What to Talk About

What is it important for legislators to know? Everything you’re currently doing to serve their constituents – your local audience. Across the country, local radio and television stations have stepped up to guide their communities through this challenging time. In addition to the locally focused news and updates that are vital to your community, tell your legislators how you are providing public service announcements and health education, supporting and promoting local businesses and sharing positive stories about people coming together.
And, don’t be shy about sharing how you support your communities every day of the year:

1. Your lifeline role – how you serve your community before, during and after a disaster.

Example: If a crisis is headed to your community, reach out to legislators and let them know how you are informing your audience. Invite them to participate in a virtual interview about preparedness. Keep them informed of your work during the crisis. Afterward, follow up with examples about how your coverage protected citizens and what you’re doing to help in the aftermath. Share feedback your station received from listeners/viewers.




2. Investigative journalism – how you protect your community by uncovering the truth.

Example: When your investigative team is at work protecting consumers, let your legislators know. Invite them to comment on the situation and follow up with them after the story airs to share the results. Urge those impacted by the results to let your legislators know how the station helped them.




3. Economic impact – the jobs you provide and advertising you facilitate contributes greatly to the national and local economy.

Example: Legislators need to know that policies impacting broadcast stations could mean killing jobs in their state and district. Let them know how many people you employ. Find out how much broadcasters in your state contribute to the economy here.




4. Innovation – how you connect with audiences through social media, websites and apps.

Example: If delivering breaking news, weather or traffic information through social media or a digital app, let your legislators know how many people you reach through 24/7 platforms. Many members of Congress don’t realize broadcasters are more than just “on air.”




5. Charitable giving – how you support local charities and those in need.

Example: If hosting a fundraiser for those in your community, why not ask your member of Congress to participate? Let the congressional office know what you are doing through email or social media and be sure to highlight the results of your event. Ask beneficiaries of the fundraiser to reach out to the legislator to share how your station helped them.




Checklist

Download and print out a checklist to help you stay in touch with your legislators.

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Congressional Calendar

Use our calendar to learn when Congress is in session and when your legislators are back home.

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Case Studies

Check out some case studies that demonstrate how they have successfully shared their stories with their members of Congress.

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