ADVOCACY CONCEPTS & TERMS
(This glossary is currently being reviewed and updated)
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Activist: A self-motivated person who is strongly committed to a cause,
or political party, and takes vigorous action on its behalf. Activists are often the
core of many organizations and are the members who are best informed
concerning the activities of the organization, and have the greatest
expectations. Grassroots activism is a pillar of civil society and
a means for lobbies to advance their interests.
Advertising: The use of advertisements and advertising which
creates publicity is an effective tool of lobbyists. Announcements, short
films, and other methods employed in the media are used by advertising
agencies to make political issues publicly known. Advertising agencies can also
undertake market research on behalf of clients.
Advertising agency: These agencies provide advertisers
with a wide range of communications services such as copywriting, art,
production, market research, media planning and buying, public relations,
and sales promotion. Although advertising and PR are two different
disciplines, many ad agencies promote themselves as "marketing
communications" firms who provide both public relations and advertising
services (note: while advertising agencies pay the media to present their
message, PR firms do not pay for coverage in the media since PR firms
rely on a greater number of communication tools).
Advocacy: The act of arguing in favor of a particular
point of view, or action. Advocacy means being a voice on issues that
matter to people. Lobbying is sometimes defined as advocacy of a
point of view, either by groups or individuals.
Advocacy group: An organization arguing in favor
of a particular political agenda or point of view.
Advocate: Someone who gives active support and who argues in
favor of a particular cause, course of action, or set of beliefs.
Anti-defamation: To counter and prevent an attack to a
person's (group or organization) good name or reputation. To fight libel
Biased: A source whose opinion is so self-serving or slanted
that it may not be fair or objective.
Citizens' groups: These groups are similar to lobbies
because they function as a pressure group. They seek to secure political
objectives which are in the interests of people other than themselves.
Citizens' groups often attempt to help society as a whole, acting as advocates on
behalf of the public and as watchdogs. These associations are sometimes called
"promotional groups" based around an idea or sometimes a single issue,
with no occupational basis of membership.
Civics: The study of the roles, rights, responsibilities
of citizenship and government. Citizenship education.
Civil society (civil society institutions): Autonomous
institutions representing organized groups that are voluntarily organized
by society, which come together to advance their common interests through
collective action. Refers to the totality of civic and social
organizations, or the network of institutions, that operate independently
from government or the state, which advocate and take action primarily for
social development and public interest. Some definitions include
businesses and social movements. Civil society can be organized at the
local, national or international level. The growing interest in civil
society has become a global trend. Since the 1990's, civil society has
emerged in countries where communism collapsed. The development of civil
society, and expression of divergent interests of NGO's, is coming to be
seen as a significant criterion of the development of democracy. Civil
society is made up of civic groups such as NGO's, private voluntary
organizations (PVO's), citizens' groups, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations,
trade unions, civic clubs, charities, humanitarian
and disaster relief organizations, social and
sports clubs, cultural and religious groups, environmental groups,
ideological groups, professional associations, academia, educational
bodies, parents and teachers associations, policy institutions, lobbies,
the media, consumer organizations, senior citizens' groups, issue-based
activist groups, and organized local communities. The UN and EU are giving
civil society institutions a voice at the policy-making tables around the
world. As Cold War ideological paradigms dissolve, we are witnessing an
expansion of civil society from national to global civil society.
Centre for Civil Society definition: Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values.
In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state,
family and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil
society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated.
Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and
institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and
power. Civil societies are often populated by organizations such as
registered charities, development non-governmental organizations,
community groups, women's organizations, faith-based organizations,
professional associations, trades unions, self-help groups, social
movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy group.
- Global civil society: The extension of civil
society from national to global, regional and transnational forms,
involving the development of globalist culture, ideology and politics.
Greenpeace is an example of the emergence of a transnational civil society
with a globalist orientation. Many organizations with a global orientation
foster universal values. They may also seek ethnical approaches to
international relations and fighting world poverty, oppose weapons
developments and war, and strive for humane globalization and global
Common good: The term describes a goal or an object of policy
that is in the interests of everyone in a society. It is related to terms
such as "public interest" and "general will."
