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Lobbying: Communicating with Officials PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 06 August 2009 23:08


Calling Officials

Telephone calls are also a convenient way to communicate your messages to organizations, including government officials. In most cases, unless the official knows you personally, you will probably be unable to speak with him or her directly. Instead, you will more than likely be referred to the staff member responsible for attending to the public. Keep your message brief and to the point, and don’t forget to personalize your story.

Following this helpful format when calling a local, state or federal official’s office will be helpful:
  • Keep your call brief and to the point.
  • Identify your organization and the issue about which you are calling.
  • Express your opinion and the reasons you feel the way you do.
  • Be specific about what you wish the official to do.
  • Be courteous and understanding of reasonable differences of opinion.
  • If you would like a reply, request a written response and provide your name and address.
  • Follow up your telephone call with a letter that reiterates your message and explains the issue in more detail.

Using the Internet

Many public officials maintain e-mail addresses and websites, which are quickly becoming a popular means of communication with government officials. However, most offices still rely mainly on postal mail and personal relationships. Also, some government offices are better able to receive and respond to electronic mail than others. For example, there still exist a huge gap in technical capabilities of many public officials to manage their mail accounts and there are great differences in the technical capabilities and policies among others who know how to do so.

When using e-mail, we recommend starting your correspondence by identifying yourself as an organization or a constitute representing a broad-based coalition of like-minded citizens. Be sure to give your full name, address, phone number and e-mail address, and use the proper salutation in all e-mail correspondence. We suggest you follow the same format for an e-mail as a postal letter.

Officials do not always reply to e-mails unless a personal relationship exists. Many officeholders only take notice of business-related e-mails.

Communicating with Candidates

Elections at all levels of government often help draw public interest and media attention to specific issues. During campaigns, candidates focus their attention on issues they believe are of greatest concern to the voters. This is where your organization can be most successful. By demonstrating that a diverse group of voters cares about a particular issue, your organization can help push Muslim specific issues to the forefront of public debate. Early communications during a campaign can also help lay the groundwork for a strong relationship with the candidate and his or her staff after the election.

Some tips for communicating with candidates:

Be specific about what you want a candidate to support or oppose.

Provide candidates with detailed information about the coalition, its members and public transportation issues. Be sure to include easy-to-understand charts, numbers and statistics that candidates may find useful when discussing the issues publicly.

Provide personal stories. Candidates like to personalize their messages and talk about real people. Offer to help candidates locate individuals who can testify about their own experiences and how important public transportation has been to them.

Invite candidates to address the coalition or a business, labor or community group. Be sure to create an event that meets the candidate’s needs, your coalition’s needs, and is conducive to media coverage.

Lastly, keep your call brief and to the point.


Lobbying Kit





Last Updated on Sunday, 30 May 2010 23:30