Top Ten Tips for Lobbying Your Elected Official
You can become a world-class lobbyist in ten easy steps …
1. Read up on the member's voting record, most recent activities, and be familiar with their priorities. A staff person can often send you the member's latest press releases, articles, and other helpful information.
2. Do what you can to learn of any bias or special circumstances the member has – is she/he an adoptive parent, a teen parent, a doctor, or a doctor's spouse, etc.
3. Though you will have thought about specific agenda items before the visit, you should be prepared to discuss other reproductive health issues that the member may ask about. Offer to follow up with the requested information if you don't know the answer.
4. Ask what Planned Parenthood can do to show support – generate constituent letters, provide information on issues, etc.
5. Offer to keep the member or a staffer on your mailing list and to give them advance notice of important Planned Parenthood events.
6. Ask for something concrete from the member – a health center visit, co-sponsorship of a bill, a floor statement, or a vote.
7. Follow-up with a thank you that restates the commitments made by both you and the member.
8. Ask the member for impressions and predictions about our issues, the local political scene, and the latest on what's happening in Congress.
9. Say thank you – first, last and always.
10. When meeting with a staffer, all of the above apply!