Does Grassroots Work?

Make a difference in less than five minutes

Thanks to recent advancements in digital communication, ‘grassroots advocacy’ has seen a huge rise in the last few years, but the question everyone has is simple: Does it really work? The answer: more than you think.

Since elected officials were selected to represent their constituents, they depend on hearing from voters to shape their policy perceptions. They also rely on issue matter experts to know how policy will affect a profession. This means, as legal experts and constituents, you are uniquely qualified to speak to your elected officials about the legal profession. 

Email, social media, and other advancements have made connecting with congressional members easier than ever, but the new problem is cutting through the noise and delivering a message that elected officials can easily apply to their decision-making.  

Below, we will outline how you can easily and, most importantly, effectively make a difference.

How effective is your voice?

A recent study by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) asked offices on the Hill for the most meaningful ways to move the needle on an issue. Seven of the top ten responses related specifically to hearing from their constituents. 

Another study conducted by Columbia Books, entitled The Congressional Communications Report, found that congressional staff see constituents as the most “Valuable Source of Information,” followed by White Papers, Lobbyists, Inside-the-Beltway Publications, and Survey and Poll Results.

That same study asked congressional staff what sources they consulted when learning about a public policy issue, and constituents, again, ranked number one with 49% of respondents saying they “Almost Always” or “Frequently” consult with them. 

So, what is the catch? With so many issues and constituents all vying for the ear of the elected official, it can be nearly impossible to be heard above the noise. To have your voice heard, it helps to:

  • Be Organized
  • Clearly state you are a constituent up front
  • Clearly state your association with the legal profession
  • Make a clear ask with a specific issue name or bill number if possible
  • Coordinate: There is true strength in numbers
  • Use assets that bolster your view
  • Address counterarguments if applicable
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Use every communication to build on the last. Follow up, and build trust with your congressional office. Haven’t ever reached out? Then this is the perfect time to start.

Next, you can learn:

  1. What is the Best Platform to Reach Out and When
  2. Learn Who to Speak With
  3. See What Campaigns We Currently Have Running