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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Advocacy via digital channels – Impartial Banker

Digital media offers neighborhood bankers a platform for advocacy, and ICBA’s Digital Advocacy Primer particulars how one can put it to work.

How can a neighborhood banker greatest join with a member of Congress? With the rising variety of digital choices—whether or not it’s e-mail, social media or video calling—neighborhood bankers can bridge the hole and advocate for the business’s greatest pursuits, whether or not that’s cannabis-related enterprise financing, small and rural enterprise credit score, or credit score unions’ unfair benefit.

Fast Stat


of constituents stated that their consultant and/or senator makes use of Fb extra for the reason that pandemic.

Supply: Congressional Administration Basis

After COVID modified how all of us do enterprise, senators and representatives have expanded their presence throughout expertise by livestreaming on social media, posting Q&As and operating e-mail or cellphone campaigns. In response to a 2020 Congressional Administration Basis report, constituents reported their consultant and/or senator used on-line platforms both “extra” or “considerably extra” for the reason that pandemic started.

So, how will you reap the benefits of this strengthened media connection?

Lay out a plan

ICBA’s Digital Advocacy Primer explains how neighborhood bankers can use digital choices to take grassroots motion for the good thing about the business. With these social and digital platforms, you’ve new factors of contact in your consultant.

Earlier than making contact along with your consultant, first ask your self why. What’s your finish objective? Are you making an attempt to boost consciousness a few sure coverage or invoice affecting neighborhood banks? Are you making an attempt to stop it from being handed?

Upon getting that objective in thoughts, schedule a digital assembly. Discover the consultant’s or senator’s scheduling course of on their official web site and comply with each step.

Your assembly request ought to cowl:

  • Your plan (both a tour or a assembly)
  • The topic of the assembly and the particular subject you’re discussing
  • The contributors (together with zip codes)
  • Background data concerning the topic (experiences, one-pagers, and many others.)

After making the request, name the member’s workplace to debate and finalize the size of the assembly and any software program preferences (akin to what digital platform you’ll use for the assembly). Wait per week for a response after which comply with up if obligatory by cellphone, Fb message and/or Twitter direct message. When you hear a response, thank them and notify any financial institution workers who shall be concerned.

Be thorough about preparation

Earlier than the assembly, research up in your Congress member by trying via web sites, newsletters, information alerts and social media. Be certain different assembly contributors out of your financial institution do the identical. You may even rehearse amongst yourselves to make sure the assembly is concise, informative and private.

It’s additionally vital to check out the assembly’s technical elements, together with the software program platform (Zoom, Microsoft Groups, GoTo Assembly, and many others.), lighting and sound. You might need to put money into an exterior mild and/or microphone. Having a high-quality setup will assure that your message will get throughout and will allow you to stand out from the group.

Earlier than the assembly, take quarter-hour to work out any of those technical kinks and supply everybody with a backup plan if the software program fails (akin to utilizing a cellphone line).

Whenever you be a part of the scheduled assembly, thank your member of Congress utilizing their correct title. Give them the what, why and the way:

  • What would you like them to do? (Solely cowl one or two points)
  • Why is that this vital to you?
  • How will this have an effect on the native space, district and voters?
  • Present a transparent, direct and achievable request

Monitor your assembly’s runtime. Preserve it concise, however don’t neglect to depart time for questions. Afterwards, draft your follow-up and thank-you emails (see the ICBA template on our web site).

As an professional locally banking business, make sure you employ a tone that represents that.

Two days after the assembly, give your self half-hour to finish the follow-up. Solely 8% of constituents comply with up in a well timed, useful approach, in line with Hill workers. By following up, you reinforce the significance of the problem.

Keep updated

When you efficiently meet and speak along with your Congress member, use these strategies to maintain up with their present occasions and updates:

  • Arrange Google information alerts
  • Go to your officers’ web sites and join their newsletters
  • Observe them on social media (Fb, Twitter, Instagram, and many others.)
  • Attend digital city halls

ICBA needs to listen to about your advocacy efforts, too, and can assist assist you. E mail John Coleman, ICBA’s director of advocacy, at john.coleman@ICBA.org concerning your conferences with Congress.

—Rachel Hatcher

ICBA motion sources

Discover out extra about ICBA advocacy alternatives and efforts

  • Questioning about ICBA’s newest stances on banking coverage, issues and points? Go to icba.org/advocacy to study latest payments and for extra data on what it takes to do efficient advocacy work.
  • For an in-person advocacy expertise, keep tuned for extra data on the 2023 ICBA Capital Summit this April.

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