Give your legislators a virtual handshake

Now is the time to plan your advocacy campaign for the hard months ahead. Separate your organization from the crowd by focusing on the relations part of government relations.

Capitols from DC to most states are already swarming with lobbyists and organizations that want lawmakers’ attention.

Your first job is to make a positive first impression on lawmakers as a representative of your organization.  The most important element of that first impression is your professionalism.  You want to make sure that you and the members of your association impress lawmakers as friendly, informed, and polite.

Your selection of email advocacy tools will make a big difference in creating your first impression.  New lawmakers especially can be influenced by how you and your members approach them with your messaging.

New lawmakers, especially in state capitols, will be overwhelmed if hundreds of your members contact them by email one at a time.  They won’t know what to do with the volume. The best email advocacy applications allow lawmakers to identify their constituents quickly by zip code or district.

Thus, state your core message clearly in the email subject line because it’s crucial that the legislator understand the advocacy message up front.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Let your legislative council, or all your members, introduce themselves to lawmakers, especially new legislators.
  • Send out a “Call to Action” that allows your members to contact their legislators on any issue.
  • Let your supporters know which issues will be important to your organization this year.
  • Let them know that you are available to provide information on good policy.
  • Keep your members informed of your advocacy successes throughout the year.

These preparations set the table for your future relationships with lawmakers.  You’ve set a positive tone and you’ll make a great first impression.

The time is now.  Distinguish your organization.  You’ll stand out in the best possible way.