Communication Tips

Ten Communications Tips for Capitol Hill Day

  1. Appointment times will be sent to you electronically once they are set up prior to Capitol Hill Day. This will include the names of the Members, staffers, time, location and all the coalitions attending the meeting.
  2. BRING YOUR OUTCOMES! Be prepared to educate your elected officials on your achievements in your community and the work your coalition is doing; they want to hear what is going on in the local landscape of their district.
  3. Don’t forget your legislative kit. CADCA staff will prepare a legislative kit prior to your meeting. Make sure your state facilitator has distributed these to you during your state facilitator meeting.
  4. Come up with a strategy during your state facilitator meeting. Clearly lay out how you plan to approach the meeting, when youth will speak and when you are going tomake the specific legislative asks to the Member.
  5. Do your homework. Look up the Member and/or staff that you are meeting with. Know what their interests are–preventing substance use has many positive secondary impacts. See if you can tie that in to something that is already a longstanding interest of the Member.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated. You will be walking A LOT and it is important to make sure that you are refreshed and ready to relay any concerns and answer any questions from Members and staff.
  7. Always bring a business card. Give them the opportunity to reach back out to you if they have any questions. You want them to see you as a local resource and someone that can help them with substance use issues.
  8. Expect meetings to range from 15-30 minutes, and that’s okay! Staffers are very busy in February meeting with different groups – hit the main points first and know that staffers are the gatekeepers for the Member.
  9. Don’t forget the front desk staff–be courteous, polite and engaging. These are the future Chief of Staff’s in the making. Rude visitors are not forgotten and people remember who was nice to them when they were starting out in their career.
  10. Follow Up! Your work is never done, you can always do more. Connect with the local offices to stay engaged and continue to build a working relationship. It will pay off in the future.