Lobbying Tips

Lobbying Tips

  • Make an appointment with your representative or his/her staff member
  • When making the appointment, specify the legislation Bill number or regulatory order that you wish to discuss.
  • When making the appointment, if you will be bringing colleagues/family members/friends, please advise the staff member who makes the appointment – and respectful of meeting parameters if the staff member notes that there is a limit in group size.
  • Treat the staff member at least as well as you would the delegate or senator.

Day of Appointment

  • Before you enter the office, know the answer to the question, “What do you want the officeholder to DO?”.
  • Be punctual (10 minutes early at minimum). In all likelihood, the delegate or state senator or staff member has a series of meetings scheduled to maximize time with constituents – and your tardiness adversely affects other citizens who would like to discuss issues/legislation.
  • NEVER threaten or imply future punishment.  Keep it positive.
  • Always ASK for a commitment – and if help isn’t forthcoming, ask why not – and then LISTEN to the answer. You may be able to immediately resolve the obstacle – or to tailor the argument for the next audience.
  • DO NOT discuss campaign contributions – past or future promises – when you’re trying to win support for a policy.

After Appointment

  • Thank the delegate or state senator or staff member for their consideration and time.
  • Leave collateral/talking points with staff member or officeholder.
  • Notify your coalition coordinator about the outcome of the meeting.
  • Follow up after the meeting with a thank you note. Confirm any commitments that the officeholder or staff member made.
  • Ask friends, colleagues if they will join your coalition or group.
  • Send letter to the editor of local media that expresses appreciation for any explicit commitments that were made. Be specific and do not suggest commitments that weren’t made.