Communications: To impart knowledge, exchange information and ideas.
Different techniques and methods are used by communications experts.
Constituents: Members of the district from which an
official is elected. The people served by a representative or senator.
- Constituency: A legislative district or the residents of such a
district. The elected public official is in pubic office as a result of
the support, financial backing, and votes of his or her constituency.
Consulting: Consulting is done by a "consultant" who is a
specialist that gives expert advice and information. The consultant acts in an
advisory capacity on professional matters. In addition to management
consulting, the proliferation of political consulting
firms demonstrates the increasing professionalization of electoral
politics. One controversial issue is that these profit-making firms may
have no base or interest in the candidate's constituency or home district,
and often take the place of established party organizations and
traditional volunteer campaign staff.
Contribution (donation): To give support (money, ideas, etc) for a common purpose
or fund. People who give money are known as "donors" or "contributors."
Individuals and most organizations in the U.S. are restricted in the amount of
money they can give directly to a candidate in one year.
Credibility: The extent to which a speaker, organization, etc,
is believed to be competent and trustworthy.
Defamation: Defamation is any false statement
about a person (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule,
or inflicts injury on reputation. To attack, accuse, and cause injury to
a person's, or a groups, good name or reputation. Also can mean libel and slander.
A person filing a defamation suit usually must prove that: (1) the false
statement was communicated to others through print, broadcast, or
electronic means; (2) the person was identified or is identifiable; (3)
there is actual injury in the form of money losses, loss of reputation, or
mental suffering; and (4) the person making the statement was malicious or
- Libel & Slander: Traditionally, libel was a printed falsehood and
"slander" was an oral statement that was false. Today, there is little
difference and the term "defamation" is used as a collective term.
Defamation is any false statement about a person (or organization) that
creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on
reputation. A person's reputation can be harmed by the use of print,
broadcast, or pictures. Libel is an offense that is punishable by criminal law in the U.S., and
subject to civil prosecution for damages.
Disinformation: Information and material that is based on
falsehoods and untruths. The deliberate falsification of information.
Empowerment: To enable, or to give power or authority.
To give the ability. Having power means having the ability to choose
among alternatives, to influence decision-making, and to exercise
control over situations.
Fairness: An ethnical ground rule; making a genuine effort to
see all sides of an issue; being open minded.
Funding: Government grants or private sources of money,
from the public or the private sector.
Fund-raising: To gather a sum of money and other resources.
Grassroots: The power of ordinary people in influencing
their political leaders. When average citizens seek to express
their views by contacting their representatives about issues of public
concern (often individuals are urged to do so by grassroots lobbying
activities). Grassroots is the base or fundamental root of political power; in a democracy,
it is the people. The term grassroots is often used to refer to average
citizens. Related terms: Grassroots lobbying, grassroots activism,
Grassroots lobbying: This is an attempt through
collective action to influence
legislation and/or to affect the opinions of the general
public. Some grassroots lobbying tools include: "Calls-To-Action," press
releases, sending "Action Alerts" to the media, targeting the media with
PR campaigns, coalition building, advocacy advertising, bulk
faxing, organizing calls to representatives, computerized direct mail, and letters
from the public to EU officials and/or members of European Parliament, the White House, and governmental regulatory
agencies. Grassroots lobbying occurs when an organization asks the public
to support, oppose, or otherwise influence legislation by contacting
elected and appointed officials. A grassroots lobbying effort is usually
triggered by a "Call-To-Action" which directs ordinary people to act in
a certain way. NGO's often send out an action alert to the media,
public, donors, and other NGO's asking them to support their advocacy
position and urge them to take a specific action. In contrast, "Direct
Lobbying" occurs when an organization communicates its position with
regard to legislation, or legislative proposals, directly with
legislators, legislative staff, executive branch officials, and
Grassroots mobilization: Grassroots mobilization takes
place when actions are taken to organize ordinary citizens with the aim
of putting them in motion. These actions aim to gain support for a
specific lobbying need or for advocacy purposes. Grassroots activities and mobilization may
attempt to shape public opinion that is favorable to a desired legislative
goal (or against it) by encouraging members of a group to call,
or write, to their representative, or to visit their district
representative or state senator. Therefore, grassroots mobilization involves
organized and coordinated efforts by lobbies to encourage constituents to
contact their representatives by writing letters, sending faxes and
e-mails, gathering in public, and using other lobbying tools. Indirect
lobbying by the Turkish lobby requires effective grassroots
Influence: The act, power, or capacity of producing an effect without
apparent exertion of force (i.e. using money, power, credibility, facts,
emotional appeal, or even misinformation). Inspirational speeches are very
effective in motivating an audience and encouraging them to act.
