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Advocacy 101
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  • 1. Advocacy 101
    Alan Morgan, CEONational Rural Health Association202-639-0550
  • 2. Overview/Goals
    The what, why, who & how of advocacy
    Experience a hill visit
    Know what you can do when you go home
  • 3. What is Advocacy?
    Advocacy is the tool citizens use in our democracy to bring about improvements.
    But really more than that – you advocate daily
    Context – legislature
  • 4. If you can’t advocate…
    You’ll hear lobby – think advocacy or go further and think educate
    All you are doing is asking Members of Congress and their staff to understand your situation – they can do the rest
  • 5. Why Advocate?
    You care about your community
    You have a need
    You’re in DC…
  • 6. Who Advocates?
    I want you to advocate!
    You are your own best voice
  • 7. To Whom?
    Representatives, senators, governors, mayors, council members, elected officials
    Their staffs
    Public officials – CMS, HRSA, HHS, White House, Departments of Health
    Some of you…
  • 8. A word about staffers…
    Speaking to a hill staffer
    In a lot of cases, they will be younger than you expected
    They are making important decisions
  • 9. Lots of issues
    You will know more
    They want to know what they are talking about – they’ll pretend
    Explain acronyms & concepts
  • 10. Time Crunch
    You may be one of many meetings today
    Long hours – back-to-back
    Understand this time constraint
    Be concise
    Be flexible
    Be on time
  • 11.
  • 12. How Should I Advocate?
    Visit in their office, phone calls, letters, parties, greeting at a parade, invite to your facility or any other way of meeting people and conversing
    Be yourself
    5 Rules of Advocacy…
  • 13. 1. Have an ask
    Don’t want to say “no”
    Experts at avoiding this
    Easy to get caught up into a discussion of your facility and never about how to help.
    Make specific, support x.
  • 14. Frame the Message
    Here for Rural Health…
    “Change must come to rural, too!”
    Short-term – stimulus
    Medium-term – proper funding
    Long-term – compact on reform
    Anecdotes and Stories
    Imbed Data (if possible)
    Stay on Message
  • 15. 2. Talk to Decision Maker
    Go to event where Senator/Representative is and ask in person
    Get an email or call to health staffer – leave message with health L.A. NOT the front desk
    John.doe@mail.house.gov or jane_doe@senator.senate.gov
  • 16. 3. Importance to District
    How is this important to your state/district?
    Personalize it
    Give your experience
    They want to help their constituents
  • 17. 4. Know who you are speaking to
    Hill staffers are usually younger than you may expect – still important
    Where is bill? What committee? Is person newbie or experienced?
    Don’t assume anything!
  • 18. 5. Be Concise and Follow-Up
    Be Polite!
    Understand time constraint
    Follow-up by email
  • 19. Putting it together
    First impressions are important
    Prepare Leave Behinds
    Walk through material
    Be attentive – ask questions to make sure they understand
    Be yourself – don’t worry about mistakes
  • 20. Role Play 1
    So how do you think that went?
    What in specific was wrong with it?
    Do you think that staffer will help them?
    What are some things they could do better?
  • 21. Do’s and Don’ts
    • Concise
    • 22. Factual
    • 23. Polite
    • 24. Punctual
    • 25. Understand their time constraint
    • 26. Give your experience!
    • 27. Take their whole day
    • 28. Make up things – if you don’t know, tell them you’ll get back to them
    • 29. Be really late
    • 30. Threaten not to vote for them
  • Role Play 2
    Things they can improve on?
    You ready to try?
  • 31. Lessons Learned
    Practice helps
  • 32. Part 2: Heading Home
    Follow Up
    NRHA Action Alerts
    Build Relationship
  • 33. Follow up - Thank them
    Everyone likes to be thanked
    When you ask and they provide, make sure they know you appreciate it
  • 34. NRHA Action Alerts
    Easy, follow instructions
    The more you respond, the better the staff will know you
    The more responses, more likely Congress will act
    All it is a simple call
  • 35. Making the call
    Often will leave message
    Introduce yourself and explain your facility
    Keep it simple and brief
    Offer more info by email
    Thank them
  • 36. Writing the letter
    Keep key points but put in your own words
    Make sure to say who you are, what facility you work for
    Should take longer than a call
  • 37. Friends in high places
    Lower level staff will not stay low level
    Tendency for staff to move quickly up the ladder in DC
    Rural health will still need friends in ten years
  • 38. Friends in high places
    They care about your state
    They may have graduated from your college or have kids at your high school
    Overall, they are humans, you relate with humans daily
  • 39. Invite to your facility
    They love ribbon cutting ceremonies
    They want to learn about your situation
    They want to be seen as doing a good thing
  • 40. You can change DC!
    Don’t underestimate what you can do.
    It’s easy and you can make a difference. A phone call or e-mail can do a lot.
  • 41.
  • 42. Thank you!