community.
• Your regional Arts Council communications officer may be able to provide you with an Arts Council quote for your news release.
• Some MPs write a column for their local newspaper and may be prepared to feature your organisation and a story about arts funding.
• Working with other arts organisations could strengthen your message and make the story more newsworthy.
• Letters from audience members, friends and volunteers can keep your story in the news and show newspaper editors where readers’ interests lie.
• A good photo or filming opportunity helps to get coverage for your story. This might be an opportunity to invite your local MP along.
• Consider how to use your social networking channels as an active part of making the case for the arts. These can be powerful tools and can help you to engage in a dialogue and generate an immediate response from your followers.
• Are you following the people you identified as influential on twitter? tweetminster.co.uk can tell you which MPs are active on twitter. Encourage them to follow your organisation.
• Think about how you can use your organisation’s Facebook and twitter channels to bring to life key messages about why the arts matter. Give examples of how your organisation or work contributes to the economy or society. Use audience responses to demonstrate the public value of your work.
• Identify ‘digital natives’ amongst your staff, board, artists, volunteers etc and encourage them to think about how they might be able to make use of key messages.
• Use the twitter hashtags #whytheartsmatter and #artsfunding • Contribute to the debate at http://artsfunding.ning.com/
Consider how you can use your enewsletters or emarketing to make the case for the arts. For example, could you include news stories or features that incorporate
key messages and illustrate what public funding of your organisation helps you achieve?
Make sure that your local MP, key local authority members (eg local councillor(s), Council leader, Cultural Portfolio Holder, Director of Culture) and other influencers you’ve identified are all on your newsletter mailing lists.
7. Grant award logos
Credit your public funding by using grant logos on your website and all your publicity materials. This will help people understand that the work of your organisation benefits from public money. If you receive funding from the Arts Council, see www.artscouncil.org.uk/grantawardlogo
for guidelines on how to acknowledge your funding.
8. Charity lobbying guidelines
The Charity Commission provide some useful information which you can read here 9. Regional communications contacts
Officer, Communications 01223 454413
Officer, Communications Phone: 0115 989 7559
Media Relations Officer Phone: 020 7973 5233
Officer, Communications Phone: 0191 255 8580
Officer, Communications Phone: 0161 934 4464
Officer, Communications Phone: 01273 763053
Officer, Communications Phone: 01392 229207
Officer, Communications 0121 631 5766
Officer, Communications, Job share Phone: 01924 486238 Diane Horton Officer Communications, Job share 01924 486241