This week we released an infographic poll showing that 81.1% of Florida legislative aides believe that an in-person visit from a constituent is a “very effective” advocacy strategy compared with 27.3% for a visit from a lobbyist. Check out the poll here.
As our clients already know, genuine communication from constituents trumps all other advocacy strategies, especially messages highlighting the local or personal impact of legislation. This poll shows that despite hyper-partisanship, aides still believe that real people with compelling stories to tell hold the most persuasive influence in Tallahassee.
Here are some other key takeaways:
Most aides feel that the Internet has made it easier for constituents to be involved in the public policy process (97.8%), even though individualized emails were the only means of Internet communication that a majority of respondents rated as having a positive influence on a member’s decision making process.
Of the top three methods listed to have “Some Influence,” none of them were methods that utilized the Internet. Postcards had the largest percentage (71.8%), followed by visits from lobbyists (70%), and a tie for third between news editorials of an issue and individual faxes (55%).
Most staffers (59.4%) believe that advocacy of identical form messages are sent without the constituent’s knowledge or approval, explaining the trends against form communications.
When asked about whether particular methods of internet communications are more important for communicating with constituents or understanding their views, none of the four methods were believed to be very important for understanding constituent’s views. Only the member’s blog (50%) and Facebook (50%) were believed by a majority of staffers to be very important for communicating member’s views.
So everyone believes that the Internet is important, but there seems to be disagreement about just how much so. What do you think?
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