- Persuasion: The process of influencing attitudes,
beliefs, values, and behavior. The act or ability to move by argument to a belief,
position, or course of action. To urge or convince (i.e. by using sound
arguments, or marketing strategies). Psychological factors
play an important role in persuasion. Anti-Turkish lobbies often enhance
their means of influence with appeals to emotion in order to capture
greater attention and stimulate a desire to act.
Interest group, special interest group: An organized collection of
people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of
influencing government policy. The term is used to refer to lobbying
groups. Targets of these lobbying groups often include the general public,
legislative lobbying, or media lobbying. Different means are used, such as
electronic lobbying, coalition building, think-tanks, advertising, or
public relations campaigns.
- Special interest groups: Individuals, groups, or
organizations with particular points of view who seek specific goals, just as a lobby
does. Special interest groups seek to influence legislative or
government policy to further often narrowly defined interests. The use of
this term is often in a derogatory sense due to a belief that such groups
are more committed to their own goals than to the public good. Some
election reformers are dissatisfied because the system allows special
interests to influence public policy in ways that can be dangerous.
Issue (media advocacy): Issue advocacy seeks to
use the media to influence public opinion and generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter
of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue
is often a subject of controversy). Issue/media advocacy is the strategic use of
media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Issue
advocacy can also be called media advocacy. Individuals who support a position
are often called "issue advocates."
Lobby, Lobbying, Lobbyist
- Lobby: (used as a verb) "To lobby" means to apply
pressure, present arguments, or other incentives to try to make a
political decision-maker favor the position of the lobby. "To lobby" means
to try to influence or convince lawmakers or governmental bodies to take a specific action.
- Lobby: (used as a noun) As a noun, a "lobby" is an organized collection of
people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of
influencing government policy. Many of these groups seek to promote
legislation, or political action, or to change public opinion in order to
promote their own ideas, interests, agenda, and welfare. Lobbies carry out
the function of "interest articulation." The activity they are engaged in
is known as "lobbying." A lobby is often called an
"interest group," or sometimes a "special interest group," or
group." Lobbies can also be referred to as "ethnic interest groups,"
"organized interests," and "single interest groups."
These groups strategically use and transmit information to achieve their goals
(activities can be nationwide, local, global, or within the EU). There are
different types of lobbying such as legislative lobbying and media lobbying,
as well as different targets such as the general public or community
leaders. The definition of a lobby, and the activity of lobbying
sometimes is a
matter of differing interpretation. A lobby can mean a group, person, or
firm which is registered to lobby in the U.S., or a lobby can mean an
informal organization of people. One
definition of lobbying is limited to direct attempts to influence
lawmakers by direct contact and face-to-face meetings with lawmakers in order to influence the passage or defeat of
legislation. This includes communication with any member or employee of a
legislative body or government official who may participate in the
formulation of the legislation. Another definition of lobbying includes indirect attempts,
such as grassroots pressure and mobilization, coalition building,
advertising, public relations, the use of mass media, and electronic
lobbying. Indirect lobbying and supporting political campaigns can be done by various groups such as
corporations, trade associations, professional associations,
unions, governmental organizations, policy institutes, think-tanks, NGO's,
and non-profit organizations. The
most effective type of lobbying is all-directional lobbying, or
multiple-target advocacy and pressure (a combination of direct influence
and targeting the public arena).
