Planning a lobby day, fly-in or summit for your organization can be a daunting prospect. Preparing materials for your members shouldn’t be, though. This is where the idea for Lobby Day, our award-winning app available for iOS and Android, was borne.
Have you seen our Lobby Day app? We’ve created a smartphone app that provides instant access to all of your lobby day essentials. Built-in maps, Congressional directories, talking points, event schedules and social sharing tools are at your advocate’s fingertips when they’re using Lobby Day.
This tool has proven to be an indispensable part of multiple organizations’ lobby day toolkit.
But to keep this post informative and not just about our nifty product, below are some tips and tricks for a successful Day on the Hill with your advocates. If you’re coming to the next Advocacy Leaders Network event, you’ll learn even more on this topic!
What is a lobby day?
- An annual legislative event designed to motivate and educate Congress members, their staff and organization representatives on important issues facing that group’s issue areas.
- Also known as a, ‘fly-in,’ ‘advocacy day,’ ‘annual summit,’ or ‘Hill day.’
- Includes opportunities for participants to discuss advocacy activities and grassroots efforts, in addition to learning from keynote speakers and legislative experts.
- Participants on the ground who use the app as a real-time lobbying guide, using the Capitol Hill map to steer them to their congressperson’s office, the talking points to stay on message, and the social media sharing options to check-in and update their status.
- The app can be downloaded by anyone, not just those making the trek to the nation’s capital. With the optional integrated “Take Action” feature, users can send a letter to their representative right from their phone.
- Spring is an optimal time of year to hold a lobby day, as new representatives have been sworn in and are ripe for relationship building.
- Be warned, though– too many organizations jockeying for time with their representatives during the same day or week could leave your organization with too few windows of time in which to schedule meetings.
- Keep in mind the Capitol Hill session schedule. Congress is rarely in session in August, for example, so scheduling hundreds of people to fly to Washington in mid-August may not be ideal.
- Prepare your members and ensure that they’ll speak passionately about your issues to their Members of Congress.
- Scheduling Capitol Hill meetings, preparing talking points, creating Hill guides, shooting videos and generating flyers and leave-behinds can fill binders with reams of paper, cost a fortune to produce, and can be cumbersome to drag around Capitol Hill. For years, this has been the traditional method of preparing for a lobby day.
- Shameless plug: use the Lobby Day app to simplify your fly-in.
Lobby Day allows organizations to streamline their messaging with direct access to talking points, advocacy videos and schedules all in their advocates’ hands, encouraging them to rally behind your cause and to stay on message. This tool also helps save organizations on printing costs, eliminating the need to re-print materials whenever there is a minor change.
Smartphones aren’t just for surfing the web, checking email and texting. Lobby Day brings your activism into the 21st century, and puts advocacy tools into the pocket of every activist.
Get your iPhone or Android out, it’s time to lobby!
Want to know more? Get in touch with us to learn more about how Lobby Day can help your fly-in succeed!