McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

In today’s post I will go over some tips for writing effective advocacy letters for bills and resolutions weaving their way through the Legislature or Congress.

  1. If you’re a constituent, identify yourself as such. Most elected officials feel quite compelled to respond to constituent mail versus out-of-district mail.
  2. Try to be brief and keep it simple. Keep your letter to just a page, or two at the very most. Be direct. Remember to request what action you want your elected representative to take.
  3. State your position in the opening paragraph of your advocacy letter. State it again in the closing paragraph too.
  4. Personalize your letter. Try to avoid using form letters with just one or two changes. Personalized letters carry much more weight with legislators and their staff. Explain how the legislation or resolution would impact you, or your business, or your area.
  5. Always be polite. Don’t be rude. No threats. Politicians respond better to praise than criticism.
  6. Try not to enclose additional material. The information is usually rarely read.
  7. Never exaggerate or lie. Stick to the facts and your own personal experiences only.
  8. Make sure your letter is delivered in a timely fashion. An advocacy letter doesn’t do any good if it reaches your legislator after the bill has been voted on.
  9. Try to get other groups to sign on to your letter or to send similar letters.
  10. Send a copy of your advocacy letter to any other members of the relevant committee.

I hope these general tips help you write more effective advocacy letters.

You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.