Tips for Meeting with Members of Congress
Meeting with a member of Congress or Congressional staff is a big deal for both you and for them. Staffers should be prepared to convey their Congressional member’s position on issues to their constituents (you), but do not expect them to be fully knowledgeable about stillbirth-, SIDS-, SUID- or SUDC-related issues, even if the Congressional member is.
- Before you get to the meeting, review your talking points, think about your personal story and look over the Congressional member’s biography.
- Make a cheat sheet if necessary.
When You Arrive
- Try to arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.
- Go to the person at the front desk and let them know who you are, what organization you are representing, who you are meeting with and the meeting time.
- Get your leave-behind materials out and ready to go.
- Capitol Hill is notorious for running late. Please be patient and flexible.
- Always be polite and respectful of the person with whom you are meeting. Treat the staffer like you would treat the elected official.
- Do not argue with the staffer. Allow them their point of view, even if you disagree.
- Be aware of their time and read body language.
Stay on Message
- Avoid distractions and try not to stray from your topic.
- Utilize your public policy agenda.
Remember, their time is limited. Please be respectful.
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