• WisPolitics


Thursday, August 25, 2016

 11:29 AM 

Wendy Riemann column: Advantageous Advocacy: How do you August?

Some staff in Washington, D.C. live for August recess (or the “August work period” as others call it).  No joke.  Members return to their states and districts for the month, votes are put off until September, and the entire city slows down – partially from the extreme heat, but mostly from a break in the action.

Staff often find themselves taking a much-needed and well-earned vacation. However, although the voting comes to a halt, the work does not.  Ergo, advocacy efforts should not halt either.

Is a group using the August recess to advance its cause?  How can a group make good use of the downtime?

Visit with staff.  Even though some people are traveling some of the time, the offices are still open. Take the time to catch-up with staff members and introduce yourself to new staff.  August is far more casual and laid back in Washington, which means staff may be able to have a more natural conversation, instead of rushing through the issues.  Plus, since it is a more casual work period, the dress attire can be a little more casual too, i.e. men can likely forgo the ties.  If a group will not physically be in D.C. in August, leave a voicemail or send an email with an update the staff member may be interested in.

Catch-up on legislation.  There is a break in the flow right now when legislation is not moving.  It is a perfect time to review important pieces of legislation to see where they stand, what is needed, and potential outcomes for later in the year.

Check-in with industry colleagues and association partners.  These folks are also enjoying the August recess and catching-up on items that might have fallen by the wayside during session.  Ask what they are working on.  Start a conversation.  If an advocacy group is not a part of a relevant trade association, now might be a good time to investigate those associations, reach out, and even see if the group might benefit from a membership or partnership.

Pay attention to the district.  The member is often back in the district for the August work period.  If she is holding an event or town hall, attend it and greet the official and her staff either before or after.  The relevant D.C. staff person may also return to the district during August for a few days – find out and offer to meet with him there or offer to take him on a company tour.

Congress returns to session after Labor Day, which means there is still some time to take advantage of the slower pace to enhance relationships and catch-up.  If this August flies by, make a note in the calendar for next June to start thinking about the August plan.  Or, create an actual August folder on your desk and computer to store interesting articles or ideas throughout the year.  This way, when time permits in August, those materials worth exploring more in-depth are easily accessible.

In the end, every month is a good month to advocate.

-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. She can be reached at: wendy@1492communications.com.


Back to DC Wrap main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

DC Wrap site feed


Advertisement
Advertisement

wispolitics.com Social News

Follow Us

ABOUT THE BLOG

WisPolitics coverage of news from the nation's capital.

BLOG CONTRIBUTORS
JR Ross, David Wise

· DC Wrap site feed (RSS)

· Sign up for email delivery of the weekly DC Wrap column

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

SENATE
· Tammy Baldwin (D)
· Ron Johnson (R)

HOUSE
· 1st CD: Paul Ryan (R)
· 2nd CD: Mark Pocan (D)
· 3rd CD: Ron Kind (D)
· 4th CD: Gwen Moore (D)
· 5th CD: F. James Sensenbrenner (R)
· 6th CD: Glenn Grothman (R)
· 7th CD: Sean Duffy (R)
· 8th CD: Reid Ribble (R)

CONGRESSIONAL VOTE TRACKING

WISPOLITICS.COM D.C. PROFILES

· July 2013: Wood's 2001 DC inauguration trip turned into new career
· May 2013: Hard work propels Berens from Doyle to Pelosi to DGA
· March 2013: Riemann uses PR skills, 'lunch-pail work ethic' to boost state interests in D.C.
· Feb. 2013: Stocks seeks to remake NEA as 'more than a traditional labor union'
· Dec. 2012: As modest Kohl bids farewell to Senate, others do the bragging
· Dec. 2012: Wisconsin experience provides guideposts to Priebus at RNC

ARCHIVE

· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· June 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· September 2016
Copyright ©2012 WisPolitics.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisBusiness.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications