How to Communicate with Elected Officials

BSC EDCO logos“What is your biggest challenge in economic development?”

Building Strong Cities (BSC) asked this of 65 economic development professionals across North America. Remarkably, they all said the same thing:

“Elected officials don’t understand what ‘economic development’ is, so it’s impossible to get them to understand the value of our economic development program”,


“Elected officials come into office with a political agenda that’s not always aligned with local economic development priorities. How do you get them on board?”

As you know, it’s nearly impossible to move community and economic development programs forward without political support.

New Councillors and/or a new Mayor means it’s time to educate your elected officials on your community economic development plans. How to Communicate with Elected Officials Workshop offers strategies to get officials on board with the investment, development and policy needed to support economic prosperity.

Presented with the Economic Developers Council of Ontario,this Workshop is for every economic and community development professional who has had to:

  • work with elected officials
  • advocate at different levels of government
  • present a controversial program to a Council or political committee
  • negotiate with multiple stakeholders
  • manage interest groups and community expectations



testimonial-janette-macdonaldKadie helped us build compelling arguments and offered a refreshing point of view. Through team coaching and mentoring Kadie gave our team practical communication tactics, clear direction, and confidence in moving forward. Our community is thriving now more than ever.”

Janette MacDonald, Downtown London Business Association.



After 12 years of working with elected officials, we’ve got a lot of experience, supported by countless hours of study in communication theory, and the psychology of persuasion.

Part communication theory, part persuasion, and all-out practical, this live full-day workshop is held once a year and covers:

  • Eight principles of interpersonal communication most effective in political discussion
  • Six principles of persuasion and which ones are most effective in political discussion
  • Three common character archetypes of politicians, and how to communicate with each
  • Feedback from 85 politicians: communication highlights and challenges from exit interviews with 85 federal politicians in Canada *
  • Step-by-step guide on how to create a communication plan for political communication
  • Review of scripts we’ve used to obtain face-to-face meetings with influential bureaucrats and politicians


 “Kadie and her team effectively brought together various municipal agencies, government partners and community stakeholders amidst political and bureaucratic roadblocks. It’s not always easy to get partners to align, but Kadie’s processes, approach, and enthusiasm made it happen in a tough political climate.”

Tom Monastyrski, U.S. Agency for International Development




Communicating with elected officials has specific nuances influenced by local political culture and climate. BSC provides proven communication and persuasion tactics so you can successfully position and present your economic and community development proposals to elected officials. Save yourself time and reduce frustration by allowing BSC to move your programs forward with your local politicians.

We leave you with Training Resources that work:

  • Principles of Interpersonal Political Communication Check List
  • Principles of Persuasion Cheat Sheet
  • Sample Introduction and follow up scripts
  • Introduction letter templates

Each year we are joined by several MPPs  who share insights on interpersonal political communication and best-practices based upon his experience in municipal politics and his current position as an MPP Progressive Conservatives.

How to Communicate with Elected Officials Workshop will give you a clear voice that cannot be ignored.  It is held at Queens Park, Legislative Assembly of Ontario Canada.  Be quick as space is limited.

Plus, this event is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts towards the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs)

EDAC will accredit this workshop for 4.5 points towards your Ec.D. Designation.

* research conducted by Samara Canada and used with permission.

Dates for the 2015 workshop will be announced soon to our network of local economic development professionals.

If you want to be a part of this network, sign up for updates – they’re free!