Advocasy is very important in Public relations! the definition of advocasy according to the South Central Library Sysytem, is “Public support for, or recommendation of, a particular cause or policy,” or “The act of arguing on behalf of a particular issue, institution, idea or person.” When you think about how public relations is about building mutual relationships between organizations and the public, you have to be able to see how advocacy is important because you need public support to build relationships.
If you have a product or brand, you need people especially the public to advocate for your you to help make your product or brand more credible. If you are the Coke company and the Pepsi company is talking about how their products are better than yours, then you always want to have some consumers becoming devils advocates for your company and advocating for your cause.
Since public relations is relying on social media a lot more in recent years, advocacy becomes even more important now. Almost everyone and every business has some type of social media account. According to an article by Lisa Buyer from Iaquire, stated that 46% of social media users say they would talk about a brand or product on facebook and she also stated that for every 5 tweets, one is brand related. This shows that different brands are always being mentioned on social medial sites and that the public is always advocating for a brand so there will always be public relations with advocacy.
One thing that someone in public relations would want to watch, is that public opinion can also negatively advocate for a brand. If people are negatively advocating your brand, it could hurt your overall sales and positioning within the market that your brand has. If this happens, I would say that the best PR move to do is stay honest about your brand and learn to correctly spin when needed. At the end of the day, advocacy is basically a big part of what public relations is and without advocacy I do not feel that you can really have public relations.
Top 10 Brand Advocate PR Secrets for 2014: How to Succeed (or Fail) in Search and Social Publicity, Lisa Buyer, December 13, 2013, http://www.iacquire.com/blog/top-10-brand-advocate-pr-secrets-for-2014-how-to-succeed-or-fail-in-search-and-social-publicity