This requires interrelated strategies. There is ongoing debate over whether lobbies serve the public
interest because they often represent interests that seek objectives and
outcomes which benefit narrow sectors in society. Lobbies have also been
criticized for the selective information they sometimes transmit to
pressure members of Congress. Targets of
influence are sometimes called lobbying contacts. The plural of the word
lobby is "lobbies."
- Lobby (Turkish lobby USA): The general definition of the
Turkish lobby consists of two lobbying groups. The first group is made-up of lobbyists
in Washington, D.C. that are hired by the Turkish government. The other
group refers to the Turkish-American community in the U.S., which is
estimated to be somewhere between 300,000-400,000. It is estimated that
only 50,000 to 80,000 Turkish-Americans vote in the U.S. elections. The
community is represented by many Turkish-American organizations which have
been established in different states of the U.S. (these associations are based
on different interests, such as cultural, business, medical, scientific,
or educational). In 1979, when the Assembly of Turkish American
Associations (ATAA) was established in Washington, D.C., many
Turkish-American organizations became members, enabling the ATAA to act
and serve as an
umbrella organization. The ATAA has represented the Turkish community in
the capital, in federal and state governments, and interacted with the
media and the pubic. Because a large percentage of Turkish-Americans live
in the northeastern U.S., especially near New York State, the Federation
of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), based in New York City, has been
active in coordinating grassroots activities.
The Turkish-American community can be divided into two groups: those who
have come from the Turkish Republic, and those who have come to America
from areas outside Turkey, such as Cyprus, the Balkans, the Caucasus and
Central Asia. The estimated figure of these groups combined is 500,000-600,000
(only a small percentage are U.S. citizens, but are often referred to as
Lobbying: To conduct activities aimed at influencing
public officials on legislation. Hired lobbyists, public relations firms,
and grassroots movements all participate in lobbying for the purpose
of influencing government policy and public opinion.
- Lobbying (USA): The Lobbying Disclosure Act of
1994, increased the disclosure requirements for lobbyists operating in the
U.S. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary
of the Senate, depending on the type of lobbying they conduct. The
disclosure also makes public the areas in which a lobbyist works for a
client, who the client is, and how much the lobbyist is paid for his work.
Lobbyists are required to register under the law if: 1) they receive more
than $5,000 from a client for lobbying over a six-month period; 2) they
have frequent contacts with congressional staff, members, or executive
branch officials; 3) and more than 20% of their time working for a client
involves lobbying. Any group that has its own lobbyists in-house must
register once expenses on lobbying exceed $20,500 in six months. A person,
or a firm, who conducts lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and
who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with
the executive branch, is known as a "foreign agent." They are subject
to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),
which falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. Foreign
commercial interests that meet all the criteria under the U.S. Lobbying
Disclosure Act must register with the House or the Senate.
Click here for more information
- Lobbying (EU): Lobbying in the U.S. seeks to promote or secure
the passage of legislation in Congress, but lobbying targets can be
members of a legislative body anywhere in the world, such as
representatives of the European Union (it should be noted that despite the
co-decision procedure, the European Parliament is not fully authorized to
make laws and works as a co-legislature with the EU's Council of Ministers).
Because many European Union institutions and bodies are located in
Brussels, most European-wide lobbying organizations have their
headquarters there. Brussels-based lobbying has been attracting attention
since the 1990's. Corporations, PR firms, trade associations,
commercial and industrial interests, consumer protection organizations, human rights groups,
animal welfare activists, aid organizations, and
single-issues lobbies all have representative offices in Brussels. The
emergence of new technologies has also made NGO's aware of how important
the battle for public opinion is, as they compete for media attention in
order to communicate effectively with EU citizens and the world. Despite
the growth of professional lobbying firms in Brussels, their impact on
decisions and how they operate have not been extensively examined.
Although the European Commission has a list of hundreds of bodies it
is no official register of recognized lobbies (or pressure groups) that is produced by the Commission or
European Parliament. According to CONECCS (Consultation, the European Community and Civil Society) over
1,000 interests groups are active. Yet over 10,000 (perhaps up to 20,000)
people are believed to be engaged in "interest representation," the
majority being business groups. The Commission sometimes funds these
bodies and actively works with them to encourage cultivating loyalties to
the European level. Many lobbying firms are hired to monitor developments
in a particular EU subject-area, to enable access to decision-makers, arrange
meetings, suggest contacts, and assist in advocacy of a case.
