Pillow Talk – Advocacy Tip #4 – Know How to Communicate
Last week, we explored AATC Advocacy Tip #3: Know Your Public Officials. Remember, knowledge is power, but knowledge also lets you connect with an elected official in a meaningful way. As a multifamily housing industry advocate, your goal is to find a connection point—something or someone that personally connects you to elected officials. That way, when you meet with them, it is a conversation between friends.
You have established a relationship with an elected official, now what? That brings us to Advocacy Tip #4: Know How to Communicate.
Somewhat like a parent-child relationship, it is very helpful and always useful to regularly touch base with elected officials. Too often, our communication with government officials only occurs when we need something or when there is an urgent problem staring us in the face: increased fees, more regulations, increased taxes, etc. Like all healthy relationships, AATC members must frequently interact with elected folks and commit to doing so in the good times, bad times, and times in between. The next time something good happens in their district, send them an email or text. If something cool happens at your property or you see something in the media about an elected official, let them know.
For example, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was recently interviewed by ESPN about the Colonial Golf Tournament in Fort Worth this month being the first PGA Tour event since the COVID-19 crisis. So, I texted her to tell her I saw the interview and congratulate her on promoting Fort Worth. She immediately responded to text and thanked me for supporting her. Everyone, including the mayor of the 12th largest city in America, enjoys a pat on the back.
Another great way to communicate is hand-written notes. In our overly virtual, uber electronic world, taking the time and effort to hand-write a letter to an elected official gets notice. Just a quick, thinking of you or thanks for your leadership written on a personal or company stationery with your business card enclosed, is a powerful, effective means to strengthen the partnership between you, your company, our industry, and elected officials.
Remember, effective advocacy means to communicate, communicate, and communicate some more with government officials.
Perry Pillow is AATC’s Director of Government Affairs. For more information, contact Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-616-0354. This article is a repost from AATC's Dimensions Magazine. View the full article here: http://dimensionsmag.org/pillow-talk-advocacy-tip-4-know-how-to-communicate/