Five Minutes with Your Member of Congress

One of the best ways of advancing your public policy agenda is to make your company’s voice heard on Capitol Hill. What better way to do that than to conduct a Washington fly-in? Yes, let your grassroots advocates plead your case to their members of Congress.

Spring not only brings the cherry blossoms to our nation’s capital (though this year, due to freakish weather, the pink buds may be less colorful). It also brings a parade of beyond-the-Beltway activists promoting issues from prescription drug costs to environmental causes to long-haul trucking standards.

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That’s why I’ve updated my position paper “Five Minutes with Your Member of Congress: Navigating Your Next Washington Fly-in.”

Whether you work for a Fortune 1000 corporation, Inc. 500 business, or large association, government plays a significant role in what you can and cannot do. Your organizational success often hinges on your public policy efforts. As members of Congress and their staffers will tell you, there is no finer messenger for your concerns than the folks from back home.

“Five Minutes with Your Member of Congress” deals with two key questions that every organization seeking to influence public policy must answer:

  1. Do I prepare my grassroots advocates adequately?
  2. What can I do to improve my organization’s efforts?

The publication’s new edition acknowledges the changing nature of Washington politics. The November election placed a wild card on the table. How will the new president’s actions impact Congress? Will he and the House and Senate GOP be on the same page? Will the nasty climate continue to spiral downward?

While grassroots actors must be aware of this new dynamic, they still must keep their nose to the grindstone and focus on your central issues. Ignore the political noise. It’s not their job to talk partisan politics. Indeed, that may discourage members of Congress from supporting your initiatives.

The revised guide offers real-world advice on how to:

  • Prepare for your fly-in by forging a magnetic message and a team of confident advocates.
  • Devise a workshop featuring simulated visits with members of Congress.
  • Find a consultant capable of assembling a program to teach your advocates about the ins and outs of Capitol Hill and the best ways to deal with their members of Congress.
  • Direct the dialogue in their meetings.
  • Recognize the importance of Congressional staff.
  • Assess performance.
  • Use their visits to strengthen relationships in their home districts with members of Congress.

What you do before, during, and after your Hill visits matters. The more energy you devote to organization and preparation the higher your odds for success of your legislative agenda. While inside-the-Beltway triumphs don’t come easy, conscientious participation in a fly-in can make a difference.

“Five Minutes with Your Member of Congress” provides you with practical steps you can take to streamline and improve your next Washington fly-in. Learn what it takes to utilize grassroots advocacy on Capitol Hill to create success for your organization.

 

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