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Tips for a Successful Fly-In on Capitol Hill

Thanks to help from you, our SOCMA members, specialty chemical manufacturers saw some big legislative wins in 2016. But our work on Capitol Hill is far from done. Many of you are currently preparing for the trip to Washington, D.C., for SOCMA’s 10th Annual Washington Fly-In, where you will share issues important to your business and our innovative sector. The Fly-In, set for April 25-26, is a unique opportunity for you to engage with lawmakers and share your stories in face-to-face meeting with members of Congress.
Dan Newton

 Spring is a great time to host a Fly-In. Not only is the weather nice, but new legislation is often introduced during this time. This year’s Fly-In is particularly important given there is a new Administration and Congress. At a minimum, you can meet with some new players who will be interested in meeting their constituents. This is an important first step in influencing policy.

Meeting with lawmakers is also a great way for you to stay engaged on issues important to keeping your business competitive. Educating your lawmakers about certain laws and regulations that impact business is a fundamentally important way to have some influence in the political process. Whether it is bringing attention to an issue or supporting or opposing a piece of legislation, you can make a difference. You have the best stories to tell, and members of Congress want to hear those stories directly from you. Below are a few key tips you should think about as you prepare for your meetings:

The Fundamentals

  • Arrive on time – remember the metal detectors!
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get from one appointment to another, especially if you are traveling from one side of Capitol Hill to the other (i.e., House office buildings to Senate office buildings and vice versa).
  • Coordinate with others attending your meetings – decide which issues are a priority to discuss and who will lead.
  • Be flexible – Congressional offices can be hectic, busy places.
  • Respect the Congressional staff’s influence – they can sway their boss’s decisions.
  • Most appointments are 10 -15 minutes in duration.

Your Message

  • Thank the member of Congress for their time today.
  • Introduce yourself and your company (employees, economic impact, community involvement, products manufactured).
  • Introduce your issue(s) of concern and specify your position.
  • Personalize your issues – Emphasize potential district impacts; be brief, but make your case.
  • In closing, invite the Senator or member of Congress to your facility for a visit.\
  • SOCMA’s government relations staff is assigned to many meetings and is there for support.

Finally, don’t forget your business cards. You might also bring information about your company. A company brochure or other materials are a good way to highlight what your company does. You might also follow-up with a written thank you note. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Don’t hesitate to contact SOCMA staff with any questions or concerns. We can help you understand some of the issues and facilitate follow-up meetings for you.

For more information contact Dan Newton at newtond@socma.com, or (571) 348 5122.

Early bird registration ends Tuesday, March 28, so REGISTER NOW!

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