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Three Strategic Tips for an Effective Capitol Visit

Visiting your state capitol can be more than just a routine trip—it's an opportunity to directly engage with legislators and influence policy. Whether you're advocating for business interests or looking to understand more about the legislative process, effectively planning your visit is crucial. Here’s how to ensure that your time at the capitol is productive and impactful.

  1. Leverage the Power of Networking Events

When planning your trip, consider aligning it with other legislative events and receptions that are hosted by your professional networks or organizations. Our Advocacy Strategist, Sarah, just did this during a recent visit to the state capital to meet with legislators. She attended a legislative reception hosted by a regional organization and a luncheon hosted by the state chamber, meeting with legislators between the two events. This strategic scheduling allowed her to maximize her time by engaging with multiple stakeholders, enhancing her visibility, and gaining varied perspectives on key issues — all in one visit. Remember, these events offer unique opportunities to connect with peers, discuss mutual challenges, and foster relationships that can support your advocacy efforts.

  1. Sync Your Visit with Key Legislative Timings

To influence legislation effectively, timing is everything. Research and plan your visit to coincide with crucial committee meetings where your prioritized legislation will be discussed. Public comment periods are a golden opportunity to voice your organization's perspective directly to the decision-makers. Your input can provide real-time insights to legislators, potentially swaying discussions and ensuring that your organization’s concerns are considered in the legislative process. Always stay informed about the legislative calendar and be ready to act when your presence can have the most impact.

  1. Keep It Brief and Impactful

Legislators are perpetually short on time, juggling numerous meetings and responsibilities. Respect their schedule by keeping your meetings concise and to the point. Prepare an “elevator pitch” that succinctly outlines your legislative priorities, clearly stating what you support or oppose, and why it matters. This approach not only demonstrates professionalism but also ensures that your key messages are communicated effectively without getting lost in prolonged discussions. Additionally, notifying your legislator or their assistant of your visit in advance can facilitate a smoother and more productive interaction.


A visit to the capitol is more than just a meeting; it's a strategic endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. In our Advocacy Framework program, we cover topics like these in more detail to help you enhance your advocacy efforts and leave a lasting impression on policymakers. Learn more about our course and how you can build an A+ Advocacy Program here.