How to present an issue paper to a politican?

I once went to a political rally where I got to talk to several local politicians. They were all basically just polite, said thanks, and handed me their literature.

But, their was one who did make a good impression. She shot me down with with an abrupt statement of “what do you have?”. I was dumbfounded because I had no research or papers to show her. Basically not a damn thing to put in her hand. Well no wonder the other politicians didnt take me seriously! BTW, she was a former high school english teacher.

So now if the opportunity arises I always arrive prepared with something in my hand. Research done (ex. costs involved) and my position clearly stated.

However I want those to be more effective so I’d like to ask, have you all ever prepared position papers or some other research to give to a politician and if so, can you give any tips on how you have it sorted or put together? For example, a bill going into the Kansas state legislature requires specific forms so would it be good to write statements to follow that forms format? Also what research do you feel is most effective for a politician?

One often only gets one shot and a damn short one at that to win over a politician so you want to make it a good one.

You simply send it by email or mail, with a nice cover letter explaining why you are sending it and the basic findings. If you had run into her and she asked for it, like in the example you cited, you remind her in that cover letter. There is no other formality necessary.

The most effective research is that which is short, with an executive summary on top, and comes from a reliable source. If you have expertise in the subject, say so up front.

Remember that they get unsolicited, pseudoscientific nonsense from crazies all the time. Your job is to not sound like one or nobody will even look at your stuff.

Chances are nobody will take the time to look at it anyway. If you really want to have influence on an issue, you should find and work with an interest group that shares your views and has many members and a reputation to back it up.

And you were not.

Sorry. Had to hit the softball.