Preparing For Meetings With Legislators
The most effective way to lobby an elected
representative is a face-to-face meeting. When deciding to do so, there are
several rules and protocol to keep in mind, whether the meeting is in
Ottawa, in the member's riding or with your provincial or municipal
For a non-crisis meeting:
- Make your appointment several weeks in advance.
Know your facts.
- Develop your arguments and prepare answers to
- Study the legislator.
- Brief your delegation. Make sure that everyone who
is to meet the legislator shares the same general information and
viewpoints. Prepare background materials.
- Be on time.
- Get to the point.
- Limit the scope of your presentation. Limit your
presentation to a few essential issues. Trying to cover too much territory
may be confusing and will limit the impact of any one element.
- Stay on the topic. Be prepared to leave when the
allotted time is up.
The observance of professional courtesy will help to
create a good impression of your delegation. Such courtesy begins with
proper forms of address.
- Clearly identify the members of your delegation.
- Be ready with praise where it is merited. Be
scrupulously correct and honest. Discuss, don't lecture.
- Don't threaten or scold.
- Keep your promises.
- Respect the confidentiality of private remarks.
- Seek specific commitments.
- Be tolerant of different viewpoints.
- Don't criticize other legislators or groups.
Follow-Up To The Meeting
- Make a report on the meeting.
- Distribute the information you have acquired.
- Provide the legislator with further information.
- Keep in touch. Do not allow the contact to die.
- Seek other contacts in the legislator's office.
- Thank the legislator.
- Review and analyze your performance.