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Importance of Constituent Communications

by bdonahue

Republican electoral success in 2010 was not a mandate, but rather an opportunity, a second chance. Republicans are poised to take advantage of this opportunity, but to do so they must continue to generate support for their initiatives and articulate their legislative agenda. If Republicans fail to communicate effectively and efficiently they will squander the opportunity of 2010 and return to the bleak outlook of 2008.

  • More Engaged: During the last election cycle we witnessed the most attentive, dynamic, and informed electorate in a generation. Not only did voters form opinions earlier than ever before, but they also maintained a vigilant eye on Washington. Key demographics remained persuadable right up to Election Day. In order to capitalize and succeed in this environment, Republican members must strive to stay engaged and keep in close contact with their constituents via all avenues modern communications can afford – digital messaging, social media, constituent mail and personal events.
  • Transparency: The anti-incumbent sentiment in 2010 crated a renewed emphasis on transparency. Constituents are more interested in knowing what their member of Congress is working on and how they are taking action on important issues that affect people on the local level. Most constituents will welcome informed communication that shows value and grants insight into the legislative process.
  • Noisy Room: The state of the modern news environment has been highly publicized. An unprecedented number of voices are now using a wide variety of increasingly sophisticated tools and tactics to grab people’s attention. Republican members of congress simply cannot afford to leave any opportunities on the table. Every medium and opportunity for communicating with constituents should be valued and maximized.  Congressional offices must move beyond the press release and consider new and innovative ways to engage local media, bloggers, and their constituents.
  • Skepticism, Redefined: In 2010, Republicans ran against incumbency, Washington Spending, and Nancy Pelosi. Now Republicans are the majority in the House, a narrow minority in the Senate.  Republicans control the purse strings in Congress. They must control the narrative, they must seize the initiative, and they must demonstrate true progress toward their fiscally responsible – problem solving agenda. If Republicans fail to do this, they risk being swept away by the very wave of skepticism and anti-Washington sentiment that brought them to power.