When it comes to your Hill meetings, be prepared to tell a personal story. Explain through a short anecdote or story how the policy issue impacts you directly. Officials recognize the time it takes to personalize a message and will focus their efforts on those communications. One way to develop your story is to use the “SPIT Technique.”
SPIT is an acronym as follows:
S = Specific: Be as specific as possible about what the Congressperson can do. For example, “we would like you to cosponsor a bill” is better than “our practice provides valuable services.”
P = Personal: Messages that are based on compelling stories have more of an impact. As noted above, think about why this matters to you, as well as specific people you have served. How did you help them? The overall community? This really helps you focus on the benefits you provide.
I = Informative: In addition to that personal story, you’ll want to have some valuable information to back it up. Some of the information you might want to gather includes:
- Number of people impacted
- Number of people employed
- Specifics on programs provided
- Reach of your work
- Special materials / services provided that relate to the community
T = Trustworthy: Finally, your message should suggest that you are trustworthy and the best way to do that is to be clear you’ll follow-up. This says to the person you’re talking to that you are in this discussion for the long haul.