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Advocacy webinar 02142019

  1. Effective Advocating & Lobbying Your Elected Officials February 14, 2019
  2. With a decade of experience working on Capitol Hill and in Federal agencies with a focus on telecommunications and business issues, I lead ASBC’s policy work on High Road Workplace, which includes paid leave, worker ownership and other employee-related policies and Net Neutrality. Prior to joining ASBC, I was as a Congressional Liaison for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where I built and managed relationships between the Bureau and Congress. Prior to joining the Bureau, I was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and worked in the House of Representatives. My career in politics and policy began on the North Carolina Obama for America Presidential campaign as a Field Organizer. I am a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law and Howard University. John B. Minor, Policy Manager
  3. • We represent over 250,000 businesses nationwide. • Including: – Over 250 corporate members – Over 80 business organizations • Where We Advocate – Washington, DC – State – Local • Our business leaders act as spokespersons on ASBC policy campaigns. – We provide policy statements to the press and policy makers. • Introduce our member businesses to their elected representatives and agency officials. • Provide media support through placement of op-eds and other media. ASBC Sphere of Influence
  4. • Your values and principles are important. – Your businesses have grown and become successful because of your leadership and vision. – That insight is necessary to advance the policies we know that are both profitable and responsible. • Business leaders are often the most credible and authoritative voice to affect policy change. • Responsible businesses essential to the debate. – Without you, bad actors shape the discourse. • If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. – To change laws to suit our ethos, responsible business leaders must speak up! WHY BECOME AN ADVOCATE?
  5. • What do you hope to accomplish with the meeting? • What is your “ask” of the policymaker/staffer? – Introduce – Inform – Persuade • Identify which representative is most appropriate? – Federal, State, or Local – House or Senate • Personal office or Committee – Agency SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
  6. • Call or Email your target office – Typical office has a Scheduler or Executive Assistant – Email is usually best • Ask to meet with the Elected Official/Policymaker – Identify yourself as a constituent (when possible) • Representatives more receptive to constituent concerns – Identify yourself as a business leader – List the attendees who will be joining you – Set a date and time • Meeting with staff is beneficial. – The staff is knowledgeable on issues and speaks directly with official. – The staff is often the actual policy maker. REQUEST YOUR MEETING
  7. • Think about your story. – What do you want your Member to know? – How will the policy affect you and your employees? • Research the policymaker’s background – Make sure they are the right target. – Everyone’s time is precious. Your time is your money and speaking with the wrong office can be a waste of your money. • Identify if there is specific piece of legislation/measure/etc. – Offices are more receptive to discussions on actual policies and bills. – Members and staffers are very busy and do not like unfocused discussions. Keep this in mind! • Prepare facts, background material. – This is where ASBC comes in. We make sure your facts are correct and that you understand the policy. • Research recent news stories for your issue. • Create a document to leave with the office. • Don’t hog the talking time. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
  8. • Thank the official for their time. • Set a follow up date to continue the discussion. – Members and staff are very busy. Make sure that you stay at the forefront by following up on your requests and any new developments. • Get a picture! – Use your social media presence to promote your business and connections to policy makers. • Send a thank you (email/letter). – Common courtesy goes a long way. • Follow up! – This is key. Many conversations end at the conclusion of the meeting. Follow up to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you! AFTER THE MEETING
  9. • Coalitions – Work with similarly aligned businesses and advocacy organizations to build support across different industrial sectors. • Grassroots – Building an organic movement through your own actions and campaigns. • Validators – Third parties that have recognized expertise and authority that champion your causes and provide validation of your positions. • ASBC can provide support and guidance on all three. OUTSIDE ADVOCACY TECHNIQUES
  10. • Coalitions Letter writing • Phone calls – Volume. Volume. Volume. • Host or attend town halls/public events – Establish a relationship with the Member and their staff outside of the office. – Demonstrates that you are involved in the community and will use your bully pulpit to rally support or opposition. • Invite officials to visit your business – Let them know how your business will be affected. – Put a face to the actual bill or policy. OUTSIDE ADVOCACY TECHNIQUES
  11. • Social Media – Spread your message to your customers and partners. – Effective tool to demonstrate support and create a narrative. • Earned Media – Op-eds, interviews, and other media opportunities. • Paid Media – Online, print, radio, and television ads • Owned/Internal Media – Blog posts, press statements, and white papers OUTSIDE ADVOCACY TECHNIQUES
  13. OUTSIDE ADVOCACY TECHNIQUES Working with ASBC Hammad Atassi, Chief Executive John B. Minor, Policy Manager