Each week the AIT community receives #TakeActionTuesday with tips for creating impactful change in their community and beyond. From new online tools, to pending policy updates, subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss these action-oriented recommendations.

As an advocate, learning how to deliver an effective message to your representatives is key to creating change around the issues that matter most to you. According to research by the Congressional Management Foundation, one of the most powerful ways to increase the impact of your messaging is to shift from sending occasional messages and phone calls to building consistent, personal relationships with your elected officials and their staff over time. And don’t worry, it’s is easier than you think!

This Take Action Tuesday, remember that politics is personal, and begin to build real relationships with your representatives.

  1. Tie In Your Personal Story. The first step in building meaningful relationships with your representatives and their staff is framing your personal tie to the issues that you’re advocating around in a way that is both clear and memorable. Think of this as your platform—one that will encourage others to pay attention and allow them to better understand how a particular issue impacts real people and communities. See below for a quick video explaining how you can frame your personal story for impact.                                                                                 
  2. Get To Know The Right Staff. Find out if your representative has a staff member who focuses on your specific issue priorities and who that staff member is, especially if you are contacting your federal representatives. Getting to know the right staff and directing your issue-specific advocacy to the right person will help to ensure that your messages make a difference. Setting up in-person meetings with staffers is a great way to build a relationship with not only your representative, but with their entire office.
  3. Express Your Agreement. Part of maintaining a relationship with your elected officials is regularly sharing your views and experiences, even when your representatives already agree. Letting your elected officials know, not only when you disagree, but also when you agree with their actions will help them to maintain their position when faced with political pressures, and it may even help them to lobby their colleagues to join them.

How are you building personal relationships with your elected officials? Let us know at info@aitogether.org.