American Associations Day:How to Run a Congressional Meeting March 13, 2013
Speakers • Danielle StaudtExecutive Director American League of Lobbyists • Mary Kate Cunningham Public Policy Manager ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
Purpose of a Hill Visit • Makea personal connection between your association and the Power of A message • Advancelegislative issues of the association community • Ensureyour voice heard- Members of Congress represent their constituents
What is the PWRA Campaign? • The Power of A campaign is designed to show how associations are social and economic drivers • Associations are moving society forward in many ways • Learn more at the American Associations Day panel “Hill Meetings: Using the Power of A Message” with panelists: • Matthew R. D’Uva, CAE, President and CEO Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals International • Jim Thompson, CAE, IOM, Executive Director Association Executives of North Carolina
Poll • What are you most concerned about regarding your meetings on the Hill? • Scheduling and confirming meetings • Locating the office • Mastering the legislative issues • Making the final “ask” • Other: fill in
Planning Your Hill Visit • Allow at least 15 minutes between meetings on the House side and at least 30 between meetings on the Senate side • Numbering system on the House • Building + Floor + Room Number • Example: Rayburn 2nd floor is 2243 • Example: Longworth 2nd floor is 1243 • Example: Cannon 2nd floor is 243 (no number) • Allow enough time for traffic (on Metro and the roads)
Planning Your Hill Visit • Expect to walk- the Congressional campus is large • Prohibited items: • liquid, including water • Aerosol containers/ non-aerosol spray • Any bag larger than 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep • Cafeterias and snack shops can be found in almost all Congressional buildings. Check a map for the closest to you.
Before Your Meeting • Confirm each meeting a day in advance • Be prepared with the background of the Member of Congress and his/her district • Know potential connections between your organization and the district or member • Take a moment to consider the special angle that makes your talking points special • Dress for a business meeting
Arrival • Arrive 5 minutes early and check in at the Front Desk • Greet the front office Staff Assistant and tell them: • your name and organization • who you are meeting with and what time • Congressional staffers may look very young, yet they report to the member, so treat them with respect • Don’t be shocked if the meeting space is less than ideal (i.e. a cafeteria, hallway, or “cage” • Prepare for a short meeting, usually not longer than 15 minutes
Start the Meeting • The staffer you are meeting with will likely run late. Do not let this fluster you. Stick to the planned talking points. • Introduce each member of your group and what organization they are representing • Present material and business cards at the start of the meeting
Make the Connection • Emphasize if you are a constituent • If you have a connection to the member, share that with the person you are meeting with (i.e. attended same college or university, shared former coworker)
Meeting Logistics • Address how your association helps the district or state through services/education/ and jobs. • Use personal stories in addition to facts • Leave time for questions • Avoid acronyms and industry jargon • Thank the staffer or member if they have supported a position in the past that is related to your issue • Make your “ask” clearly • Offer to be a resource to the office
Mistakes to Avoid • Never mention campaign contributions- this destroys your credibility and may be illegal • Do not threaten not to vote for a member • If the member is present or stops by your meeting, avoid becoming “star struck” • Make sure not to guess at answers to questions: offer to check and then follow through with the staffer. • Never lie or stretch the truth on your issue • Do not convey negative feelings about politicians and Congress. Be respectful.
Breakdown of the Office • Staff Assistant • Legislative Correspondent (LC) • Legislative Assistant (LA) • Legislative Director (LD) • District/State Director • Scheduler • Chief of Staff
After Your Meeting • Send a follow up note to the staffer thanking them for the meeting and for their time • Provide any additional information you may have offered to send • Keep in touch with the office, either on this issue or a future issue. Make the connection into a relationship.
Poll • What are you still concerned about heading towards American Associations Day? • Mastering the issues • Confirming appointments with Congressional Offices • Making the “ask” to the staffer or Member • Other: fill in
Questions? Mary Kate Cunningham Public Policy Manager email@example.com 202-626-2787 Robert Hay Jr. Associate Director, Public Policy firstname.lastname@example.org 202-626-2788