Grassroots and PAC influence expert Amy Showalter shares insights with Industry Members
On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) hosted grassroots advocacy expert Amy Showalter to explain how travel tech industry members can reach policymakers and advocate for public policies to support their companies and the industry as a whole.
As discussed in the webinar, all companies – both large and small – can champion priorities and support Travel Tech’s efforts to ensure legislation and policies support our industry.
Below are the top five key takeaways from Showalter’s presentation:
1. Industry Expertise Matters.
Policymakers want and need to hear from experts who have information earned through on-the-ground experience. Travel tech industry members know their business better than elected officials and should use that knowledge to their advantage.
“There is a need for people like travel tech industry members doing the hard work, knowing what it is like to live these regulations and legislation on a day-to-day basis,” said Showalter. “The need for you to communicate the reality of that to legislators is important so they, number one, understand it and number two, can eventually support you.”
2. No Interaction Leads to No Change.
Legislators can’t take into account your company’s point of view of pending public policies unless you – or your trade association – are interacting with them. To legislators, “no news” means “good news”; they will assume everything is working well in the travel tech industry. If you don’t engage with policymakers, there won’t be any movement on the issues the industry is collectively championing.
3. Meet Policymakers Before the Problems Begin.
Lawmakers are reactive by nature, and who they see is who they remember. If there is a serious problem, you don’t want that to be the first time they’re interacting with you and the organization you represent. It’s important to proactively develop relationships with lawmakers and their staff.
“Provide consistently reliable information,” said Showalter when discussing the most effective lobbying activities that shape congressional members’ and staff decisions. “You don’t always have to say what they want to hear, but back it up with evidence and data. Be consistent. Be reliable. Be somebody they can count on.”
4. Tell a Compelling Story.
Humans understand stories, and there are scientific reasons that stories resonate. When advocating for your business in front of policymakers, think about your story.
“Is there a personal angle to this legislation that you can communicate? Lawmakers remember and want good stories,” Showalter said.
5. Get Involved with Your Trade Association
Companies are the travel tech industry’s best advocates, and the Travel Technology Association supports its member companies’ engagement with policymakers. Travel Tech’s new Advocate membership has several benefits, including education, public policy intelligence sharing, newsletter access, and the ability to promote company services and products in front of policymakers, including an upcoming Capitol Hill event in May.
For more information or questions about member benefits, visit our Join Us page.
The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents travel technology innovators ranging from dynamic startups, small, and midsize businesses to leading online travel agencies, metasearch engines, short-term rental platforms, global distribution systems, and travel management companies.
To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Bradford Williamson of Glen Echo Group at 202.870.3234 or email@example.com.
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