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March-April-2015

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Showcase Your Plant & Build Relationships A Guide to Successful Plant Tours for Elected Officials and Their Staff Conducting manufacturing plant visits for Members of Congress is easier than you think, especially if you already give plant tours. It provides Members of Congress and their staff an opportunity to learn about the real world and real problems first-hand. It is a good way to build long-term relationships for your company and increase support for a pro-growth, pro-business agenda. They provide excellent venues for lawmakers to meet with their constituents, and also hear the success stories in their districts and see first-hand how their policies work in real life. In conjunction with NAM (National Association of Manufacturers), the NWPCA prepared a booklet for members to assist them in conducting plant tours of their own. The booklet helps you plan, prepare for and conduct a successful plant tour and ensure that your experience is as effective as possible. We'll provide you with the following: Let Visitors Be an Active Participant You have an important story to tell, and hosting a Member of Congress goes a long way in sharing the positive messages of our industry. If feasible, without shutting down production lines, offer your visitor the chance to address your entire workforce. Have the Member of Congress do something "physical," such as shake hands, participate in a ribbon-cutting, run a machine, examine your product or look at a computer screen. These are prime photo opportunities. Discuss how the plant has improved and contributed to the community. Inform visitors about your company's history, including total investment in facilities and equipment. Discuss the impact that legislation (both positive and negative) has on your company. Prepare specific answers to expected questions, particularly about your company's impact on your lawmaker's district. Plant tours educate lawmakers on the importance of manufacturing's role in the economy. These visits are excellent press opportunities for your company. Better yet, the member of Congress will remember your role in your community and your hospitality. NWPCA will assist you in painting the perfect picture of manufacturing at work and lend a hand where needed, even if you need NWPCA staff on site to provide support and guidance. Show your guests how the machinery works, how different items are put together, what new technologies are being used and your workers' overall productivity. Copies of the NWPCA Congressional Plant Tour Guide are available at PalletCentral.com or by contacting NWPCA's VP-Advocacy and External Affairs, Patrick Atagi, at patagi@palletcentral.com. • Checklist for plant tours • Setting up the plant tour • Planning for media • Organizing the plant tour • Preparing displays/literature • Preparing for arrival • Conducting the tour • Following up after the tour • A Sample Invitation Letter to Member of Congress • Sample Media Advisory • Show Lawmaker How your production line works

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