Video messages are an important and personal way to share with legislators how you feel about a topic or policy.

While there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction with your elected officials, recording and sharing a video advocacy message explaining how an issue affects you personally is a close second. If you’d like, you can let the Children’s Hospital Association know you are planning to send your legislators a video advocacy message. Just send an email to [email protected]. We can provide you with the most immediate policy concerns affecting children’s health which will enhance the effectiveness of your message (also be sure to visit the Association website). We can also post your video to our YouTube page to increase your visibility. And of course, don’t forget to post your video to your social media and on your legislators’ Facebook wall.

Best practices for recording a video advocacy message:
Try to think of your video advocacy message as a quick face-to-face meeting with a decision-maker. You are in complete control of the content of this video “meeting.” The ideal length for your video advocacy message is less than 90 seconds.

When making your video, address these important details:

  • The decision-makers who watch your video will want to know your name, city, and state. Do not include your home address as this video will be accessible to the public
  • If you are recording a message for your senator, it is appropriate to address her as senator and use her last name. If you are contacting your representative, you can address him as congressman or her as congresswoman and use his/her last name.

Follow this example for an introduction:
“Congresswoman Johnson or Senator Cornyn, my name is Jennifer Smith from Houston, Texas, and I want to tell you why Medicaid is so important in my child’s life and how it addresses his special health care needs.”

  • If you are or your child is a current or former patient, or if you work at a children’s hospital, mention the name of your hospital.
  • Clearly state what action you want taken and mention the bill name and number if you know it.
  • Be prepared with what you want to say – it’s always okay to prepare a script in advance.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. A helpful tip is to address the elected official directly by looking straight into the camera.
  • Remember, this video is your opportunity to share with decision-makers your personal interest and passion about this issue.