Tips for a Successful Meeting with Policymakers

November 11, 2015


Tips for Successful Meeting with Policymakers

  • Basic Rules.
    • Legislators want to hear from you.
    • You are an expert so do not be afraid to talk.
    • Unless they hear from you, their constituents, they will not know what policies are working or not working
    • Be respectful, never condescending.
    • If there is more than one person in your group, plan ahead who will say what.
  • Be Flexible.
    • Place-the meeting can be held anywhere: hallway, front office, elevator, cafeteria, member's inner sanctum, etc.
    • Person-the meeting may be with a staff member instead of a legislator.  
    • Time-while you should arrive early, the meeting may not start on time. If you are running late, call the legislator's office and let the staff know.
  • Be Clear and Succinct.
    • Begin with short introductions.
    • Stay focused and limit your message.
    • Clearly state the problem or issue and your position.
    • Use personal stories tied to the policy objective.
    • Ask the staff/Member is s/he will support your position.
    • Never state information you do not know to be true. (If you do not know an answer, you may offer to research it and get back to them with an answer.)
    • Ask staff/Member if they have any questions.
  • Follow up.
    • Thank the staff/Member for their time.
    • Contact office every three months or so if you intend to build an ongoing relationship.
    • Follow up with a thank you letter and any additional resources you may have promised.
    • Tell AUCD policy staff about your meeting/interaction.