#2 – I Don’t Know the Person I’m Trying to Influence
This roadblock can be the result of many things. If they are newly elected to public office, just appointed to oversee your organization, newly hired, or a new volunteeror board member, you may not know them very well or at all. You need to take steps to change this as soon as possible. A newly elected, appointed or hired leader creates some of the best opportunities for advocacy that you’ll encounter.
First, they may be anxious to learn more before sponsoring legislation, changing the business model or establishing priorities. Getting someone while they’re “green” can work to your advantage because hopefully they won’t have any preconceived notions about your community or organization. Helping them to understand allows them to make informed decisions.
If your leader is not new, it’s time to take steps to get to know them. Don’t assume they’re going to make that effort. They’ve got an entire organization of volunteers or district of people and leaders to get to know. YOU need to make it your priority. Here’s a few quick strategies to get you started:
- Send them a note to welcome them to the community or organization.
- Follow up with a phone call to schedule time for lunch or coffee just to get to know them.
- If your meeting goes well, offer to show them around and/or introduce them to the leaders in your community.
Since the foundation of advocacy is strong relationships, we’ll talk MUCH more about this in future posts. But these three quick, easy strategies are some of the most effective you can do to start building that relationship.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy