Hawthorn Group’s Hammelman Discusses Benefits of Building Grassroots Constituent Support at Indianapolis Event

April 6, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hawthorn Group Chief Communications Officer Suzanne Hammelman addressed the challenges and opportunities involved in building grassroots constituent support for state and federal public policy issues in a speech Saturday to the Indiana Municipal Power Agency’s Board of Commissioners during its annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Hammelman, who oversees Hawthorn’s grassroots practice, outlined how an effective grassroots campaign is organized and utilized.

“The most effective constituent grassroots programs are ones that are part of an integrated campaign to support direct lobbying efforts, including media relations, online components, community relations, ally outreach and, when appropriate, advertising,” Hammelman said.

She pointed out that organizations building a grassroots program face increasing challenges in getting the attention of both potential grassroots advocates and in communicating with policy makers, including capturing their attention in a communications-saturated environment.

“Creating an integrated campaign that includes traditional and new communication tactics to ensure that people are hearing about your issue from all sources is essential to rising above the fray,” Hammelman said.

Hammelman noted that a recent survey of state legislators done by Hawthorn and Executive Communications shows that legislators pay attention to organized grassroots organized by advocacy groups.

“State legislators indicated that they pay attention to all contacts by constituents, but they really take note when several constituents communicate with them on the same issue,” she said. “However, legislators stressed that it is important for constituents to demonstrate that they have a personal interest and some knowledge of the issue.”

Founded in 1992 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, The Hawthorn Group is a public affairs firm specializing in heavily regulated industries including beverage, electric utility, energy, and finance. Hawthorn principals have been innovators and leaders in the practice of grassroots advocacy for 30 years.

SOURCE The Hawthorn Group

Source: newswire

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