Working with Elected Officials

Why it is Important to Invite Elected Officials to Your Event or to Visit Your Program

  • Elected officials represent us and the needs of our community, and they look forward to attending community events and spending time with their constituents.
  • Inviting them to your event is a great way to educate them about programs and services that help provide the stable, loving environments children need to thrive.
  • When they know about these programs and their impact on the community, they can make more informed budget and policy decisions.

Before the Event or Visit

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:

  • Guest speaker
  • Presenting awards or certificates
  • Planting pinwheels with children
  • Assisting with activities for families and children
  • Handing out pinwheel stickers to people as they enter the event

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:

  • Name of event/program
  • Reason for the invitation
  • Date, time (beginning and ending), location
  • What role you would like the elected official to have
  • Planned activities
  • Your contact information
  • Names of any news media you plan to invite

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.

Sample Event Invitation

Sample Program Visit Invitation

During the Event or Visit

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:

  • Escorting them to where they will be speaking or working
  • Introducing them to anyone they will be working with
  • Making sure key staff and board members in attendance know the elected officials have arrived
  • Notifying the elected officials of any media that have arrived
  • Pointing out the location of the elected officials to any reporters or photographers

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.

After the Event or Visit

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.

Contacting Elected Officials

Local Officials

Visit your local city and county websites.

State

Governor: www.governor.state.nc.us

Representatives and Senators: www.ncga.state.nc.us

Federal

House of Representatives: www.house.gov/representatives/

Senate: www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

A chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America

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