Local (city, county, or U.S. state) proclamations—those that “proclaim” a specific day or week as “National Arts Week” or “Seat Belt Safety Day,” for example—are a time-honored vehicle for securing government recognition of your program. Getting a proclamation is much easier than it might seem.
Here are a few easy steps to follow:
- Draft your language in advance. Some sample proclamations are included in this section, as well as a draft letter of request that can be tailored to your specific needs.
- Have a proposal in mind for how and when the proclamation would be officially presented. Invite an official to present the proclamation at a public event that offers the potential for press coverage. Aim high: ask for the highest ranking official in the body to whom you are making your request.
- Know to whom the request should be officially made (name and title of mayor, city council member, governor, assembly person, for example) and to whom the request should be sent for processing. Just a handful of telephone calls will identify the correct office, which often has standard procedures for issuance of official proclamations.
- Don’t forget to clear your plan through the appropriate channels within your organization. Be a strategist; the higher the rank of the person sending the request, the better.
- Unless the governing body to which you are making the request has a policy against or limiting the number of proclamations, they are NOT hard to get. Getting an official to attend your event can be trickier, so don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work the first year. A written proclamation has a shelf-life. It’s a “proof of principle” that your program has merit, great for promoting your program within your organization, and useful should you seek outside funding for future programming.
- After your event, send a thank-you email or letter to the official who issued the proclamation.