State Capitol Buildings: A Never-ending Hobby

Here’s a site sure to interest anyone in lobbying…

State Capitol Buildings Are My Never-ending Hobby, Site Index. Fascinating facts about all 50 state capitols and capitals.

Can you guess which capitol this is?

Guess which capitol this is.

The state capitol of Iowa has five domes.

What’s on top… sometimes, nothing…

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Why senator’s office is so busy

Sen. Leno explains some of the many types of issues that consume his office.

Your grass roots key contacts need to understand they must compete with all this for the ear of staff and elected officials.

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What’s the last thing a senator sees before voting?

Senator Noreen Evans explains the last thing she sees before she takes a vote…

Help your grassroots advocates understand the power of their emails, phone calls and letters with video testimonials like this.

If you train your grassroots advocates properly, they can create powerful mind-changing messages that will influence elected officials to vote your way.

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How busy is a California state Senator?

California Sen. Mark Leno gives insight into his schedule. Grass roots key contact advocates need to understand they are just one of many people in a long line competing for limited time available.

Constituents always move to the head of the line.

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Sen. Mark Leno explains how many people try to communicate with him each week – your competition

This is the kind of interview grass roots key contact advocates need to see to understand how they operate in a competitive environment. Then they need training to make sure your organization’s message penetrates the clutter faced by people like Sen. Leno.

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Using email to lobby politicians – action alert

This kind of straight forward testimonial from a sitting elected official helps your grass roots key contacts understand what they are up against.

Effective email communication needs to follow – FOLLOW – establishing a relationship and consider the needs of the recipient first.

If you don’t follow up to see that it was read, it may not be received, seen or acted on.

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Are Key Contacts Even Getting Action Alert Email?

The promise of email is great, the delivery… maybe, maybe not.

When your grass roots key contacts gather, whether lobby day or something else, hand them a card that asks for

Maybe texting your advocates to look for an email is the answer

Make sure your advocates get your action alert

  • Their cell phone and permission to text
  • The address of their workplace
  • The address where they are registered to vote
  • Their fax number
  • Their personal email. If they have a generic office email, the name and phone number of the person who opens the email.

A truly effective grass roots key contact operation will need to have all these and use the ones – NOTE: may be more than one – that work for each key contact.

You need workplace and voter addresses to link your key contact advocates with their elected officials. Sometimes you get a two-fer; i.e., a key contact who will be warmly received by their assigned elected official as a constituent because they either (1) work in the district or (2) vote in the district.

A truly effective grass roots key contact operation will have the names of your advocate’s staff and incorporate them into the communication system data base.

Just as an example, I’m working with an organization right now that has key contact email addresses in a database. Many are the corporate email intake such as “info@mycompany.com.” I have called and talked with the offices and only about 20% got the email without prompting. Of the rest, more than half needed the email re-sent.

These catch-all email addresses are often heavily spam protected and if a human looks at them it is the lowest ranking new hire who has no training about action alerts and will delete your message thinking it is spam.

Set up a system to call or text key contacts to make sure they see your email

If you want key contacts grass roots advocates to respond to your email action alert, you have to take positive action to make sure they read it.

If this is the only email you can get you need to communicate to the low ranking new hire in a way that will cause your action alert to reach the key contact. That will probably require a phone call to stimulate a search for your action alert and probably require a re-send and another phone call, so think about how you will staff for this probability.

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