Click here to
view accredited lobbyists to the European Parliament
- Lobbyist: A lobbyist is a person, or firm, that is
employed by a particular interest to advocate a specific policy, measure, or point of view to an elected lawmaker or governmental body. A lobbyist
attempts to influence voting on legislation, or the
decisions of government administrators. Lobbyists seek "to lobby"
by using effective methods to influence
their targets. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the
House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of
lobbying they conduct. Professional lobbyists are paid to actively
pursue the interests of the group they are working on behalf of (for example the Turkish government has regularly
hired lobbyists, most recently the Livingston Group in Washington D.C., to
supplement the official embassy representation. This lobbying firm is
headed by a former Republican Congressman from Louisiana, Bob Livingston.
The Livingston Group merged with The
Solomon Group in 2002). There are more than 12,000 active lobbyists working
in Washington at every level of government. A lobbyist is sometimes called
Marketing: The process or technique of promoting, selling, and
distributing a product or service. The goal is to attract and satisfy
customers (or clients) on a long-term basis in order to achieve an
organization's economic objectives. The fundamental aim of marketing is to
build and maintain markets for an organization's products or services. "Marketing research"
is conducted in order to study the means of promoting a product or service.
Mass communication: Communication generated by
media organizations that is designed to reach large audiences. Mass media are
the means by which mass communication takes place, where large numbers of people
receive information in a short period of time. Television, radio news
broadcasts, and mass rallies are examples of mass communication. As new
technologies emerge, the means by which mass communication takes place is
Mass media: The part of the media that appeals to very large numbers
of people. The role of mass media in civil society is extremely important
because participation in a democracy and civil society depends on the
openness of communications media and on a diversity of information sources
Media advocacy seeks to
use the media to influence public opinion and generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter
of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue
is often a subject of controversy). Media advocacy is the strategic use of
media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Media
advocacy can also be called issue advocacy.
Mobilization (mobilizing): To prepare and assemble for action, such as
to mobilize support for a cause.
Movement: A series of organized events working toward an objective. An
organized effort to promote or attain an end (ex: the civil rights
NGO, Non-governmental organization: An organization
(often led by volunteers) with no
fundamental ties to government which seeks to meet human and social needs,
whose primary goal is not commercial. Through involvement in voluntary
associations and the use of advanced communication technology, individuals
are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the agenda and
character of world politics. NGO's derive their dynamism from social
participation and social cohesion, in a world that is becoming smaller and
more diverse. Because of their increasing number, NGO's are playing an
important role in the emergence of a global civil society. Although there
is no internationally agreed definition of the concept of a "global civil
society," the impact of their transnational activity has clearly
been felt within the United Nations and European Union, as NGO activity
acquires global political significance and shapes the development of
societies, individual attitudes and behavior.
Non-profit organization: An organization, foundation or
endowment, whose activities are
not for the purpose of making a profit. They play a vital role in
fulfilling community needs that are not met by commercial enterprises
(private sector) or governmental entities (public sector). Leaders and staff are often
non-paid volunteers. These organizations may be entirely funded by
voluntary donations and often give grants. In the U.S. most non-profit philanthropic and voluntary organizations
have a tax exempt status, often possessing tax code numbers
501 (c)(3) and (4) or 527. Lobbying is permitted to definable limits, so
non-profits can be part of the legislative process, but are not allowed to
participate in the political election of candidates. Also known as "not-for-profit,"
or "non-profit," or "non-profit org."
Outreach: Reaching out. Some agencies or services
provide outreach programs, designed as quality of life supplements (they
usually seeks to aid less fortunate members of society such as the poor,
homeless, the elderly, veterans, or teenagers who are in need of
counseling, fighting substance-abuse, or family violence).
