How to Hug a Porcupine: Relationship Building with Lawmakers and Why It's Important

Building relationships with elected officials can sometimes be difficult and uncomfortable. It forces you to get close to politicians in ways that may feel "prickly" – like hugging a porcupine. This program will help advocates overcome that discomfort, revealing the methods and benefits for building relationships with elected officials.

Recources Available:

  • Training Video
  • Handout - Advocate Listening Guide
  • Handout - Advocate Meeting Checklist

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

  1. Who members of Congress and state legislators listen to;
  2. What congressional staffers believe are the most effective communications tactics for influencing undecided members of Congress; and
  3. How to conduct effective in-person meetings, influence legislators at town hall meetings, as well as effective advocacy in the state/district.
Course summary
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