Want Your Political Representatives to Take the Pro-Truth Pledge?

Caption: Woman speaking in political context (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

So you took the Pro-Truth Pledge yourself and are excited to get your political representatives to take it? Great: let’s talk about how you can do so!

Figure Out Who They Are

The first step to getting your political representatives (whether elected or appointed) to take the pledge is figuring out who they are. It’s not hard to do. Just put into your preferred search engine “contact your political representatives in [country]” without quotation marks and you get a list of websites that help you contact your representatives. If your country’s primary language is not English, use the appropriate language.

For example, this is the link to the search result in Google for contacting representatives in Australia. The first site at the top is this one, giving Australians clear ways of contacting their elected representatives.

It’s even easier if you are in the US. Thanks to the Google Civic Information API, our website developers put together an automatic way for you to learn who are your elected representatives. Just enter your address into the top bar on this page. You will get a menu with (almost) all of your elected representatives, from local to national, and the number of pledge-takers per elected representative.

Once you figure out your elected representatives, use your preferred search engine to figure out if there are any candidates running for the office. Then, you can pitch both the incumbent and all the candidates.

Pitching Your Elected Representatives

After you find your elected representatives, figure out their emails, website contact form, Twitter profile, Facebook page, and other social media, along with phone numbers. They usually have these readily available, with the possible exception of email for more high-profile politicians. You can use this guide on finding emails if their emails are not readily available. Next, follow the directions here, which have a variety of templates for you to pitch politicians and candidates for office.

For the US, it’s even easier once you enter your address on this page. You will see the websites and social media of most of your elected representatives. Do some additional research to figure out their emails and any social media that may not be present there (remember, the Google Civic Information API does not provide complete information). Also, don’t forget to figure out candidates for office.

The best thing about entering your address into this page is that those who have easily-available Twitter accounts will have a blue “Twitter” button above and to the right of their picture. When you click on that button, you will send to each one this message: “I took the #ProTruthPledge at https://ProTruthPledge.org/ because I value #truth and #facts and I ask my representative @ [twitter handle] join me in taking @ProTruthPledge and showing that #TruthMatters and #FactsMatter to them.” Here’s an example of how it looks, and below is a video showing you how to do so.

It takes 5 seconds (literally, not figuratively) to send a tweet to each. So take 5 minutes to tweet to all of them, and repeat the same 5 minute tweeting per week. You can easily set up a Twitter account if you don’t have one. Make your voice heard and make a difference – Tweet for Truth now!

Don’t forget to then go through all the other social media channels, website contact form, email, and phone, using the directions here. Also, don’t forget to contact candidates for office: we find that they – not being career politicians – have a much higher likelihood of taking the pledge.

We know these strategies work: a number of public figures have been convinced to take the pledge through reaching out to them on social media. For example, one of our volunteers has described how whenever anyone invites him to “like” a Facebook page from a politician, he asks whether that individual have taken the pledge. After a couple of exchanges back and forth, where he explains the pledge and follows up, about a quarter end up taking the pledge. Imagine what would happen if a quarter of all the politicians whose Facebook pages you were invited to like end up taking the pledge!

Now, you can also meet and pitch public figures in person. Use the script informed by the email templates, along with this blog on how politicians can get maximum benefit from taking the pledge. We also recommend bringing along the information of all the people who have signed the Pro-Truth Pledge in that politician’s region if it’s a regional politician, or country if it’s a national-level politician, since part of signing the pledge involves calling on one’s elected representatives to sign the pledge. We can make that information available to you if you email info [at] protruthpledge [dot] org outside the US, or you can put in the relevant address into this page to get US data.

Ideally, you would also bring along a PTP sign-up binder with some sample signatures, or at least photos of signatures. The binder provides demonstrable proof that signatures were gathered, while the spreadsheet provides the total number of actual signatures.

Note that politicians – or their staff, who you will likely be talking to if it’s a high-level political figure – will likely want you to leave them with some physical presence of the number of people who signed the PTP. What you can do is print out a photograph of one page of a sign-up sheet, as physical proof of signature-gathering, along with printing out the spreadsheet with all the names of the people who signed the PTP in that region or country. You can then leave it with the politician or their staff, along with a flyer with the text of the PTP.

It’s especially good to approach politicians during a candidate’s forum or listening session, as these are specifically designated times for politicians to meet constituents. There, you can ask them publicly in the Q&A about whether they would be willing to take the pledge, and mention that you contacted them before. If you can get someone to videotape you, it’s especially helpful, as in this video that you can use as a guide.

Then for each public figure you contact, fill out this form, and in the “Any relevant notes,” note that you have contacted this person. That way, we can keep a clear track record of the politicians who are contacted, and circle back around to them later, referencing the first contact. It’s really important and helpful to do so in order to ensure successful pitches, so please do help us out on this one!

Conclusion

These are the strategies that got over 100 politicians to take the pledge, including Member of US Congress Beto O’Rourke, as you can see from this video of him taking the pledge. There’s no magic, just people like you reaching out to their political representatives and making the request. So join us in doing so, and let us know any questions or comments you have about this process below!

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