Thursday, December 6, 2012

Webinars Highlight Citizen Advocacy

As we enter a new year, newly elected officials and legislators are preparing to assume new roles at the local, state and federal level. With new leadership in place, this transition is a reminder of the critical role that legislators play when it comes to making decisions that impact local communities, as well as the opportunity that individuals – citizens, advocates and other stakeholders – have to build relationships with and influence legislators. Though building relationships with legislators may be perceived as difficult or uncomfortable, it is essential to ensuring that they have the information needed to advance a community’s interest.

The nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation uses surveys, focus groups and interviews with congressional staff, Members of Congress and state legislators to ensure that Congress is responding to the needs of our evolving society by engaging and developing meaningful relationships with citizens.

A series of webinars has been designed to help citizens understand both the methods for and benefits of developing relationships with legislators and other elected officials. Based on research completed by the Congressional Management Foundation, these webinars will use data to describe the key steps in developing these relationships, as well as effective communication strategies.

Two webinars will be offered:

Communicating with Congress: How to be an Effective Citizen-Advocate
Thursday, December 13, 12 pm – 1 pm EST - Click HERE to register 
Wednesday, December 19, 3 pm – 4 pm EST - Click HERE to register 
  • Who do Congress and state legislators listen to?
  • What congressional staffers believe are the most effective communications tactics for influencing undecided Members of Congress?
  • How and whether the Internet has made legislators more responsive and accountable to constituents
  • The “Five Rules for Influencing Lawmakers”
  • The differences in impact between different forms of communications (e-mail, postal mail, in-person visits, and social media)

Influencing Public Policy from Your Front Porch: Creating Events Lawmakers Will Attend 
Friday, December 14, 3 pm – 4 pm EST - Click HERE to register
Tuesday, December 18, 12 pm – 1 pm EST - Click HERE to register 
  • What are the key steps and timeline for setting up a local event with a legislator?
  • Who should be invited from our community and what role should they play in the event?
  • What are the “magic words” to include in an invite to a Member of Congress?
  • How to pitch local reporters on attending an event?
  • Participants will take away sample invite language, the checklist for setting up events, and their own personal action plan for executing an event right away

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