Cover image of tip sheet

Know Your Audience


This tip sheet gives ways to find common ground with stakeholders and elected officials. The goal is to have better communication and educate others on your cause.

It’s important to know your audience, so you can…

  • Identify common ground with elected officials by understanding their background and record.
  • Identify ideas for utilizing effective storytelling, compelling narratives, and relevant messengers to drive home a message.
  • Feel prepared to partake in constructive conversations with policy leaders who may not agree with you but are willing to hear your message.
  • Identify ways to amplify your message after meetings.

Even if your organization cannot lobby, you can always communicate and educate, advocate for your cause, and have your organization seen as an information source. You can still add congresspeople to your email list, make use of earned media, publish public statements, etc. Developing resources, short one- to two-page fact sheets, and letters to the editor, can be very helpful. What constitutes “lobbying” can vary from state to state, whereas federal guidelines are more straightforward. Running a public affairs campaign is always allowable and not considered lobbying.

Want more? We’ve got a four-part recorded webinar series about finding common ground, knowing your audience, and more!

Contributing Staff