Implement your intervention activities
- Contact political and community representatives
It is helpful to keep in contact with political and community representatives to reach the goal of implementing a policy or environmental change. Let political and community representatives know that there are a large number of community members who are supportive of the environment or policy initiative you are proposing. This may be done through letter writing or phone call campaigns, or by bringing a group of community members together to meet with the appropriate representatives.
Keep your contact brief, simple and focused on specific objectives. Make it easy for others to understand what you want. When possible, develop a personal relationship with political, business, and/or community representatives to increase chances for ongoing support of your intervention. Be sure to follow up after your initial contact and keep a record of contacts to share with representatives to enhance your credibility.
Below are some specific tips to keep in mind when contacting representatives:
- Letter writing or phone call campaigns:
- Provide example letters or phone scripts, but have each person the script put it in his or her own words and send individually
- Write to individuals who are on key committees that are important to your target population
- Provide community members with addresses and/or phone numbers of representatives
- Meet with your political, business, or community representatives:
- Schedule a meeting with a group of community members in order to discuss a particular issue
- Be prepared, know key points, and have background information on your issue ready to send in case they have questions
- Keep your message brief and highlight a small number of key points
- Relate the issue to situations in the representatives specific situation (workplace, school, district)
- Be honest, respectful, and polite
- Send thank you letters
- Collect information and facts to support the need for policy or environmental change
Collect information on the extent of injuries from falls in your area. Facts and figures are the pieces of evidence you need to justify your desire for policy or environmental change. Also, collect economic information about the costs and benefits of similar policy or environmental changes in other communities. Prepare fact sheets, letters, or press releases using facts and figures you’ve collected.
- Use tactics to get target areas to implement a policy or environmental change
If you are looking for governmental policy change, contact community or legislative representatives to bring awareness to policymakers about the health benefits of injuries from falls prevention. They must be convinced that there is enough community support for the proposed change. If you are striving towards policy or environmental changes in local schools, contact the school boards and let them know what other schools with environments and policies pertaining to injuries from falls see in terms of cost benefits and other benefits. You may want to plan some social action events to draw community support and attention to your proposed environment or policy initiative.
- Measure the effects of the intervention strategies
As you push for a change in policy or environment, try to see if you are having success in getting the community behind your proposal. Have local news outlets covered a story about your efforts? Are more community members volunteering to contact representatives? Are some local businesses, schools, or workplaces making strides towards implementing injuries from falls policies or environmental initiatives on their property? The more support you can demonstrate for your proposal, the more likely it is that the policy or environmental change can be put into place.
- Revisit your timeline and roles and responsibilities
In situations where policy change is the goal, there is often a strict timeline that must be adhered to because the policy change is contingent on a vote. All relevant activities for your intervention must be complete by the day the votes are cast. Besides the potential voting day deadline, your partners should already have a timeline to meet certain goals in place, and now is the time to revisit this timeline and make sure goals are being met. You may need to revise your timeline and roles and responsibilities as you encounter barriers and challenges.