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Congress & Social Media 101

Making the connection to impact legislators 
The new class of federal legislators took their seats in Washington, D.C., this month and it is crucial for them to hear from their constituents on important issues.

A letter or phone call from a voter still carries a lot of weight with congressional offices, but social media has emerged as another easy and often effective alternative.

For those who find themselves new to the “Facebook fray,” you can use social media to reach out—“like” the Ducks Unlimited Facebook page, search your congressman’s website for a link to his or her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and join groups that support state or local political parties. Visit www.senate.gov or www.house.gov/representatives to find directories with links to legislators’ individual websites.

One positive side effect of publicly communicating with your lawmakers on social media is that your comments may spur a dialogue with other constituents. Someone in your city or state may see that you asked your senator to support a conservation bill and send their own message of encouragement, building on the awareness. It is also helpful to include bill numbers when discussing specific legislation to make your message clearer. Search www.thomas.gov for this information.

With the high visibility of social media, it’s important to remember to be respectful in your messages. If you are unsure about a particular post, think of the old carpentry adage: measure twice, cut once—similarly, think twice before you click “share” and social media will be utilized most effectively.

DU encourages you to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to ask legislators questions, encourage them to take action, and share your support of our public policy priorities, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act or the Farm Bill.

This is the first article in a series on using social media to contact your members of Congress. Read the second article, "Using Facebook to contact legislators."


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