Similar to most long-term projects, advocacy work is more like a marathon than a sprint. Thus, achieving advocacy goals requires persistence and follow through. The best way to maintain these relationships is to continue interacting with your member of Congress by following up on any questions you didn’t answer during the meeting, checking in on any commitments the member or his/her staff made during the visit, and/or keeping him/her in the loop with any new developments in your area. In addition, social media presents a great opportunity to stay engaged with elected officials by tweeting about your visit.If you are not able to travel back-and-forth to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers, consider alternative means to foster and build on the relationships you’ve started. For instance, you can host your member of Congress at your facility to show them first-hand how your work benefits the community. Below you will find a simple checklist of things to consider after your meeting with an elected official:
- Report your visit to Government Affairs team at NACWA’s office.
- Provide the Member’s office with any follow up materials that you promised to provide.
- Share experience on social media
- If you met with a Member of Congress, send a handwritten thank you. To thank and send follow-up to staff, use email.
- Schedule a follow-up meeting, facility tour, or site visit
- Keep updated on official’s actions and keep them in the loop if there are any significant changes to your policy issue.