Tips for Communication
Below are some tips to help you communicate with
public officials. Your elected leaders
want to hear from you on issues that impact your business. The MRCC encourages its members to engage in
the policymaking process and influence decisions that impact your
community. This information, along with
a directory of elected officials in the region (both federal, state and local
levels), can be found in your 2011 Membership Directory.
via Letters and Emails
Letters or e-mails sent to public officials should be
as clear and concise as possible. Below
are some simple tips to make your correspondence more effective:
- Keep it
short. Try to limit your letter to one
page and emails to several paragraphs.
If you feel additional information should be provided, schedule an
appointment to meet with that public official.
appropriate address and salutation. Updated
contact information for public officials can be found on this website or in
your 2011 Membership Directory. A simple
internet search can also be useful, but be careful of candidate websites versus
official government websites.
positive and constructive. Public
officials want to hear feedback from their constituents. But like most of us, they respond better to
praise and constructive criticism. If
possible, explain how their leadership helped on a different issue and that you
need that leadership again on your issue.
your communication. Identify
yourself, company and your experience on the matter at hand. Communicate how a policy proposal could
impact your business. Use relevant
comparisons and examples to strengthen your argument.
you are a resource. As a business
professional, you are an expert in your field and industry. Offer to provide additional information
regarding your field, the issue and how it will impact your business.
Many of the same letter/email writing tips apply when
you are calling a public official. A
telephone call an make an immediate impact on a policy decision. However, don’t get discouraged if you are
unable to speak directly to the public official. Leaving a message or voicemail can be just as
influential. Here are some additional
tips when making a phone call:
- Ask to
speak with a policy aide or appropriate staffer. If a public official is not available, ask to
speak with a staff member who handles the particular subject area. Local officials may not have this level of
- Keep your
comments short and concise. After
identifying yourself and the reason for your call, keep your comments short and
focused on the topic. Try to limit your
conversation to one topic. Remember to
be polite, constructive and helpful.
to say “thank you”. The outcome of
your conversation may not be what you want; the goal is to provide them your
prospective. Always remember to thank
them for their time and offer to be a resource in the future.
prepared to leave a message. While
you can leave a message with an office assistant, a personal message on a
voicemail can be more impactful. Make
sure you indicate the issue, reference bill number (when appropriate), quickly
state your position and rationale, and provide contact information.