Congressional Briefing Visits Ten Things To Remember
Anywhere and Everywhere. Meetings on the Hill can and will take place anywhere—in a Senator’s or Representative’s office, in a Committee Hearing room, in the hall, or in the reception area—don’t be surprised.
The “Who” May Vary. Anticipate changes with who you will meet.
Patience is Key. Expect interruptions, tardiness, and canceled and rescheduled visits. Expect mistakes in scheduling, bells ringing, and early departures.
Allow Time to Navigate the Hill. Allow time to get from one place to another, and expect dead time between meetings.
Timing Is Important. Your presentation should last 15 minutes. As time permits, you may have the opportunity to go longer or you may be allotted less time.
Make an Impression. Make your most important points first, clearly, succinctly and specifically.
Converse, Do Not Present. Be honest, candid and relaxed. Use a conversational tone in your presentation and don’t be defensive or argumentative.
There Are Many Priorities on the Hill. Members of Congress and staff have many demands on their time and their schedules—your #1 interest may not be their #1 interest. Don’t be surprised by a lack of interest or a negative response and do not be argumentative.
Expect Neutrality. Expect a neutral reaction—Members of Congress and Congressional Staff are rarely in the position to make firm commitments. A favorable response is a commitment to “do the best possible.” A more likely response is to consider the proposal.
Express Appreciation. Let the person you are meeting with know that you appreciate their time and the opportunity to present NATM’s issues and interests.