Tell Your Story
The SPIT Technique
You’ll want to “SPIT” out your advocacy message. SPIT is, of course, an acronym and stands for:
S = Specific in terms of what you want and what the audience wants
It is essential that you know what you want and be able and willing to ask for it. You should also look for ways to connect your “ask” to what the audience wants. Your research into the perspectives and interests of your audience will assist you.
P = Personal
You attract people to your cause through a compelling story. We know through a story that the thing we’re talking about has had, or will have, an impact on an actual human being. How has your work helped someone find a job or, better, a career? What have you done to improve people’s lives in your community? How have you helped boost economic development and prosperity?
I = Informative
In addition to telling your personal story, you’ll want to wrap some facts and figures around your argument. The National Career Development Association’s recent Survey on Working America can give you some valuable information
T = Timely
Clearly, contacting a decision maker AFTER a decision has been made rarely works, and it’s equally ineffective to contact a decision maker too early. Circumstances may change around your initial contact and the time of the decision. Your job is to build a relationship with them over time so that when the issue does come up, your specific ask is a “no brainer.”
Use the following message formula to pull all these elements together. You can use this in a meeting or convert to a written communication or phone call.
My name is and I’m from [establish relevance by clarifying that you are a constituent]
I am here to ask for [specific ask]
Knowing of your interest in [specific to the audience], I think you’ll be interested too
This is important to the people I represent because [personal story and information]
That’s why I hope you’ll [specific ask]
I’d like to follow-up by [date]. When can I get back to you?
10 Tips for Effective Messages - this powerpoint offers details you to deliver your message to a decision-maker.
Developing and Telling Your Story:
Here are some questions / ideas to help you develop your personal story. Writing your answers down or discussing them with a colleague can be very helpful.
1. Why did you become an advocate?
2. How do the issues you are discussing impact you directly?
Do they cost you money?
Do they impact your health or the health of loved ones?
Do they conflict with your organization’s core mission?
Do they impact your ability to do your job?
3. Do you have clients / customers / friends / colleagues that offer a compelling story? Have they:
Benefited from your services?
Contributed to your cause?
Joined your campaign because of their own strong views?
4. How do these people and others connect to the Congressman’s district?
5. Take a few minutes to weave these questions into a story / anecdote.
When you tell your story, great things can happen - such as a governor's proclamation of a state career development month!