Back to Basics: The Key to Great Meetings with Elected Officials with Terri Behling
Play • 25 min

When it comes to communicating your message avoid jargon, avoid acronyms, avoid language that elected officials or the general public would not be familiar with.  - Terri Behling

Communicating the right message to the right person at the right time is the key to influencing the public policy that impacts you. And that starts with getting back the basics: great meetings advocating your position to elected officials. 

This week Terri Behling, former President of the Florida Public Relations Association, discusses not only how to have a great meeting but tips and tricks for preparing your advocacy strategy and doing your homework so you can achieve your goal.

More about the Guest:

Terri Behling is an accredited public relations professional with more than 21 years of experience in public relations, government affairs and community engagement. She has worked for non-profit and government agencies and as a certified public relations counselor, she served as the state president for the Florida Public Relations Association in 2017. She and her family live in San Antonio Texas.

LinkedIn: terri-behling

Influential Guest Quotes:

  • Something you should always do before you meet with an elected official, watch them in action. 
  • Don’t discount legislative aids - they’re the most important staff members to build a relationship with.
  • Visuals are important. If you have some sort of visual that tells your story, that is a critical way to communicate. Because if you leave that piece behind and a week later they look at it, they should be able to understand what they’re looking at without you in the room.
  • Be prepared to answer questions but it’s also okay to say ‘" don’t have the answer to that right now but let me get back to you."
  • Learn from others. Read a lot and it will help you grow in your profession.

About the Host:

Cori Henderson, host of the Policy Influencer Playbook podcast brings her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and 20+ years in Government Relations and Economic Development to help you and your organization engage at all levels of government to advance your agenda. From her unique perspective having sat at the legislative, regulatory, and stakeholder tables, Cori knows that passing (or killing) legislation, getting a regulatory project permitted quickly or a tax incentive package negotiated successfully all come down to the same thing: clearly communicating your message to the right person at the right time.

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