January 2019 is a few weeks away.

New legislators are getting their bearings and it’s time to get your advocacy plans set up. You may already have some legislation in mind.  Or you may know about bills you’ll want to oppose.  And you’ll want to introduce your organization to new lawmakers.

You can establish your organization early with these steps:

  • Gather your forces. Your organization will have members concerned with your issues.  Are there other organizations on your page?  Make sure you contact them and try to leverage your resources.
  • Keep your members informed. You probably already know the bills you want to sponsor or oppose.  Let your members know about your overall plans and what you think is going to happen at your Capitol.  Tell your members how to keep an eye out for Calls to Action.
  • Learn about new legislators. Every new General Assembly or Congress gets new lawmakers.  Figure out who they are, what their concerns are, what their districts look like.
  • Introduce your organization and your members to new lawmakers. Let lawmakers know what your issues are and where they can find out more about your association.  Gather up some stories from your members to share by with new lawmakers.

How you can introduce your members to lawmakers: 

Capitol Contact has a powerful new tool to “shake” your lawmakers’ hand.  It’s simple.

  • Put out a Call to Action to your members. Describe the issues you anticipate will come up at the Capitol and how they will affect your members.
  • Ask your members to relay a story or convey the impact of the issues. Lawmakers are most likely to respond to powerful, personal stories.  Your members have lived those stories.  Encourage your supporters to share.
  • Collect and select. Capitol Contact enables you to gather hundreds, even thousands of messages from supporters.  The platform enables you to select and bundle the best ones to present to lawmakers.  Or you can package them all up into ONE email.
  • Frame your issue. In an Email Package to your selected lawmakers, you can frame your overall message and let lawmakers know how many supporters are involved and concerned.  Here’s an example:

The XYZ organization thanks you for running for office and congratulates you on your win!  Welcome to the Capitol.  Our members are always interested in legislation that affects them.  A couple of issues are likely to come up this year.  These relate to:

  • Issue 1
  • Issue 2

Fast email reply form

To introduce you to our members and our concerns, we’ve included some personal experiences and perspectives from our supporters.  They’re collected here. It’s easy to reply to our members… We look forward to working with you on legislation that will enable our members, their businesses and communities to prosper.

  • Encourage legislators to reply to your supporters. The Capitol Contact platform gives lawmakers an easy and fast email reply form to respond to your members.
  • Thank your members. Capitol Contact makes it easy to continue to connect with your supporters using a reply message tool.  You can thank them for using the Call to Action and give them updates.
  • Study your advocacy results. Analyze which lawmakers opened your message and see if they replied.  Study whether your message was forwarded or opened multiple times.  Use your advocate/supporter list as a base for future Calls to Action.

New lawmakers especially will be amazed at how convenient and easy it is to receive and respond to your organization and your members.  They’ll appreciate the open and friendly approach.  Establishing your self and your organization is a savvy strategy.  Now is just the right time.