During the Meeting

During the meeting, the most important aspect to consider is staying on message and presenting your points clearly and concisely. As mentioned previously, it is important to come prepared with talking points, so you can conduct a successful meeting, as well as establish yourself as a knowledgeable resource on the issue.

A great way to make this connection is to relay the important information through a relatable narrative. For instance, highlight ways a certain bill or topic area relate to the operations of your plant and how a certain change could impact your utility and your ratepayers and the elected official’s constituents. While it is always good to be prepared for questions, it is perfectly fine to say that you do not know the answer to a question and that you will get back to the Member or staffperson – be sure the staff participating in the meeting provide their business card.

Below you will find a simple checklist of things to consider during your meeting with an elected official:

• Provide materials (i.e. leave behinds, business card)
• State the reason for your visit
• Explain impact of policy on state or district
• Take notes on important points and questions/follow-up items
• Engage in dialogue and allow for questions
• Make the ask and get a commitment

Additional considerations for virtual meetings:
• Introduce yourself and allow your group to introduce themselves and where they are from – this is particularly important over conference call where Congressional offices may be sensitive to know who is on the line.
• If a group is meeting, discuss in advance the flow and who will be the lead to help avoid the awkward pauses/speaking all at once characteristic of virtual calls.
• The virtual platform may allow you to share links/resources in the platform’s chat box or to run through a few photos or presentation slides more easily than you could in person.
• You may consider snapping a screenshot for your records or social media if a Member of Congress joins (or they may suggest it themselves) – just ensure all parties agree.