Think your legislators aren’t listening? Stop spamming them!

With a click of a mouse, Americans can voice their concerns to elected officials about everything from the future of US troop deployments in Iraq to whether the word Â?GodÂ? should be displaced from the Pledge of Allegiance. But how effective are Â?point-and-clickÂ? form emails at actually influencing elected officials?

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(PRWEB) July 10, 2004

With a click of a mouse, Americans can voice their concerns to elected officials about everything from the future of US troop deployments in Iraq to whether the word “God” should be displaced from the Pledge of Allegiance. But how effective are “point-and-click” form emails at actually influencing elected officials? From her experiences in Washington, DC, Stephanie Vance answers this and other questions about effective advocacy with a free online course on http://www.AdvocacyClassroom.com .

“While email is an effective way to communicate with elected officials, sending spam is not!” said Stephanie Vance, Advocacy Guru at AdVanced Consulting, a company dedicated to providing strategic planning advice to groups looking to improve their grassroots lobbying efforts. “Everyone is looking for a silver bullet, but sending hundreds of preformatted emails or signing an online petition simply isn’t as effective as one personal, thoughtful email.”

As a former lobbyist and Congressional aide, Vance knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to communicating with elected officials and their staffs. To help people understand how to be more effective, Vance developed AdvocacyClassroom.com, a website where people can find tips and techniques to build relationship with elected officials at all levels of government. The introductory course, Communication 101: How to Communicate Effectively to Congress, covers advocacy basics such as knowing what you want and how to ask for it. Students can take the class at their own pace and check their progress with short quizzes and a final exam.

“Clearly, many citizens feel that elected officials don’t listen to them,” Vance said, “but this is often because citizens don’t know how to be effective.”

AdvocacyClassroom.com represents the latest step in AdVanced Consulting’s effort to build trust between citizens and their government. Students, interest groups and everyday advocates can use this resource to learn about the factors that influence elected officials and how to use the power of constituency to their advantage. To take the class for free, participants should use coupon code “advocate” during checkout.

In addition, the creators of AdvocacyClassroom.com will design custom courses for groups wishing to organize advocacy training for their members. Using issues and objectives specific to an organization, AdvocacyClassroom.com provides a forum for advocates to acquire information and learn the techniques to present it to their elected officials, without leaving their desks.

The online course syllabus is derived from Advocacy Guru Stephanie Vance’s book, Government by the People: How to Communicate with Congress. A professional speaker, Vance presents the concepts behind the book to organizations around the country during annual conferences and legislative days. The AdvocacyClassroom.com is a component of the Advocacy Classroom, an offline series of workshops held in Washington, DC and also available on CD-Rom.

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