EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY -
WORKING WITH ELECTED
OFFICIALS AND OTHERS
-Sharon Parry, Real WorkForce Solutions
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
What is his/her position on workforce issues?
What are his/her hot button issues? Can these be
tied to workforce?
local workforce issues could be of particular
importance to him/her?
Whatis the relationship with his/her political
Who are his/her key staffers on workforce issues?
GATHER FACTS AND DATA
sure your information is relevant to your
Number of individuals and/or businesses helped.
Average wage rate of placements.
Special characteristics/demographics of individuals/
Human interest angle.
Type(s) of funding used and approximate dollar
Benefits to individuals/businesses/community at
Reviewinformation with a third party to check
PRESENT YOUR STORY
Secure an introduction
Issue an invitation (and play the waiting game)
Tell your story – succinctly!
Provide collateral materials
Make a request (if applicable)
Follow up and say “Thank You”
TIPS FOR THANK YOU NOTES
Open with a direct thank you.
Reference your organization’s name.
Discuss your meeting – its importance/
Re-emphasize key points, successes, or needs.
BUILD A WORKING RELATIONSHIP
Follow his/her work
Meetings with staffers
Makeyour organization the “go-to” place for
Rapid Response updates
Labor Market Information
Newsletters / Annual Reports / Meetings
PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION
Schools and training institutions, as applicable
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH THE PRESS
Less is more. Provide key information only. Providing too many statistics or details
may result in an inaccurate or confusing story.
Watch your mouth. Only say things that you would like to see printed in the newspaper
or reported on the evening news. Don’t get too casual during interviews!
Nothing is off the record. Reporters jump at the chance to get a scoop. Do not provide
“off the record” information – even if you are promised anonymity.
Reporters are not your friends. Their job is to report the news. If it is bad, they will not
fall on their swords to try and protect you.
Bad news is sexier than good news. Don’t get dismayed if your story doesn’t make the
cut. It’s difficult to compete with all the bad news that’s going on out there.
Slow news days are good news days. Speak with a reporter about your organization and
the services you provide. Invite them for a tour. Ask them to keep your organization in
mind when they have a slow news day and need something to report.
Make news happen. Pitch a story to a reporter, i.e. human interest (former steelworker
becomes a nurse), healthcare (how health insurance impacts a customer’s job decision),
foreign trade (jobs that have gone overseas in the past five years), or immigration (ongoing,
unfilled job openings). Be sure to fully think through your idea – including any potential
downsides – before you offer story suggestion.
Tobe truly effective, advocacy efforts must
Broad base of support
Working relationships built over time
Relevancy for your audience