Mastering Advocacy Letter Writing: A Simple Guide to Using Email to Influence Elected Officials
Advocacy letters are a potent tool for driving change and making your voice heard by elected officials. At NewMode, we recognize the significance of well-crafted advocacy letters, and we're here to guide you through the process of writing an impactful letter that can make a real difference. Let's delve into the key steps and best practices for composing an effective advocacy letter to an elected official.
Step 1: Identify Your Purpose and Goals
Before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, clarify your objectives. Ask yourself what specific action or change you want from the elected official. Whether it's advocating for a policy change, expressing concerns about a recent decision, or voicing your support for a cause, clearly define your purpose.
Step 2: Research Your Recipient
Informed advocacy is effective advocacy. Take the time to research the elected official you'll be addressing. Understand their background, political affiliations, and positions on relevant issues. Tailoring your letter to their specific interests and values can increase its impact. If the message will go to all members of congress or parliamentarians think through the approach that will resonate best with them as a group.
Step 3: Craft a Compelling Introduction
The opening of your letter is your chance to grab the reader's attention. Begin with a powerful hook that sets the stage for your message. You could start with a personal story, a relevant statistic, or a compelling anecdote that illustrates the issue you're addressing.
Step 4: State Your Case Clearly and Concisely
Your advocacy letter should be concise and to the point. Use clear, straightforward language to express your views and concerns. Support your arguments with evidence, such as facts, data, or personal experiences. Avoid jargon and complex language that might confuse the reader.
Step 5: Personalize Your Message
Empower supporters to get personal by sharing their own experiences and why the issue matters to them. Humanize your advocacy by inviting supporters explaining how the elected official's actions can impact real people in their constituency. New/Mode provides a number configuration options to help amp up the personalization of your messages to decision makers.
*One cool example of a creative approach to personalization is when the Climate Emergency Unit invited students to send mock resume cover letters to elected officials as part of a push for a green jobs program.
Step 6: Offer a Solution
Don't just highlight problems; propose solutions. Elected officials appreciate constituents who offer constructive input. Clearly outline the steps or policies you believe should be taken to address the issue. Be specific, actionable, and realistic in your recommendations.
Step 7: Respectful Tone and Call to Action
Maintain a respectful tone throughout your letter. Even if you strongly disagree with the elected official, remain courteous and professional. End your letter with a clear call to action, specifying the response or action you're requesting.
Step 8: Proofread and Edit
Review your letter for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Typos and errors can detract from the professionalism of your message. It's also a good idea to get a second pair of eyes to review your letter for any overlooked mistakes.
Step 9: Use NewMode to Maximize Impact
Once your advocacy letter is polished and ready, use NewMode to amplify its reach and impact. Our platform empowers you to easily distribute your message to the right targets at the right time. You can also use our data-driven insights to track the effectiveness of your letter campaign.
Step 10: Follow Up
After sending your advocacy letters, follow up with the elected official's office to ensure they received it. Persistence can often lead to more substantial responses or actions. Keep the lines of communication open and continue advocating for your cause.
We hope this guide is helpful and please reach out to a New/Mode campaign advisor if you think we can help.