Policymakers want to hear from their constituents, particularly business owners and job creators. Below are some tips and guidelines for scheduling and having a great meeting with your policymakers.
Email your lawmakers
Make your voice heard as a small business advocate by sending an email to your lawmakers, urging them to support digitally empowered small businesses.
Schedule a meeting or tour of your business
Invite a lawmaker to better understand your business and the importance of digital tools.
Meeting request sample email
My name is [insert your name] and I am the [insert your job title] of [insert the name of your business]. As your constituent and a small business leader, I am writing to request a meeting with [Senator/ Representative XX] in [insert preferred district office location] on [insert your available dates/ times] to discuss [insert policy issue, e.g. online advertising].
Please let me know when [Senator/ Representative XX] or the appropriate staffer might be available to meet with me. I can be reached via email or by phone and am able to provide additional windows of availability, if needed.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
[Your phone number]
Tips for sharing your small business story
Help your lawmaker understand the issues and why they matter to you and your community.
Start by introducing your business
- Who are you?
- What’s your business? Where is it located?
- What does your business mean to you and your community?
- How are you using digital tools to adapt and grow?
Define what’s at stake
- What are your policy concerns?
- Whether it’s a proposed change or a current law, how does the policy at-hand impact your business — now and in the future?
Call to action
- What should lawmakers do to address your concerns?
- How can they reach you — or how can you get in touch with them — to follow up?
Tips for planning an effective lawmaker meeting or event
Get ready for your meeting, keeping in mind a few simple dos and don’ts:
- Know the reason for your meeting and make your objective clear
- Practice sharing your story in your own words
- Keep it short, sweet, and respectful
- Plan to arrive with plenty of time before your meeting
- Say anything you wouldn’t want connected to your business
- Speak in jargon, ramble, or use filler words such as “um”
- Lead with partisanship
- Rush or forget to say thank you
Post on social media
Social media is a great tool to engage with policymakers. Their offices monitor platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to gauge the conversation on issues affecting their constituents and track mentions of their names.
To ensure your elected officials notice your post, check out a few sample social media posts you can use as a guide. If you want your elected officials to see your post, look up who represents you and their social media handles, and be sure to tag them in the post! Also, to amplify the impact of your advocacy efforts, be sure to use #AllAboutAdvocacy in all of your posts.
If you meet with a Member of Congress:
I am excited to have met with my representative, thanks to @ConnectedCouncil, to advocate for policies that support small business growth and innovation. Thank you [@lawmaker] for meeting with me today. #SummerofSmallBizAdvocacy #AllAboutAdvocacy
This summer, I’m #AllAboutAdvocacy! I can’t wait to meet with [@lawmaker] in the next few weeks to advocate for policies that support small business growth and innovation. #SummerofSmallBizAdvocacy
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with [@lawmaker] to discuss the need for policies that support small business growth and innovation. #SummerofSmallBizAdvocacy #AllAboutAdvocacy
If you want to post about the value of digital tools to your business and concerns about new laws making them harder to use and more expensive:
Digital tools are an invaluable part of running and growing my small business. [@lawmaker], don’t break what’s working for me and millions of other small businesses! #SummerofSmallBizAdvocacy #AllAboutAdvocacy
Digital tools such as online advertising, marketing, back office software and so much more help me run and grow my business. [@lawmaker] Don’t pass new laws that make digital tools harder and more expensive for small businesses to use. #SummerofSmallBizAdvocacy #AllAboutAdvocacy
Can you take the next step and share information with your community too?
Need more help?
Contact 3C for additional support