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Effective Issue Advocacy

Communicating with your Legislator

If you choose to contact a legislator with any issue concerning Eastern Kentucky University, the first step is to contact us. It is crucial for the university's message to be seamless and cohesive. Once you have made contact with our office, please use the following tips for effective issue advocacy on behalf of EKU.

There are several different approaches one can take when communicating with your legislator/s. No matter the form of communication you choose, always remember the following: PROSP

        Be:

  • Polite
  • Relevant
  • Organized (prioritize your requests)
  • Specific (brief and to the point)
  • Patient

Face-to-Face

This form of communication will require planning on your behalf. You will want to consider travel (if need be) and time based around their sessions. Keep in mind if you choose to meet them, they each have demanding schedules so it is imperative to plan your talking points ahead of time. Be very brief and to the point with the topic you are advocating. It is also beneficial to leave them with a short fact sheet concerning your issue to review later on their own time. After your visit, you may also want to send a follow up letter thanking them for their time and consideration.

Telephone

In some situations, this may be the quickest way to communicate your issues or concerns. However, legislators may not always be easily reached by phone. Additionally, you may be directed to another person handling calls for the legislator you are intending to reach. Whatever the case may be, always be polite, to the point, think locally, and try to speak with someone that deals directly with higher education issues.

Letters

This is one of the most common ways of communicating with your legislator. If you choose to send a letter, try to limit it to one page and be sure to take a very personal approach. For example, the letter should be written on your own letterhead. The first few sentences should be you introducing yourself. The rest of the letter should include personal experiences or testimonials, which directly relate to the issue/s you are addressing.

Email

Considering the digital age we are living in, most legislators check their email on a regular basis; however, some are likely to be inundated with hundreds per day. Although email is a great form of communication, you may not receive a quick response this way when trying to contact your legislator. Just remember to be professional, polite, and patient. Follow-up is key when choosing email as your first line of communication.

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