Advocacy is important because it can produce change. You can focus your advocacy efforts in several different ways.
Know Your Legislator
Face-to-face Meetings with Legislators
Face-to-face meetings at the local district or Harrisburg offices of your legislators are extremely valuable to develop and maintain a positive relationship. When you meet, be clear on what your position is and what you want the legislator to do. Be credible; present facts and give specific examples of how the issue affects your community. Thank them for their time and follow up with an email or letter restating the substance of the meeting.
Phone calls are also effective, particularly when an issue is moving quickly. Think about what you want to say before placing the call, your position and key talking points. If the legislator is unavailable, ask to speak to the staff person working on the issue. Be concise and have a clear “ask” of what you want the legislators to do and ask how they will vote. Thank them for their time and follow up with an email or letter restating the substance of the call.
E-mails and Letters
Social media such Twitter and Facebook are quick and powerful ways to reach your legislator, the media and the public. They are fast paced, real time, information sharing social media sites and can be effective outlets to have a conversation about issues. Nearly all legislators have their own Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube accounts. See what they are posting and participate in conversations or use your own social media to start your own (don’t forget to tag your legislator).
Editorials and Letters to the Editor
The print media can also help shape public opinion and can be an influential advocacy tool. Letters to the editor, opinion editorials, responses to point/counterpoint articles are a few examples of ways you can effectively convey your position on an issue.