Type: Public event

Essential Steps in Effective Advocacy Strategies Workshop


Jenifer Martin, J.D., Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Department of Health Management and Policy at UM School of Public Health

Date & time

Apr 5, 2019, 10:00 am-12:00 pm EDT


Effective advocacy is a critical part of the policy-making process at all levels of government. Now more than ever, advocates require knowledge and skills to create and sustain effective advocacyefforts.


This session will train participants in the steps essential for any effective advocacy strategy at the local, state, or federal level, with an emphasis on developing strategic written and oral communication skills.


Steps include: identification of the issue or problem, clarity of the advocacy goal (including short, intermediate and long term goals as well as acceptable compromises) and development of arguments for and against that goal; identification of policy decision makers/target audiences who have capacity to execute that goal; selection and cultivation of a policy champion internal to the process; the nuances of effective coalition-building, including engagement of relevant stakeholder organizations as well as a professional network of colleagues who share a common advocacy goal; message development, including a recognition of both substantive and political context; how to employ various types of media, including social/building a grassroots campaign; executing the strategy/conducting effective advocacy meetings and communications; and effective follow-up and relationship-building. Elements of effective written advocacy materials, including the one-pager and testimony, will also be covered.


About the speaker:  

Jenifer J. Martin, J.D., is an adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She teaches courses and frequently provides guest lectures and workshops in effective advocacy for students, faculty, staff and community partners, and serves as advisor to the Health Policy Student Association.


Ms. Martin served as director of government relations at the UM School of Public Health from 2002 until June of 2018. In that role, she led government relations and advocacy strategies to promote and advance faculty expertise to federal agencies, the United States Congress, the State of Michigan and other health policy stakeholders. In addition, she served as government relations liaison and policy chair of the CDC-funded UM Injury Prevention Center, where she executed state and federal strategies to advance faculty expertise on the opioid epidemic, concussion and traumatic brain injury, distracted driving, and other intentional and unintentional injury topics.


In 2013-2014, Ms. Martin helped launch government relations for the UM Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, where her efforts led to a multidisciplinary partnership with the State of Michigan to evaluate the implementation of health reform, including the State’s Medicaid expansion. Previously, she worked with several interdisciplinary centers housed in the School of Public Health including the Center for Value-Based Insurance Design, which examines health benefit plan design to ensure quality and contain cost, and the Center for Risk Science, which promoted sound risk assessment and communication. She served as policy consultant to the Kellogg Health Scholars Program, mentoring post-doctoral students and assisting them in translating their research into policy. She has authored and overseen successful federal and foundation grant projects and managed the campus-wide Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative post-911.to joining the University of Michigan in 2002, Ms. Martin spent 13 years in Washington, D.C. in various legislative and policy capacities. From 1996-2002 she was an Associate at the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, where she represented clients before the Congress and the Administration. In that capacity, she worked closely with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell in his role as Independent Overseer of the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund, a fund created following the events of September 11, 2001. Prior to joining Verner, Liipfert Ms. Martin worked on Capitol Hill for Representative Jose E. Serrano (NJ) and for Senator Paul Simon (IL) on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in the Clinton White House. She received a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.