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Matthew Haynes
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I-O Science Advocacy for the Long Run

GREAT new handbook supports member efforts

SIOP’s Government Relations Advocacy Team (GREAT) has just released a thoughtfully designed, concisely comprehensive guide summarizing SIOP’s approach to advocacy at the federal level and providing advice and resources for members who wish to pursue advocacy work.

This members-only benefit, the “Guide to Federal Outreach and Advocacy,” was created with assistance from SIOP’s advocacy partner, Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC, under the direction of GREAT Chair Alexander Alonso and Research and Science Officer Steve W. J. Kozlowski.

“SIOP has developed an active and robust advocacy effort spearheaded by GREAT and Lewis-Burke,” Steve Kozlowski said. “A really important adjunct to these efforts via SIOP leadership is to provide more active engagement in I-O advocacy by SIOP members. This guide is an important resource toward that desirable end.

Alex Alonso added, “Advocacy plays a vital role in making the science of work known; and helping SIOP members leverage advocacy to their benefit is the easiest way to make I-O relevant.  We are pleased to share this guide as a resource for members as they help grow our field.”

Recognizing that advocacy is a long term, consistent effort, Alonso and Kozlowski note in the cover letter to this information-rich resource that “Member participation and direct contact with Congress and federal agencies, as constituents, experts, researchers, practitioners, and academics, is a vital component of that effort.”

The opening pages of this first-ever edition of the handbook lay out two paths to advocacy: “Personal advocacy, in which members advocate on their own, and advocacy as a representative of SIOP with the support of the Government Relations Advocacy Team.” Guidance on when to reach out to GREAT and how to get involved with official SIOP efforts is included.

The next several pages contain highly practical information about how to approach advocacy work:

  • A 2-page primer on crafting communications with policy makers
  • Identifying members of congress
  • Preparing to meet policy makers and/or their staff
  • Conducting the meeting and sharing the results with SIOP
  • Advocacy communication alternatives to meetings

Following that is on-point, respectfully delivered refresher information for those whose formal education about the workings of government may have ended in high school, neatly tied back to SIOP’s official advocacy areas. These sections include:

  • Understanding Congress and the policy development process
  • Congressional committees, and their subcommittees relevant to I-O advocacy initiatives
  • The legislative process
  • Timing of advocacy activities and the annual appropriations process

The last several pages include resource links, a glossary of terms and list of common acronyms, a section including maps and photos on navigating Capitol Hill and complying with security regulations. The last page is a general SIOP leave-behind for SIOP advocacy.

SIOP members are urged to think about how they can use this resource to help raise awareness about the value of I-O psychology, particularly in these turbulent times.

“Using advocacy to advance our field and its influence is at an all-time high,” Dr. Alonso said. “Learn more about how you can leverage SIOP advocacy and get involved by accessing this tool.”

Dr. Kozlowski emphasized that “The most important aspect of SIOP advocacy is to help educate and make local, state, and federal officials aware of how much I-O science and practice can contribute to better policy, government impact, and benefits to society. Join us. Use this helpful resource to do your part!”

Read SIOP’s “Guide to Federal Outreach and Advocacy.”  Learn more about the guiding principles for SIOP advocacy and explore more advocacy resources.

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