Grassroots Advocacy Tool Kit - Courtesy of BMS


CONGRESSIONAL CALL-IN If advocates cannot make the trip in person to meet with their Congressmen/women, your organization can arrange for a “Congressional Call-in.” Through this form of communication, you can encourage anyone involved with the cause to call their Congressmen/women’s office on a specified day and ask for support for a particular issue or cause. This type of call-in can be effective in raising awareness of an important issue. Here are some tips on setting up a Congressional Call-in: • Set a goal: For example - To flood members of Congress with phone calls about an important issue. • Pick a time period: Hold it separate from a regular lobby day to increase participation. It can be just one day, or last an entire month. • Set up technology: Work together with a company who will set up the phone number and the automated system message. • Partner: Partner with other groups or associations with a common interest in the cause. • Promote: You will need to make hundreds of calls/callers to have an impact on offices. Promote via mailed fliers and social media. • Make the call: Develop a script for your advocates to follow that includes short talking points. First thing they should do is identify themselves as a constituent, then say the talking points of why they are calling. • Track your progress: Use online tools to update advocates. This will show which states/ districts have called in and where you need more callers so they can recruit friends and family to call. Try to get callers from every state!

• Follow up: Have your advocates follow up after the calls with a thank you to the office for listening to their concerns. Repeat the ask from the call. TOWN HALL MEETING You can bring people together in your local area by organizing a town hall meeting. This event can help you increase the awareness of a healthcare issue by educating your community as a whole through the use of selected speakers, panelists, experts, and patient representatives. Here are some tips on setting up a town hall meeting: • Develop a planning committee, meeting objectives, an agenda, and meeting materials to be distributed at the meeting. • Identify staff, speakers, panelists, moderators, and media spokespeople for your event. • Plan logistics: Find a location, set a day and time for your event, and create an invitee list. • Promote your event within your community: Place signs around town and in community hospitals. • Promote your event to the media: Create a press release, call local media outlets, and contact your local newspaper. • Promote your event on social media: Provide registration table, with sign in list and attendee contact information. Identify staff to welcome attendees, start on time, and finish on time. • Follow up: Send a thank you to attendees with a summary of the event, including who attended, what was accomplished, and any action items or next steps. information on how to register/attend. • Execute: Arrive early to set up, set up a


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