Guidelines for Initiating a Governor’s Proclamation…
- Begin this process as early as possible. Most states require AT LEAST one to two months advance notice. It is hoped that all proclamations can be made a week in advance of Children’s Day.
- Locate your state/territory from the “Contacts for State Governors” list. You will notice that some states/territories have a section a their websites entitled “guidelines.”
- If specific guidelines are provided, continue with the steps below but follow the specific guidelines when applicable.
- If no extra guidelines are provided, follow this general procedure exactly.
- Be sure to identify who is contacting your state’s governor’s office so requests don’t overlap.
- Try to identify a colleague who has access to the governor’s office. For example, a volunteer who may have been a key volunteer in the governor’s last campaign. Use those connections. Ask that individual for advice.
- Read over and use the sample state proclamation. Place the name of your state in the highlighted areas. Consider adding a statement on the role of children and children’s advocacy in your state’s history.
- Read over the sample cover letter. Fill in the highlighted areas with the necessary information. Select one individual to be the main contact for this project. Although many people will be involved, most governor offices will want to converse with only one individual. The selected individual should sign the cover letter and all of his or her contact information should be provided.
- Review the www.childrensday.us website and print out any appropriate news release or “About” material. Many governor offices want to understand the importance and significance of any event they are going to officially recognize. Including these documents in your request package should cover those concerns. However, be prepared to field any follow up questions that may come your way.
- Combine the cover letter, sample proclamation, and any other necessary materials into a sealed envelope.
- Send your request to the address provided in the “Contacts for State Governors” list. U.S. mail should be used unless another form of communication (fax, e-mail, etc) is mentioned in your state/territory guidelines.
- Consider making a follow-up call to the governor’s office if you receive no information within 2-3 weeks of sending your request.
- Seek publicity after the governor approves the proclamation. It is great to have a state adopt the proclamation; it is even better to have the local newspaper report the action. Send a representative to the meeting when the proclamation is being adopted. Frequently, the governor’s office will present a quality copy to an appropriate recipient. Take photos. Also, disseminate your Children’s Day proclamation news release (contact www.childrensday.us if you need help) to the appropriate news media in your state. Try to have a photo and news release in your endorsing organization’s newsletter, or other appropriate publications.
- Be sure to send a follow-up thank you to the governor for the proclamation.
- Keep good records of what works and what doesn’t work this year, whom you contacted, and who made contacts in your state.
- Please send copies of all proclamations and publicity to: Children’s Day, c/o Daybreak Communications, P.O. Box 414, Batavia, IL 60510-0414.
Special Guidelines for State Legislatures
If you know a member of the state legislature personally, approach that person regarding passage of the proclamation. If you don’t have this connection, phone the state legislator’s office to determine the name of the staff person who handles proclamations or resolutions. When you talk with that person, make sure to stress your local connection. Offer the sample state resolution and sample cover letter. Find out if and when the legislature will pass the proclamation, and let the staff person know you are willing meet him/her or attend any related meeting in person or by your representative. Indicate your interest in gaining news coverage of the proclamation, and ask if there is a staff person who can assist you. If not, offer to take a photo to accompany the news release you will produce, then contact the local news media yourself.
Special Guidelines for Mayor’s Offices and Town/City Councils
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