Member Public Affairs Strategies to Remember

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Member Public Affairs Strategy

Member Public Affairs Strategies to Remember

Member public affairs strategies can be an amazing way to move your issue forward. Membership organizations should have a head start when it comes to public affairs strategies, but that head start is often complicated. Membership organizations tend to have bureaucratic structures that make it difficult to work nimbly, especially when it comes to public affairs. Because of this, some member organizations have avoided using member-based public affairs strategies and they are missing out. 

Here are some ways to use your membership to enhance public affairs strategies by turning them into member public affairs strategies.

Membership Storytelling


Nobody understands the issues facing your organization like your members. A key to a good public affairs strategy is to tell your struggle in a compelling way.

Elect Your Members to Office

Some of the most successful advocacy groups have members who serve in public office. This takes time and patience, but putting together a program to elect your own members can have long-term benefits.


Create a rewards system for your members. Make sure you make them feel appreciated.

The Cup of Coffee

Don't overcomplicate what you want your members to do. You want them to tell their legislator that they care about a piece of legislation. Often, your members have better access to their legislators than you do. So take the advice one former legislator said at a recent public affairs training: "Ask your members to call their legislator and ask them to have coffee at McDonalds." Simple is good.

Try a Social Challenge

Test and build the strength of your network by engaging your member network in advocacy, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Have them make a challenge online to their friends and family to get them to engage.

Go Beyond Social

Social is great, but it does not expand the reach of your website. Reach for the long term. Strong content on your website that features members will create backlinks and connections for the long term.

Show You Are the Expert

Use your member’s knowledge and expertise on issues to persuade and convince folks to support your organization.

Get Your Members to Expand your Coalition

Use the strength of your members to reach out to other groups you would like in your coalition. Your members have great relationships. Use them.

Training Matters:

Work with your members to train them in storytelling and advocacy best practices. This does not have to take long, but a couple hours of practice can make a big difference.

You can learn more about member public affairs strategies to engage membership in our digital advocacy e-book.