Tips for Correspondence

Elected officials rely on their constituents to let them know what is important in their communities. Communicating and building relationships with your elected officials is a proactive way to influence the legislative process and to promote the importance of Iowa State University.

  • Keep it brief, only 3 to 4 paragraphs.
  • Use correct titles and names for the elected official.
  • Introduce yourself and tell the legislator why you are contacting them within the first paragraph.
  • State your home town. If you are from the Senator/Representative’s district, be sure to mention that you are his/her constituent.
  • If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it. Don’t assume that your legislator has knowledge of it. If the legislator needs more information, be prepared to provide it as soon as possible.
  • Personalize your message with facts about how Iowa State has played an important part in your life (this is the most important part). Examples:
      • State if you are a current student, alum, parent or employee of ISU.
      • A small class size helped you to perform better as a student.
      • Your experience at ISU made you successful in your professional life.
      • You support ISU for its service to the state – agriculturally, economically, etc.
  • If you would like a response, indicate that you would appreciate a reply containing their position on the issue.
  • Should you receive a response, follow up. If you agree or disagree with the position or the vote they cast, let them know while being respectful.
  • Ask for their support for Iowa State University.
  • Be respectful and always thank them for their service to the state.
  • Provide your contact information so the legislator can get back to you.