Member enthusiasm in your trade association's public policy platform will likely pique between December and April when both state and federal legislatures are active. However, a solid member engagement strategy should include strategic contact year-round, particularly in terms of maintaining membership interest in your association's advocacy initiatives. Below we've outlined several ideas you can use to promote your organization's advocacy positions during the summer months:
1. Build Relationships with Legislators
During the summer months when state level policymakers aren't necessarily in session, ask your most active advocates to get to know their respective state legislators. Summer is a great time to attend a district event where a lawmaker is in attendance, invite them to events, or to digitally interact with an elected official.
2. Send out Email Broadcasts
Send out a few email broadcasts over the course of June, July, and August to keep members informed about your association's advocacy work during the off-season. Regardless of whether or not your association is facing a pressing policy issue at that time, keeping members generally informed about what is to come and keeping members up-to-date with how your association is beginning to formulate new positions is great way to continue engagement during the summer.
3. Gather Your Members!
Host a luncheon, group breakfast, or general roundtable for interested members who wish to discuss industry-relevant policy. Just as legislators should support policy that benefits their constituents, trade associations should ensure that their members voices are reflected in policy decisions. To host an advocacy-focused gathering during the summer months, send an email invitation to your membership and let them know that their input is valuable year-round, but especially as the association reevaluates its positions after the state legislative has concluded.