Check out this classic from Doug Johnson:
The Shy Person’s Guide to Lobbying
1. Recognize that lobbying is your job and find opportunities to speak to your legislators face-to-face.
2. Learn something about the legislative process – or at least who your representatives are.
3. Understand the MLA/MEMO platform and know the talking points.
4. Be effective when visiting with your legislator.
5. Be a rational, pleasant human being.
6. Write, call and e-mail – effectively.
7. Work on developing a relationship with your representatives.
Check out the whole post and adapt it for your arena. I’d add three more points:
a. Lobbying is an all year thing and not just an event related item like Law Day or when thngs go bad. You never know when you’re going to be given a chance to influence the future – elevator encoutners, holiday parties, family events, BBQ’s, – opportunities are everywhere.
b. Understand the other point of view. Stand in their shoes for a while. Politicans of every stripe, yes even the tea partiers deserve to be understood. You’ll be more effective when you understand where people are coming from and avoid demonizing folks. You never get anywhere when respect is lost.
c. And to Doug’s point about shyness, I rarely meet a shy person who isn’t also a good listener. The main competency that predicts lobbying success – listening. If you’re shy, you’re halfway there.
Let’s turn the corner for libraries in 2012.