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Effectively Communicating with Legislators and Key Policy Makers: Tips from the Inside
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Effectively Communicating with Legislators and Key Policy Makers: Tips from the Inside

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The Office of Lt. Governor Brad Owen recently polled legislators, legislative aides and members of the Governor's Executive Cabinet to find their preferences to receiving constituent communications.

The Office of Lt. Governor Brad Owen recently polled legislators, legislative aides and members of the Governor's Executive Cabinet to find their preferences to receiving constituent communications.

Published in: Education, News & Politics

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  • 1. Brian Dirks Communications Director, Office of Lt. Governor Nov. 2, 2011 Effectively Communicating with Legislators and Key Policy Makers: Tips from the Inside
  • 2. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen First, some examples of ineffectiveness!!
  • 3. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
    • Overview
    • In late August, Office of Lt. Governor surveyed all legislators, legislative assistants
    • Asked six specific questions aimed at communications effectiveness, both during the legislative session and interim. (Seventh question ‘open-ended’).
    • Received 53 responses (out of 147 offices polled)
  • 4. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
    • Overview
    • Also polled members of Governor’s Executive Cabinet
    • Received nine responses (short time-frame)
  • 5. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Legislators
  • 6. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Communications: What do legislators prefer?
  • 7. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Question: In general, what tips do you have for a constituent, organization, or issue advocate for effective communication with legislators?
  • 8. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen And the survey said ..
    • Keep it short & simple!
    • Just the facts
    • Be polite and respectful
    • Constituents get preferential treatment
      • 1 constituent = 200 lobbyists
  • 9. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen And the survey said .. NO SPAM (unless it is personalized from each constituent’s point of view)
  • 10. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen And the survey said ..
    • .
    “ Have your facts and talking points ready. If leaving a phone message, please give your name and phone number first.” “ Kindness is important! If requesting an appointment, give ample notice. The more you plan ahead, the better your chances are to get an appointment. Personal contact via a phone call is always great.”
  • 11. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen And the survey said .. “ It is very helpful for constituents, organizations or issue advocates to prepare a concise written statement identifying why they oppose/support a particular bill and specific examples of how the constituent or the organization will be personally affected by a particular bill/issue, along with the specific problem(s) or issue(s) that a legislation seeks to address.”
  • 12. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen And the survey said .. “ Don't be a pest. If you have sent us information and we haven't gotten back to you right away, it may be because we are trying to get an answer for you, before we respond. (Pests get moved to the bottom of the pile!)”
  • 13. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Tips from the Governor’s Executive Cabinet (State agency directors) Question: In general, what tips do you have for a constituent, organization, or issue advocate for effective communication with agency directors and cabinet members?
  • 14. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
    • Be honest, accurate, respectful and thorough
    • Lots of details okay, but be sure to be clear, concise and factual.
    • Keep the higher perspective in mind, as I do
    • I can assign issue to agency staff specialists as necessary
    • (And be prepared to meet or communicate with my staff rather than myself)
    Tips from the Governor’s Executive Cabinet
  • 15. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
    • Avoid bipartisanship
    • Keep high-level (statewide) view - Remember east and west not same
    • Strategize by issue type, not party type
    • Stay involved throughout the year
    • Stay informed
    • Work within your organization
    • Educate, without prejudice
    Advocacy advice from the Lieutenant Governor
  • 16. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
    • Plan way ahead
    • Be reasonable
    • Be clear
    • Patience is virtuous
    • Prepare to compromise
    Summary
  • 17. Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Our Panelists Senator Karen Fraser Nova Gattman Dan Youmans