Plan a legislative visit
Whether it is responding to a legislative alert or inviting your legislator to take a tour of your establishment, becoming politically active in PRLA is easy. Political action just takes a little of your time and can make a great impact on your industry.
Something as simple as giving an elected official a tour of your business can go a long way in establishing a good relationship with your local, state or national policy makers. Business visits are a good way for lawmakers to meet constituents and learn about the vital role you and your business play in the community.
Inviting your elected official to your business
- Call for an appointment but do not be discouraged if it takes several invitations before your lawmaker accepts.
- Find out who will accompany your lawmaker (any staff or guests) and help arrange for transportation, if necessary.
- Contact PRLA at (800) 345-5353 for updates on the issues you plan to discuss.
Preparing for the visit
- Find out how much time your guest will have to help plan your tour.
- Decide if you would like local press coverage. Be sure to notify the lawmaker’s office that the press is invited and may be present.
- PRLA staff can help you prepare information for your legislator to help bolster the point you want to make.
- Let your employees know the time and date of the visit, and provide them with some background information about the lawmaker. It may be helpful to arrange for the lawmaker to meet with select employees.
Conducting the visit
- Set an agenda to allow for enough time for a tour, brief discussion and a meal.
- Map the tour to show areas that illustrate the points you want to make.
- Keep close track of time.
- Encourage your guest to join you for a meal, if they have time.
- Introduce your employees by name.
Make your case effectively
Help your lawmakers understand your business by providing them with the following information:
- number of people you employ, your average payroll and employee benefits
- your annual sales and the amount you spend on food supplies, alcohol, rent, property taxes and federal, state and local taxes
- charitable organizations or community projects to which you donate your time or resources
- any special programs or services you provide to your employees or the community
Keeping in touch
Political involvement is an ongoing process, not a single event. Keeping in touch with your lawmakers is as important as your visit or participation in Legislative Day.
- Send your lawmaker a personal note thanking him or her for visiting your business and re-emphasizing key points you made during the visit, include any photos from the visit.
- Express interest in your lawmaker’s legislative and political activities by asking to receive his or her newsletter.
- Offer to add your legislator to your mailing list to receive notices about your special projects or promotions.
- Keep in touch with key aides who accompanied the lawmaker at the visit.
- Keep track of how your lawmaker votes on issues and do not hesitate to communicate to your lawmaker when you like, or do not like, their actions.
- Contact PRLA for more information about reporting meals or gifts to public officials.