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Playing Nice with Lobbyists: Demonstrating Advocacy’s Value-add in Their Terms (Deep Dive 2)

October 3, 2023 @ 2:00 pm 3:00 pm

Do your lobby shop and grassroots teams fight like siblings or are you one big happy family? Learn how to break down silos and build a program that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Andy Byun, Credit Union National Association
Rachel Feinstein, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (moderator)
Brandon Graham, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Colleen Terry, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States



  • Partner with in-state associations – best results in engagement and moving the needle with lawmakers 
  • Know your audience 


  • Keep open & continuous lines of communications 
  • Inside Baseball is not an effective grassroots patient advocacy
  • Do they need to hear from us or does this substantially elevate our leadership on an issue/with a champion? 
  • Use their unique voice 


  • Tier out your actions and segment the audience

How do you demonstrate the value of evergreen advocacy issues to your lobbyist to keep your advocates engaged? 


  • Even with no legislation – we want to have an evergreen activation to continue to grow your base in that state 
  • NYT Activation – Fake activation to have a poll with “Do you want to raise alcohol taxes” 
  • With media, think if we want to draw more attention to our opponent 
  • Jump on the news and create traction when your organization’s topic is getting attention 
  • Build a relationship with your teams 


  • Constant standing low-level actions 
  • List building story collection 


  • Trade your advocates 
  • Collect data 


  • Advocacy is effective storytelling x storytelling is effective advocacy 
  • Have conversations with your other internal teams (comms, policy) 
  • Set up an advocacy account and cross-promote on the main pages 
  • Add Follow Us to every email
  • Engagement can overshadow our policy goals 

How things work and why they work 


  • Make sure everyone is aligned with your priorities and goals 
    • Procedure, Review, and Metrics 
  • Talk about the vibe and feeling of your advocates when they receive an action even those it’s not an ROI people 


  • Put a deadline internally for people to reply and move your activations 
    • Due date vs. drop dead date 

How do you know when to activate grassroots vs. let lobbyists handle 

  • Mostly based on intel and budget 
  • State coalition helps because you have them leverage your lobbyist on the ground while you focus on grassroots 
  • Hire a lobbyist if you need to improve a relationship or flip a lawmakers 


October 3, 2023
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
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