March 23, 2017, by Erik Larson

Top 3 Ways to Influence Policy

We are mid-session in state legislatures around the country, and on the Hill in Washington there are 882 bills in committee. Lobbyists are out in droves after the release last week of the 'America First' budget proposal issued by the Trump Administration. There's a lot at stake from infrastructure spending to health care.

Now is the time to hone your strategy to impact and influence policy.

We put together a quick outline of the best ways to make your case to representatives and influence their understanding of your industry's importance to American workers in their districts. We base these best practices on real, on-the-ground experience of industry groups ranging from technology, to construction, to health care.

Talk to someone about themselves and they'll listen for hours.
~ Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Top 3

  1. Do your homework. Read up on what your congressman or senator cares about. Remember they are elected in a district, and that means their interests are local, even if policy is done at state or federal level. Look for county and congressional district sources of jobs and economic data to quantify your impact.

  2. Tailor your message. Tagging on the first point, use what you learn to craft your message around something they relate to. Talking about county-level or district-level impact will resonate more than a "one size fits all" statewide message.

    This example comes a technology sector association, showing a congressman that tech jobs are outpacing timber in his district. This was eye-opening.

  3. Make your ask clear. Limit your asks, whether it is supporting a bill, carving out funding or sponsoring new legislation. Make this a clear, distinctive part of the discussion by using the Aristotelian "triptych": Tell them what you're going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you told them.

    Going back to the tech industry example, these 3 asks are clear, quantified and to-the-point. (And, there's only 3).

With eImpact Report, you can create a memorable, data-rich pitch to make the most out of meetings with policy-makers. We give you all the data and tools you need to make it credible and visual.

Your industry. Your economic impact.

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