Surround Sound

Report by the Public Affairs Council: “Millions of citizens and thousands of organizations contact Congress each year to urge Senators and House members to vote for or against legislation. Countless others weigh in with federal agencies on regulatory issues ranging from healthcare to livestock grazing rights. Congressional and federal agency personnel are inundated with input. So how do staff know what to believe? Who do they trust? And which methods of communicating with government seem to be most effective? To find out, the Public Affairs Council teamed up with Morning Consult in an online survey of 173 congressional and federal employees. Participants were asked for their views on social media, fake news, influential methods of communication and trusted sources of policy information.

When asked to compare the effectiveness of different advocacy techniques, congressional staff rate personal visits to Washington, D.C., (83%) or district offices (81%), and think tank reports (81%) at the top of the list. Grassroots advocacy techniques such as emails, phone calls and postal mail campaigns also score above 75% for effectiveness.

Traditional in-person visits from lobbyists are considered effective by a strong majority (75%), as are town halls (73%) and lobby days (72%). Of the 13 options considered, the lowest score goes to social media posts, which are still rated effective by 57% of survey participants.

Despite their unpopularity with the general public, corporate CEOs are an asset when it comes to getting meetings scheduled with members of Congress. Eighty-three percent (83%) of congressional staffers say their boss would likely meet with a CEO from their district or state when that executive comes to Washington, D.C., compared with only 7% who say their boss would be unlikely to take the meeting….(More)”.