Digital media provides neighborhood bankers a platform for advocacy, and ICBA’s Digital Advocacy Primer particulars how one can put it to work.
How can a neighborhood banker finest join with a member of Congress? With the rising variety of digital choices—whether or not it’s e mail, social media or video calling—neighborhood bankers can bridge the hole and advocate for the business’s finest pursuits, whether or not that’s cannabis-related enterprise financing, small and rural enterprise credit score, or credit score unions’ unfair benefit.
of constituents mentioned that their consultant and/or senator makes use of Fb extra for the reason that pandemic.
After COVID modified how all of us do enterprise, senators and representatives have expanded their presence throughout know-how by livestreaming on social media, posting Q&As and working e mail or cellphone campaigns. Based on a 2020 Congressional Administration Basis report, constituents reported their consultant and/or senator used on-line platforms both “extra” or “considerably extra” for the reason that pandemic started.
So, how are you going to make the most of this bolstered media connection?
Lay out a plan
ICBA’s Digital Advocacy Primer explains how neighborhood bankers can use digital choices to take grassroots motion for the good thing about the business. With these social and digital platforms, you might have new factors of contact to your consultant.
Earlier than making contact together with your consultant, first ask your self why. What’s your finish purpose? Are you making an attempt to lift consciousness a couple of sure coverage or invoice affecting neighborhood banks? Are you making an attempt to stop it from being handed?
After getting that purpose in thoughts, schedule a digital assembly. Discover the consultant’s or senator’s scheduling course of on their official web site and comply with each step.
Your assembly request ought to cowl:
- Your plan (both a tour or a assembly)
- The topic of the assembly and the precise matter you’re discussing
- The contributors (together with zip codes)
- Background info relating to the topic (studies, one-pagers, and many others.)
After making the request, name the member’s workplace to debate and finalize the size of the assembly and any software program preferences (resembling what digital platform you’ll use for the assembly). Wait every week for a response after which comply with up if obligatory by cellphone, Fb message and/or Twitter direct message. When you hear a response, thank them and notify any financial institution employees who can be concerned.
Be thorough about preparation
Earlier than the assembly, research up in your Congress member by wanting by means of web sites, newsletters, information alerts and social media. Be certain that different assembly contributors out of your financial institution do the identical. You’ll be able to even rehearse amongst yourselves to make sure the assembly is concise, informative and private.
It’s additionally vital to check out the assembly’s technical elements, together with the software program platform (Zoom, Microsoft Groups, GoTo Assembly, and many others.), lighting and sound. It’s possible you’ll need to put money into an exterior mild and/or microphone. Having a high-quality setup will assure that your message will get throughout and will allow you to stand out from the group.
Earlier than the assembly, take quarter-hour to work out any of those technical kinks and supply everybody with a backup plan if the software program fails (resembling utilizing a cellphone line).
If you be a part of the scheduled assembly, thank your member of Congress utilizing their correct title. Give them the what, why and the way:
- What would you like them to do? (Solely cowl one or two points)
- Why is that this vital to you?
- How will this have an effect on the native space, district and voters?
- Present a transparent, direct and achievable request
Monitor your assembly’s runtime. Preserve it concise, however don’t neglect to go away time for questions. Afterwards, draft your follow-up and thank-you emails (see the ICBA template on our web site).
As an professional in the neighborhood banking business, ensure you utilize a tone that represents that.
Two days after the assembly, give your self half-hour to finish the follow-up. Solely 8% of constituents comply with up in a well timed, useful approach, in keeping with Hill employees. By following up, you reinforce the significance of the problem.
When you efficiently meet and speak together with your Congress member, use these strategies to maintain up with their present occasions and updates:
- Arrange Google information alerts
- Go to your officers’ web sites and join their newsletters
- Observe them on social media (Fb, Twitter, Instagram, and many others.)
- Attend digital city halls
ICBA desires to listen to about your advocacy efforts, too, and may help assist you. Electronic mail John Coleman, ICBA’s director of advocacy, at john.coleman@ICBA.org relating to your conferences with Congress.
ICBA motion assets
Discover out extra about ICBA advocacy alternatives and efforts
- Questioning about ICBA’s newest stances on banking coverage, issues and points? Go to icba.org/advocacy to find out about current payments and for extra info on what it takes to do efficient advocacy work.
- For an in-person advocacy expertise, keep tuned for extra info on the 2023 ICBA Capital Summit this April.