Reaching A Member of CongressCan Be Challenging Thousands of emails and letters perweek Frequent use of Twitter andFacebook Hundreds of calls per day Dozens of meetings per day Scores of constituent visits
Tools of EngagementLobbyingCommunicationsCitizenAdvocacy
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS:MEMBERS OF CONGRESS & STAFF
Get to Know the TeamIn District Attend Town Hall Meetings Participate in On-LineMeetings Write Letters to the Editor Meet Member and Staff inDistrict OfficeIn Washington Meet Member and Staff Bring Stakeholders (otherphysicians, patients, families) Follow Up
Build the RelationshipBe A Resource Regular communications Send articles/material Contact by email/phone(not mail) Keep communicationssimpleUse Social and TraditionalMedia Follow Members onTwitter/Facebook/ YouTube Communicate to Media onTwitter Write LTE/Op-Ed“One of our office’s top prioritiesis maintaining a high quality ofdialogue with the people werepresent.” – Senate Office Mngr.
Social Media – An Essential ToolFollow Members All Senators and 90% ofHouse members haveTwitter accounts; nearly allhave Facebook pages Follow members to keep upwith their positions Communicate with themthrough social mediaTell Your Story Use your own Facebook andTwitter accounts to sharefacts and anecdotes aboutyour practice Build your Twitter list offollowers by following yourmembers of Congress –they in turn will follow you
Prepare Know Your Member Politics Committees Track Record Know Your Ask Review Issues Know your Talking Points Have Material Ready (Leave-Behinds) Be Prepared for “Chaos” Young Staff Limited Time – Long Lines
The MeetingDo’s: Thank Member Stay on Message Listen Make the Ask Follow UpDon’ts Don’t Be Late Don’t Argue Don’t Have to Be Expert Don’t Ask for More Than2-3 Items
After the MeetingMaintain the Relationship Respond to requests for additional material Continue to be a resource Follow members on social media Periodically seek in-district meetings or attendtown halls Respond to Action AlertsMake Your Voices Heard!
Lets Review… What tactics worked? Did they make the ask? What was the Member’s reaction? Did they follow the do’s and don’ts? What would you do differently?Ready for your Meetings?Time to practice at your tables
Getting Around Capitol HillCafeteriaCafeteriaCafeteria
Logistics for Capitol Hill Day Transportation Take Metro or taxi (Metro cards provided) Avoid taking luggage to the Hill Leave extra time for long security lines Use building tunnels, if possible LunchCafeterias in the House and Senate OfficeBuildings