Paradigm: Paradigms are models or patterns of various
cultures. They determine values, norms, provide regulations, and influence
how we think and act. The properties of a particular paradigm may change
when viewed from different perspectives. Many strategists believe that
since the collapse of communism we are entering a new global paradigm (and
should be prepared for an accelerated process of change). Other thinkers point to a new struggle between two different
paradigms that entails a clash between a multilateralism oriented European Union,
and unilateralist U.S., with competing interests in Asia. Organizations
and lobbies should be able to anticipate impending paradigm shifts, deal
with change, adapt and take opportunity of major trends as they emerge. An
atmosphere of uncertainty, confusion, and unknowns can result in paralyses
and inaction. In order to take action that can have an impact on the future,
trend trackers need to ask: What
are the important issues that Turkey, Europe, Asia, the U.S., and rest of
the world will be confronted with
in the 21st century and beyond?
Perception: The act of becoming aware or conscious of
something. The way information from the external world is provided can be
manipulated in a way so as to have an impact on how it might be observed
or interpreted by the individual.
Pressure group: A group of people who seek to exert pressure on
legislators, public opinion, etc, in order to promote their own ideas,
agenda, and welfare.
Proactive: The act of taking initiative. Taking charge.
An approach in which future events can be planned for, and even managed,
as opposed to a reactive response to change (often seen during crisis
Propaganda: Propaganda is any organized or
concerted group effort or movement to spread a particular doctrine or a system
of doctrines or principles. Information is represented in such a way as to provoke
a desired response. Information and techniques
are intentionally and purposefully used
to promote a cause, or to injure or enhance the reputation of a group,
individual, or even a country. The information may distort the facts, or
may not tell the entire story, in order to suit the purposes of the sender
(propagandist). Propaganda is often spread through a systematic and
organized method of dissemination of selective information and/or
allegations, to assist or damage the cause of a government, a movement, or
for other motives. Propaganda is therefore a systematic attempt to
manipulate public opinion, attitudes, beliefs, and actions of people,
through the use of various methods. Propaganda is distinguished from
educating or informing because it is deliberate selectivity that can
include manipulation. Propaganda is sometimes referred to as public diplomacy, or
public affairs. Related terms: public diplomacy, public affairs,
public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR campaigns, disinformation,
misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass media campaign,
propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops, information warfare.
Public diplomacy: Public diplomacy is
made-up of government-sponsored programs intended to inform or influence public
opinion in other countries (often with the use of films, cultural exchanges,
radio and television). Public diplomacy plays an important role in
foreign affairs, in supporting the foreign policies of a country, and in
safeguarding and advancing its interests. Official government efforts aim
to shape the communications environment around the world in order to
reduce the degree to which misperceptions and misunderstandings complicate
a countries relations with other nations. Public diplomacy is designed to
incite a particular reaction or action in the target audience. Central to public
diplomacy is the transnational flow of information and ideas, usually one-way
and informational, as in a mass media campaign. Public diplomacy
is sometimes called propaganda. Ministries of culture, as well as institutions such as the Alliance Francaise, British Council, Goethe Institute, Cervantes Instituto, can be
considered actors in public diplomacy. Related terms: propaganda, public
affairs, public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR
campaigns, disinformation, misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass
media campaign, propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops,
Public interest groups: These groups have arisen to
protect and represent the general "public interest," and tend to
be associated with the promotion of particular causes. They are counter balancing forces to lobbies which
many claim have made Congress a captive of interest groups. The aim of public
interest groups is to lobby for the
people. Public interest groups were present during the past two centuries,
however, they have been particularly active since the late 1960's. Their
objective is to benefit the larger society and not special interest groups (to
disprove that "everybody's organized but the
people"). Public interest groups have warned that special interests (many
whose aim is economic profit) exercise undue influence over governmental
decisions, and the lives of the powerless majority. Some well-known groups
have been Common Cause, and Ralph Nader groups under the umbrella of
Public Citizen Inc, which have focused on "clean government,"
accountability, consumer, environmental and social policy issues. In the
1980's conservative single-issue public interest groups became more active, such as the
National Right to Life Committee. The ACLU and NAACP are also public
interest groups since they do not operate for profit
and seek to advance the public
interest in civil rights and civil liberties. Many public interest groups desire to
represent groups or interests in society previously unrepresented, or
underrepresented in the political process. Analysts of the political
process point out that the federal budget is not sufficiently supporting
programs of public interest groups.
