When done properly, grassroots lobbying can be a highly effective way to make positive changes in government. However, successful grassroots lobbyists need to learn the ropes and excel at being persuasive and effective before they can see desired changes made.
The following are six things grassroots lobbyists need to do to have success in reaching their goals:
Thoroughly researching the issue
Being informed is one of your major priorities. Before you talk to any legislator or politician, it's imperative that you are able to give precise and clear answers to any possible queries or rebuttals.
Simply knowing the facts is not enough. You also need to make sure that you're comfortable explaining all the facts in detail. Be prepared before any meetings with legislators to ensure that you will be taken seriously and respected as an authority on the issue in question.
Focusing on the constituents of politicians that are being influenced
Politicians need to please their constituents to maintain their positions. You should focus on convincing the politicians that the measures you want to support are measures that the constituents of any politician you're speaking to will also support.
If possible, bring concerned constituents with you or bring along testimony from constituents supporting your measure.
Getting to know the legislator in question
A lobbyist needs to get to know the legislator he or she needs to convince in order to be successful. Over time, you need to form a relationship with your legislator.
This means that you'll probably want to get involved in your legislator's campaigns and make yourself known to your legislator so that you'll be able to arrange meetings to discuss important issues.
Always acting courteous around the staff of the legislator
In addition to getting to know your legislator, you're also going to want to get to know your legislator's staff. Being well liked by staff members is important. It will help to ensure that your messages get delivered and prioritized.
Focusing on positives rather than negatives
As a lobbyist, you need to learn to walk a fine line. You don't want to come across as critical of the status quo or of existing policies that the legislator has put in place, but you do want to make it clear that you think changes are in order.
Always avoid being overly critical and negative. Stress positives rather than negatives.
Not trying to do all the talking
To be a good lobbyist, you need to listen as well as you speak. You're going to have to understand the legislator's perspective, and you're going to have to show that you're interested in the opinions of others.
For more help with grassroots lobbying, contact a company like Crowds On Demand.