While many of us are staying home these during the COVID-19 emergency, congressional offices are open for business and ready to hear from constituents.
Virtual lobby meetings can be incredibly effective. they are also simple and easy to do by phone or online no matter where you are. FCNL advocates and lobbyists are already meeting virtually with congressional staff, and now you can, too!
Ready to get started? Follow the instructions below or watch this video.
Prepare and Gather
- Email and call the scheduler in your local congressional office to request a lobby visit by telephone or video conference. You can find the scheduler for your members of Congress using the Staff Lookup tool in FCNL’s Action Center.
- Meet virtually with your lobbying group to plan out your lobby visit using the road map below. Write down the logistical details, assign roles, and time a practice session.
- Remind everyone of the date and time of your virtual meeting. Remember that there may be a time difference between Washington, D.C. and where you live. Ask the office if they have a conference line, or set up your own conference line for everyone to use.
- Your delegation should gather on the telephone or video line at least 10 minutes before the call is set to begin. Once your delegation is gathered—whether in the same room or remotely—take attendance and make sure the note taker has the names, cities and states, and email addresses for everyone for the follow-up email.
Make Your Voice Heard: A Road Map for Your Lobby Visit
- Each person introduces themselves.
- The group leader presents the “thank you” for the member of Congress.
- A delegation member presents the ask.
- A few delegation members will share their stories to express why action on your lobbying issue is important.
- Ask your questions to the staffer. Listen to and write down their answers.
- Repeat your ask and thank the staffer again for their time.
Follow-Up Via Email and Send FCNL a Report
- Use the follow-up email template to send an email to the staffer you met with. Reaffirm the lobby ask and list the contact information of your delegation members.
- Report your lobby visit to FCNL staff with our lobby report back form.
- Lobby Visit Roadmap
- Start by designating a group leader and a note taker. Fill in the boxes on the front and back of the page as you plan your visit, using the spaces provided on the left side to note the amount of time each part of the lobby visit will take. This road map will be your guide during your virtual lobby visit.
- FCNL’s Lobby Asks
- Lobby Report Back Form
- Follow-Up Email Template