Advocating Business Archives Toolkit

Business Archives Advocacy Toolkit

Advocating for one's self and archival collection is a constant effort, and unfortunately there's no silver bullet that will work for every business archives every time.  As stated in the 2013 defense of the Georgia State Archives, "Too often, advocacy is effectively crisis management, responding to specfic events.  Proactively developing a plan allows time to consider a range of options, find ways to refine the message, and identify and educate a broad range of stakeholders."

Therefore the intent of this page is to provide Business Archives Section (BAS) members with a resource center to allow development of individualized advocacy plans to avert future issues, and if necessary to successfully "win the day".  There is a wealth of advocacy information available, and this list is not exhaustive but merely a starting place for you develop your own policies.  Materials listed and provided are not endorsed by BAS, but rather provide solid examples for you to consider leveraging.



How to Get Started

Advocacy Plan Development Worksheets - Developed by the American Library Association (ALA), these worksheets should serve as a good guide and idea starter.

Examples of Advocacy Toolkits - Links to the SAA Issues & Advocacy Roundtable's Advocacy Toolkit page.  

AASL Crisis Toolkit - Provides solid guidance on what to do if your program is in imminent danger and enlisting stakeholders in your cause.

"Every Voice Makes A Difference" - Summary document from ALA on everyday techniques to improve advocacy.

ArchivesAWARE! - Awareness and Outreach Resources for Archivists - ArchivesAWARE! is an online space where professionals and students engaged in all aspects of archival work can share their experiences of and ideas for raising public awareness of archives and the value that archives and archivists add to business, government, education, and society as a whole. The blog is hosted by SAA and managed by its Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). Browse through posts here, find out how to contribute here, and share the link with friends and colleagues! 


Articles on the Value of Archives

"Your Company's History as a Leadership Tool", Harvard Business Review, 2012

"Finding Our Voice: Pleading the Value of Archives", Journal of the Society of Georgia Archives, 2013

"Why Marketing Needs to Hire a Corporate Folklorist", Harvard Business Review, 2014

"Making the Case for Museums: 75 Advocacy Ideas", American Alliance of Museums, 2013

"Why an Archives", Diane Everman, Archivist at Enterprise Corp., 2014 

"Long-term benefits of a corporate archive program", Robert Suriano, Archivist at Parker Hannifin, 2015

"Forget the Past? Or History Matters? Selected Academic Perspectives on the Strategic Value of Organizational Pasts", Paul C. Lasewicz, Archivist at McKinsey and Company, American Archivist, Vol. 78, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2015 ***NEW***


BAS Members Recommendations and Success Stories

Click here to access the page featuring recommendations and success stories submitted by BAS members.  With the diversity of skills and programs within BAS, we hope that you find something that can be applied to your own organization.  To make contributions to this page, please email


Elevator Speech Examples

Elevator Speeches - links to the speeches that were created during the 2013 BAS Colloquium.  Feel free to reapply!!


Helpful Sites for Additional Examples and Materials

SAA Issues & Advocacy Roundtable - No need to reinvent the wheel!  The I&A Roundtable microsite is chocked full of useful materials, presentations, and links to online advocacy related materials.  

American Library Association's Advocacy University - ALA has put together a comprehensive clearinghouse of advocacy tools and resources.

Arts Council of England - Sound strategies and techniques from across the pond.


SAA Training Opportunities on Advocacy

SAA offers a wide variety of training opportunities, including courses designed to assist with advocacy.   

The Continuing Education Catalog provides the SAA listing of courses, including those related to advocacy.  This page does not however provide dates when the courses are available.  Dates and class details are listed on the Continuing Education Calendar. Please note that you may need to be signed in to your SAA Account to view the calendar.


Tips & Tricks 

Are you stuck while working on your advocacy plan?  Do you need some additional insights or inspiration?  Maybe one of these will help...

Self-Promotion 101: See Yourself as Behind-the-Scenes Suppot Person?  Use Storytelling to Master the Art -   

How to Influence without Positional Authority -

23 Advocacy Tips for Frontline Employees - American Library Association

20 Quick Tips to Better Advocate for Yourself & Others - The Declassified Adoptee Blog

7 Psychology Tricks to Influence People and Get Exactly What You Want (video) -  

3 Ways to Influence Somebody Without Them Knowing (video) -

8 Types of CEOs and How to Influence Each of Them -


See also: Business Archives Resources
See also: Directory of Corporate Archives and BAS Membership Roster to contact other business archivists

AASL Crisis Toolkit.pdf58.44 KB
Advocacy Plan Development Worksheets.docx27.75 KB
HarvardBusinessReview.pdf2.11 MB
Georgia Archivists Finding Our Voice_ Pleading the Value of Archives.pdf141.26 KB
ALA 23things.pdf103.33 KB
AAM_CaseforMuseums.pdf397.64 KB
ALA Every Voice.pdf112.67 KB
Corp_Archive_benefits.docx14.29 KB
Why an Archives_from_Enterprise.doc37 KB
Forget the Past or History Matters Lasewicz.pdf1.77 MB

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