Ever Google your own name to see what comes up? Yeah, me neither (*wink*).
For as long as there have been elections, politicians have wanted to know what people are saying about them. Especially what’s being said to their constituents. That’s why every Congressional office has a junior staffer who, each morning, scans the local newspapers and websites looking for mentions of their boss’ name. In the business, we call them “press hits.”
The staffer compiles the press hits into an email or a packet and shares them with his or her boss and the senior staff. Members of Congress LOVE to read their press hits. Love it. I was a communications director in the Senate for more than four years, and have been working with candidates and elected officials for 13. Trust me: They love it. LOVE.
And that’s exactly why letters to the editor are such a strong advocacy tool. A letter from a constituent in the local paper mentioning the Member of Congress by name and making a clear ask has an extraordinarily high chance of breaking through and being seen by the Member of Congress.
For months, we’ve been telling you that the most important thing you could do to defend aid was to show your Members of Congress that they have constituents who care about it. Every phone call, every email, every postcard, and every letter to the editor helps do that. Each one is a brick in the wall that will protect America’s investments in development and the fight against extreme poverty from deep and dangerous cuts.