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Eﬀective Communication with Elected Oﬃcials CFM Strategic Communications
Understanding your Elected Oﬃcials “The Legislature is a microcosm of society” – Fmr. Senator Jeanette Hamby (R-‐Hillsboro) Life in the political world Campaign season Governing Personal life Remember: Elected oﬃcials ran for oﬃce to help their constituents and improve their communities.
Federal Delegation Bigger challenges/new opportunities US Senators and Congressmen have more constituents, more travel, and more demands on their time Increased opportunities for visibility of projects when a federal oﬃcial tours or becomes a project champion A tale of (at least) two staﬀ teams DC and District staﬀ
Federal Delegation Best practices: Develop relationships with district and DC staﬀ Submit requests for tours/appointments as far in advance as possible Be ﬂexible – weekends/evenings/holidays Provide 1-‐2 page background briefs Attend town hall events, be visible Provide regular updates on projects to the delegation – both good news and challenging news Build your communications around their interests/ committees
State and Local Leaders The life of a Citizen Legislator Annual sessions Small staﬀ Balancing legislative, work, family and campaign duties/obligations Diﬃcult to obtain media recognition for their work Local Leaders Many are volunteers with varying expertise Usually get involved because of a local issue
State and Local Leaders Best Practices Develop relationships with state legislators, local leaders and their staﬀ Invite them to community meetings, tours, project brieﬁngs Sign up for newsletter (usually email) distribution lists Attend town hall events and constituent coﬀees Brief local leaders about problems before they become public Build your communications around their interests/ committees
Top Tips for Communicating with all Elected Oﬃcials During a meeting, make your key points ﬁrst. Always follow-‐up with a thank you note and more information. Never ambush or surprise elected oﬃcials Use smart communication – not mass communication – as your tool of choice Develop long term relationships. Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Questions? Contact Information Jessica Adamson CFM Strategic Communications 1100 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 1425 Portland, OR 503.294.9120 email@example.com www.cfm-‐online.com