CONSIDER HOSTING A VIRTUAL TOUR OF YOUR FACILITIES FOR LEGISLATORS
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. In response to the new reality of social distancing, reduced travel and avoiding groups, WCI provides this resource for our members who want to stay in touch with their legislators.
The annual August recess is usually a prime opportunity to host a legislator and Congressional office staff at your site to highlight your operations and industry. After all, it’s vital that legislators understand your opinions on issues and legislation. The recent challenges presents shouldn’t scuttle your outreach, even under social distancing guidelines. Consider hosting a virtual tour.
There’s no substitute for a live event, with real-time back and forth between your team and a legislator/staff.
Remember, if you’re not at the table, you might be on the menu.
- Start planning 3-4 weeks in advance
- Divide responsibilities - determine who will be the on-camera ‘host’, who else will be on camera/speaking, who will write down legislator’s questions, who will be the lead on technical issues..
- What’s your platform? Microsoft Teams is preferred in the U.S. House, the Senate prefers WebEx…Zoom is also an option
- Reach out to the legislator’s staff with as-specific information as possible. Be sure to emphasize that this is a virtual site visit, not a webinar
- Plan for a 30-45 minute event
- Ensure you have a reliable signal
- Map out a route, in advance, of what you want to highlight from your facility
- Have an ‘ask’, usually 2-3 key messages to relay. WCI can help with this. Know the status of that years’ appropriations. What issues are you targeting? Is there specific legislation afoot?
- Acquire permission - in advance - from the legislator’s office to record the event
- Do a full dress rehearsal within a week of the event….and test everything
- Have your device at eye level – no one wants to see the inside of your nose
- Look into the camera (make eye contact)
- Invest in an after-market microphone with wind screen
- Consider supplemental lighting to illuminate the host
- Post the session on your social media feeds
- Use a dedicated internet connection and close all apps and programs on the device
- Take a ‘selfie’ of the legislator during the event (get approval first)
- Have a backup plan in place -
- Be sure to send a thank-you email (or call) to the lead staff member
- Provide any follow-through that was promised (remember the person who was in charge of taking notes?) during the event
- Post any photos or video (that were approved by the legislator’s office) on your website, in your newsletter and internal communications – let your employees know the importance of reaching out to legislators
- Encourage them to “like”, retweet or otherwise share on their own social media feeds, with the legislator tagged so it gets back to their office
- Share that content with any associations (like WCI) to which you’re a member