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Communication with Congress One Pager Background Information Written and Oral Testimony One on One discussion Need a plan and a good lobbyist.

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Presentation on theme: "Communication with Congress One Pager Background Information Written and Oral Testimony One on One discussion Need a plan and a good lobbyist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communication with Congress One Pager Background Information Written and Oral Testimony One on One discussion Need a plan and a good lobbyist

2 One Pager What is it? –Vehicle for communicating your organization’s position on an issue Make your problem a major issue for the congressman –Make them see how its solution would be a key to their re-election Convince the reader you know the issue and have something to contribute Short and to the point

3 Steps for Writing a One Pager 1. Have a Single Objective –Tempting to have multiple objectives –They will distract from your main issue 2. Know your Audience/Listener –How they voted –Their home district –Their position on your issue and related issues –The majority they won by in the last election

4 Steps for Writing a One Pager 3. The Right Approach –A single thought sentence that leads directly to your Objective –Do not offer multiple solutions –Describe the Approach in Technicolor 4. Use a Hook that makes the listener buy the product or idea –Statement to get and keep attention –Can be serious or humorous –Visual is better than verbal

5 Steps for Writing a One Pager 5. Subject This is where you have 30 seconds to get your point across –Make sure it reinforces the Objective –Relate the Objective to your Listener –Make sure Subject corresponds to the Approach 6. Closing your Message –Ask for what you want –Use imagery – paint a picture

6 Steps for Writing a One Pager First Impression –Dress and Act the part Be sure of yourself but NOT cocky You are the expert Do not fidget, maintain eye contact, etc. Answer questions briefly, without out the bull –Be prepared for questions; anticipate the questions and have short but complete answers Offer to provide background information to support approach Do NOT bypass the 1 Pager with a “Report”

7 One Pager


9 One Pager for Congress One Pager carried to Congressional offices –Meet with the staffer responsible for the area or the issue –Staffers NOT Congressmen are who you want to talk with –Cold Calls work, but appointments are more productive Do not blanket Congress, find out who is on the Committee and see ALL of their offices: Ds and Rs

10 Background Material - Reports Clean, concise finished reports Clearly state the issue Your organization’s position on the issue –Offer a solution -- Approach Present EVIDENCE, not rambling hearsay –Show the Dollars and Cents of the issue –Show why your solution will work better than other proposals KISS -- no more than 10 pages!

11 Oral Testimony Experts are requested to testify Never volunteer to present testimony (if Univ.) –Very poor taste, looked on with suspicion –If lobbyist, have a spokesperson (President) present the testimony If you have something to contribute then: –Get to know the Committee staff in charge of the issue –Educate Staff as to the issue and what you know about the issue, provide background reports –Provide information on the issue to convince them you are an expert Make the Committee want you to testify

12 Testimony Preparation Prepare written testimony ahead of time Send written testimony with 4-5 questions in a week early –The questions are things you want asked so you can better explain particular points Testimony should be 5-8 pages double spaced Something you can read in 5 – 8 minutes –Maybe asked to summarize it in 1-2 minutes when it is your turn

13 Writing Testimony Your outline should be: –Objective: single clear cut objective of what you want –Approach: right approach for audience & issue –Hook: get and keep attention, make it simple –Subject: explain and reinforce your objective What, Who, Where, When, Why, and How Provide supporting evidence –Close: Ask or yea shall not receive

14 Know Your Audience Know everything about each Member and their stance on the issue What other Committees they serve How they voted on related issues Be able to recognize each member in case you meet them in the hallway Be prepared for all possible of questions –Answer questions directly and work in you message

15 Presentation of Testimony Seated as a panel – 3 to 4 presenters Fixed time allocated to each –Know your time by Red Yellow Green lights Questions during presentation count against your time Questions afterwards do not count against your time “Read” testimony but maintain eye contact with Chair and Ranking Member –Never memorize

16 Other Thoughts on Testimony Don’t read your testimony Don’t memorize Outline your speech, write a draft using short words, reduce it to notes on 3x5 cards, avoid technical jargon, just the facts, control your emotions Rehearse you speech, use small words easy to pronounce, avoid stories Know when to stop

17 Hire a Lobbyist Characteristics of successful lobbyists –Know their topic VERY well –Know who to approach on both sides of the isle –Know likes and dislikes of Committee Members –Select the correct person for presentation –Know policy process –Not bi-partisan –Know budget situation -- where there is money to support the issue

18 What to Expect in Real Life Present testimony to a Sub-Committee or the Full Committee Most of the Members will not be present Members come and go Staffers are whispering questions and passing notes to the Members –This is how your submitted questions are brought to the Members You will not get 5 minutes

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