6 Tips to hosting an elected official
at your business
Create an opportunity to develop a relationship with your elected officials by inviting them to tour your business. Hosting a lawmaker requires time and preparation. This face-to-face interaction allows them an inside look at how their decisions can affect your business and employees. The extra effort goes a long way towards building a relationship and making a lasting impression.
The following tips may help maximize your efforts:
- Plan your purpose
What do you want to accomplish by hosting your legislator at your business? What about your business do you want to show them? Will you introduce them to your employees? What issues will you discuss? Think this through and do any necessary research and preparation. When possible, utilize NFIB.com for supporting information.
- Submit your invitation
by telephone, email or letter, addressed to the legislator’s local office. If calling the office to request an appointment, ask to speak with the scheduler, explain the purpose of your call and the reasoning. Know your availability before making the request, and offer a range of dates to accommodate the legislator’s schedule.
- Be prepared
Make any necessary arrangements at your business before the event. Do your research. Read the legislator’s bio, recent press releases, check their NFIB vote record, etc. Your preparation will convey that you are informed and will help make the event more productive. Most of this information is on the legislator’s website. To look up your legislators, click here, and enter your zip code in the “Find Officials” box.
- Event structure
Plan for roughly one hour in length. The legislator can meet participants and talk informally among them before the tour which may conclude with a seated discussion on issues. Begin by having participants introduce themselves and keep the conversation friendly. Do not require your employees to meet the legislator but include those who are interested. Have fun! If you take any photos, please share them with NFIB by submitting to grassroots@NFIB.org.
- Be a resource
Offer yourself as a resource for business issues related to your industry. Elected officials don’t know everything and having a community leader they trust to discuss issues and the potential impact is an opportunity to educate them.
- Follow-up with a thank you
After the tour, send a thank you. Thank you notes can include appreciation for their time, summary of issues discussed, and an offer to be a resource on issues relating to your industry. This gesture will go a long way. Everyone appreciates a thank you.