I want the mayor to send my group a letter congratulating us
March 31, 2014 1:41 PM   Subscribe

I have been tasked by a chorus I'm a member of to get our mayor, U.S. Senator, and others to write us a letter to be published in our program book celebrating our Tenth Anniversary. I have no idea what to do next...

The letter is supposed to say congratulations and thanks for the great work our non-profit does in the LGBT choral community in my city. I've seen this kind of letter before in other programs so they seem to be ceremonial but also a way of showing support. How do I get these letters done? I don't even know what they are called so I don't know what I'm asking for. Also, am I supposed to supply the text of the letter or is that presumptuous? Any tips you can give will be much appreciated!
posted by Prayless to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you contact the press offices of these people? Otherwise, I would contact GALA choruses and see what they suggest, or some of the older choruses (SF, NYC) who have likely had this done several times over.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:44 PM on March 31, 2014

Call the mayor's office. Call the senator's office. Whoever picks up the phone will either be able to tell you about the process or direct your call to someone who can.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 1:44 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]

I strongly recommend emailing the press offices for the mayor or the senator a detailed email that includes exactly what you are looking for. Chances are they have other stuff going on and this is not particularly high on their priority list. Make it as easy as possible for them to get back to you, which I find a lot of press officers greatly prefer being contacted via email verses the phone.

Also, start with a "bottom-up" approach where you start with contacts at smaller organizations that have already done this to find out if they know exactly who to contact at the bigger/busier offices.
posted by forkisbetter at 1:51 PM on March 31, 2014

Google "letter of congratulations" and the names of the people you wish to receive them from. Most officials that are elected to fairly significant office have the info on how to request these (including whether or not they would like you to send a draft version or simply all the pertinent details about your organization and what you are celebrating) on their website.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:52 PM on March 31, 2014

Best answer: This is actually a really standard thing. They get these requests all the time, and as long as your group's stated mission isn't anathema to their political beliefs you'll accomplish this quite easily. Check the websites of your senator, congressperson, whoever, and they might already have the info there -- look for "constituent services" or the like. For example, here's what Senator Barbara Boxer's looks like. And here's the one for Dianne Feinstein, which notes that they need a month for processing.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:08 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your U.S. Senator has at least one home/regional office in your state. Find the nearest one to you, and reach out to them, not the D.C. office. (Yes, it will be probably be signed with on on-site auto-pen. As opposed to the on-site auto pen at D.C.)
posted by blue suede stockings at 2:09 PM on March 31, 2014

I work for a VIP (although not an elected official) and we get these requests from time to time. My advice:

- Put your request in writing with specific instructions. Email or snail mail is fine. Make sure your request is succinct. Briefly explain (1) what your org does, (2) why you want the letter, (3) what the letter should be about, and (4) why you admire the VIP in question.

- Send your request to the right person. Call the VIP's office and ask the receptionist for the contact info of whoever handles these requests.

- Do not call the person who handles these requests (don't ask the receptionist to transfer you to that person, etc.). They will be annoyed because (a) they are busy and (b) if they are anything like me they would prefer to handle your request and others that are similar to it in a batch at the end of the day or week, so your call won't really do any good.

- Do not supply the text in advance. Very rude.

- Give reasonable lead time (which IMHO is about 3+ weeks). This is not a top priority of the VIP or his/her office, plus you need to account for the slow USPS.

Good luck!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 3:08 PM on March 31, 2014

Used to work in a Senator's office. No big deal. Send a request by email and by letter, and go ahead and call too. It might take 4-6 weeks.
posted by amaire at 5:06 PM on March 31, 2014

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