- Watchdogs: Groups that monitor governmental agencies and
lobbies on behalf of the general public. These groups can function as
"public interest groups" or as a "citizens' group" that seeks to
further the collective good without benefiting their own members.
Individuals who uncover violations of regulations, or unacceptable
behavior, are often called "whistle blowers."
Public opinion: The attitude of the public, especially as a factor in
determining the actions of government.
Public policy: Actions undertaken by officials in the public interest.
Public relations (PR): The practice of creating, promoting, or
maintaining goodwill and a favorable image among the public for an
institution, country, product, organization, etc. The basic components of
public relations are: counseling management; researching attitudes and
behaviors; media relations; publicity; employee relations; community
relations; public affairs; government affairs; issues management;
financial relations; industry relations; fund-raising; multicultural
relations; special events; and marketing communications. Other terms used
for PR: corporate communications, public affairs, communication,
corporate relations, corporate public affairs, corporate marketing and
communications, public information, community relations, or media
Public speaking: The art or practice of making speeches to large
audiences. A type of communication in which a
speaker delivers a message with a specific purpose to an audience who is
present during the delivery. Often in lobbying, a persuasive speech is
part of a presentation whose message is designed to change or influence the
audience's opinion and/or behavior (it may also reinforce an audience's
thoughts, feelings, or actions). The audience might be encouraged to see the
world from the speaker's standpoint and to understand issues from the speaker's
perspective. The speaker may also engage the audience in a discussion about an
idea, concern, or plan of action).
Publicity: Information about an event, individual,
group, product, or service, that appears as a news item or feature story in the
mass media (material is usually prepared by PR professionals). Publicity is
news, and should be free. Publicity is the technique, or process, of attracting public attention,
often by the use of the mass media. It is often also referred to as public relations, promotion,
and advertising. Publicity is a means of disseminating planned messages through selected media to
further the organization's interests.
Reactive: A reactive response to an event, or
issue, usually emerges because initiative was not taken, and
individuals, organizations, or institutions are unprepared for change. A reactive approach
is one in which future events are not anticipated or managed, nor are
plans devised for a response to developments and changes (reactive
responses are often seen during crisis management).
Realpolitik: Politics of realism, sometimes without regard to
moral values. A state's own interests. A ruthlessly realistic and
opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic approach.
There are a variety of other approaches to international relations such as,
multilateral, unilateral, isolationist, internationalist, and idealist.
Social movements: Collective actors in civil society
distinguished by mass mobilization or participation as their prime source
of social power, typically concerned to defend or change society, or
the relative position of a group within society. Social movements can be
seen as a major international actor after states and transnational
corporations. Despite their informal and spontaneous character, social
movements have been able to maximize their leverage by creating coalitions
with other movements and networks.
Stereotype: A standardized image or conception.
Oversimplified and distorted ideas. A stereotype
is usually a broad generalization about an entire group based on limited
knowledge, or limited exposure. A stereotype creates an
association, or suggests an idea or notion, often not flattering or true
of a group of people. Stereotyping usually takes place when assumptions
about someone are made based upon such factors as race or gender.
Trend: General tendency or direction. A predictable
sequence of events (in comparison to a one-time event). Seemingly
unrelated events can often have economic, social, and political
significance which trend trackers evaluate. Without an openness to new
ideas, myopia and subjectivity can lead to a failure to see trends or
paradigm shifts, resulting in inaction.
Voluntary: Performed, undertaken, or brought about by free choice,
willingly, and without compulsion.
Volunteer: A person who willingly assists an
organization. The success of many non-profit organizations often depends
on the hard work of its volunteers. Non-profit leaders today have begun
to recruit and manage diverse groups of volunteers using new
Watchdogs: Groups that monitor governmental agencies and
lobbies on behalf of the general public. These groups can function as "public interest
groups" or as a "citizens' group" that seeks to further the collective good without benefiting their
own members. Individuals who uncover violations of regulations, or
unacceptable behavior, are often called "whistle blowers."