Defining Awareness


What is awareness and why does it matter?

Making people aware of an issue is the first step to solving it. Depending on how big the issue is, you will likely need to raise awareness among:

Decision-maker(s) or those with power in what you’re concerned about.

Going right to the top might seem the most direct way to get the change you want but it might not be feasible. There's strength in numbers and a decision-maker is more likely to act if they’re aware that a large number of people are affected by an issue and that action is needed.

Other people who are affected.

They may not even realize they’re affected by a certain issue or may not prioritize it. It’s your job to make them see the importance! Others may also realize their own personal experience with the issue but not know that there are others who are also impacted. Sharing awareness about an issue is an important tool for connecting and mobilizing individuals to more of a collective effort.

The general public.

Even people who may not be directly impacted by your issue may have an opinion on it. For example, if you’re raising awareness of the cost of higher education, you may want to target people with small children as it could affect them in the future. Even people with no children could become allies if you point out the benefits of having folks around you who are educated. And to add… those in government are particularly swayed by public opinion.