Resources to Effectively Argue Against  
Bow Hunting and
 Other Lethal Methods
to Resolve Human-Deer Conflicts
Produced by Peter Muller of the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

Gatekeeper Script

Keep your focus on your objective:
Get around the gatekeeper to get to the decision maker!

Do:

1)      Find out the name and  title of the decision-maker (use the Internet) before you call.

2)      Greet the gatekeeper.

3)      Introduce yourself.

4)      State the name of the person for whom you are calling.

5)      When asked, state the organization you represent, if any.

6)      Do your best to give complete information.

Donít:

1)    Donít tick off the gatekeeper; gatekeepers will not respond to begging, threatening, or obscenities.

2)    Donít get into a detailed discussion of the issue with the gatekeeper.

3)    Donít get defensive or evasive.

4)    Don't misrepresent or exaggerate anything. You will damage your personal credibility, as well as that of other animal advocates.

Script 1: Decision maker is not available

 

You:

Hello, this is Jay Gordon,
 may I speak to Catherine Sullivan  please?

GK:

           She is not in (busy, at a meeting etc.)

You:

Ok Ė whatís a good time to call?

GK:

Would you like me to take a message -- would you like to go to her voicemail?

You:

No thanks, Iíll be in-and-out all day.  Iíll just call back when itís a better time. Whatís a good time to call?

GK:

Try Tuesday after 3:30

 

Script 2: Decision maker is available

 

You:

Hello, this is Jay Gordon;
 may I speak to Catherine Sullivan  please?

GK:

            What is this about?

You:

I have some information about an issue that is coming up in the legislature (at a hearing, committee meeting etc. Ö) and I would like to have a brief appointment with her to go over it.

GK:

            What is the issue?

You:

It's about the proposal to allow bow hunting in the county park (or similar).

 

[At this point you will either get through to the decision maker, get your appointment, or you will get an  objection -- see Objection Handlers below]

 

Objection Handlers

Objection Handler
Can you just mail something? I could -- but it would be a two-foot stack of paper-- when I meet with Ms. Sullivan for about 15 minutes I can cut right to the chase and leave the documentation that's  of greatest interest to her.
Could we just schedule  a 15-minute appointment with Ms. Sullivan?
She already has all the information on that issue The information that I have is new, well-researched and documented. It is significantly different from most of the  information that's available from the various agencies.
I'm sure Ms. Sullivan would be interested in all the information -so she can consider  the views of all of her constituents.
Could we just schedule  a 15-minute appointment with Ms. Sullivan?
She only has time to meet with constituents Our organization, xxxx,  has several members that are constituents in Ms. Sullivan's district. I would be happy to invite some of them to come to the meeting with me.
Could we just schedule  a 15-minute appointment with Ms. Sullivan?
We need a written (faxed or emailed) request  for a meeting That's fine-- [if a form is required -- please fax me the form to ----] I'll be happy to (fax email, mail) the request in today. I'll call you in a couple of days to confirm the appointment.

That issue is analyzed by Leo Ockert, the committee chair (or whatever), who reports his findings to Ms. Sullivan -- why don't you meet with Leo?
 
We would love to have Leo join us at the meeting.
Could we just schedule  a 15-minute appointment with Ms. Sullivan?
Bottom line:
End each objection handler with "Could we just schedule  a 15-minute appointment with Ms. Sullivan?"