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Making the Most of your Lobbyist

It’s go time! 

Most of you are already knee-deep in subcommittee hearings, tracking the onslaught of bill introductions, and getting bill authors or sponsors for your priorities. 

So when you think about engaging your advocates, it can be overwhelming. But ensuring you have good communication practices in place with your lobbyist can help immensely. 

Here are 5 tips to help you maximize your lobbyist for your advocacy efforts:

Meet with your lobbyist weekly 

Set aside time each week to talk about the week’s priorities and what info your advocates need or what activities they should be engaged in. 

This could be a 30-45 minute standing meeting with a template agenda that covers your key priorities or activities. 

Identify your top 3 priorities for that week

Work closely with your lobbyist to better understand who they are planning to connect with and how advocacy can amplify their efforts. 

That could mean targeting specific lawmakers for that week, finding someone to testify at a hearing, or drafting an action alert to galvanize your advocates. 

Look one week ahead

After you discuss immediate priorities, look a week ahead so you can prepare with a bit more time. This could be reviewing what media advocacy activities are needed, if any key deadlines are approaching, and events on the horizon, like a lobby day, reception, or key lawmaker event. 

Discuss coalition efforts and dynamics

Most likely (and hopefully), other organizations are also working to pass (or block) the same bills you are working on. You might have a sophisticated process to coordinate your direct lobbying, grassroots, and media advocacy activities, but if not, discuss what other organizations are doing and saying and if that impacts or changes your strategy or tactics. 

Determine your rapid response plan

Ideally, you will have discussed this before, but often it takes a crisis or situation to help you determine how’ll you quickly connect and respond to emerging issues. Often folks rely on email, but emails can get lost. Other solutions include using a text thread, What’s App, or a dedicated Slack channel. 

Whatever process you use, be sure to determine who needs to be involved (should have at least one person who can make quick decisions) and expectations for response time. 

Help is here

If you need more support to effectively engage your members and advocates in your advocacy program, set up a time to connect with me.


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