Determine what role you want elected officials to have in the event. Asking them to take an active role in your event is a good way to spark their interest, especially if they will be participating in a way that will generate media attention. As you consider the possibilities keep in mind that there is a chance they may be unable to attend at the last minute or may not be able to stay for entire time. Some possible ideas include:
Send an invitation as soon as you know the details of the event, or at least one month before you want them to visit your program or organization. Be sure to include the following:
Follow-up one week before the event with the official’s staff to make sure they are still able to attend. Offer to answer any questions the staff may have and provide directions, if needed. Be sure to leave the name and number of a person that can be reached at the event in case there are any last minute questions.
Assign a person to greet elected officials and any staff or family members they might bring with them. This person would also be responsible for:
Assign a person to take photos of the elected officials in action. This is especially important if reporters aren’t able to attend the event. You can send the pictures into the newspaper after the event.
Send a thank you note and include some photos of the elected official in action. Also include copies of any articles that mentioned the event. If they worked with children, you might want to have the children draw a picture and sign the thank you. Be sure to include your contact information again and offer to answer any questions they might have in the future.
Visit your local city and county websites.
Representatives and Senators: www.ncga.state.nc.us
House of Representatives: www.house.gov/representatives/