Tips for Developing and Honing Your Message

It is no secret that your message can be the lifeblood of your advocacy activities. Once you have decided upon a message, it is imperative that you refine it. photo credit: HellN The process of honing your message involves identifying, developing and refining the most compelling arguments, facts, examples and anecdotes. Take into consideration hot … Read more

Tips for Coordinating Legislative Events

When you are involved in a legislative event, it can be helpful to understand a few key tips that can help things to go much more smoothly. First, introductions to policymakers should be brief. Lobbyists often make the mistake of speaking too long in introductions while attempting to do a suitable job. An effective introduction … Read more

Conducting Advocacy Issue Audits (Press Audits)

One of the important activities you can undertake as part of advocacy is performing an issue audit. The purpose of this audit is to assess media coverage and public opinion. This refers not only to current media coverage, but also to anticipated media coverage. Such an audit should be conducted on a national level as … Read more

Moving from Strategic Planning to Execution in Your Lobbying Practice

In a scenario that is all too common, an organization conducts an intensive strategic planning session involving a significant amount of resources – then the resulting plan gathers dust. photo credit: Krieg-Hammer During the planning session, everyone is enthusiastic and shares the same vision. You return to the office energized and ready to put the … Read more

Expedited Delivery of Letters to Congress

Whenever time sensitive material must be delivered to a member of Congress without delay, you can use expedited delivery. Security procedures permitting, expedited delivery can be used to send unsealed mail through the Senate or House mail distribution facilities. These deliveries are accepted at the Congressional Acceptance Site, aka Congressional Courier Acceptance Site, 160 D … Read more

The Annual Budget and Appropriations Processes

The president submits a proposed budget to Congress on the first Monday in February, although there can be some flexibility regarding the actual date of this submission. photo credit: mackarus Known as the President’s Budget, this request to Congress is used as the basis for reports prepared by congressional budget committee members and staff. Appropriations … Read more

The Life Cycle of Lobbying

There is a distinctive life cycle in lobbying. The moment a bill is introduced, interest groups that track that issue will begin lobbying the legislation related to it. Often, reporters monitor congressional committee consideration quite closely and will pose questions to members of Congress regarding their position on that legislation. As increased public awareness is … Read more

Congressional Office Organization and Structure

The number and types of congressional offices can be overwhelming for people new to Capitol Hill. The purpose of the various congressional offices is to provide logistical, political and substantive support for members of Congress. Each member of Congress has an individual office, known as their personal office. In addition, they also have at least … Read more

Recognizing Effective Grassroots Efforts

When your grassroots efforts are successful, there are many ways to recognize and reward those efforts. photo credit: moonlightbulb Give out annual awards for outstanding citizen efforts. Host a major event and present the awards during the event or cover it in a publication. Provide an opportunity for citizens to share their success stories with … Read more

Effective Strategy Planning Tips for Lobbyists and Advocates

The legislative environment can involve a high degree of pressure and present challenges to the lobbyist for strategic planning. Organizations that take time to invest in staff training, strategic planning and goal updates will be rewarded in the long term, including sustained legislative success and effective representation of client or member interests. Strategic planning can … Read more