Young politician speaking into multiple microphones.
Young politician speaking into multiple microphones.

A proclamation is issued by an elected or appointed government official to commemorate a specific day or event. It can honor a specific individual, group or cause. These types of commemorations can originate in the leader's office, or they can be the result of an individual or group advocating on behalf of a cause.

Subject of Proclamation

A proclamation can announce or commemorate a wide variety of occasions. If a city's baseball franchise wins the World Series, that city's mayor may issue a proclamation honoring the team. Advocacy groups can lobby their officials to acknowledge their cause with a proclamation. A local chapter of a national group may sway community leaders to issue a proclamation to raise awareness of their cause. For example, September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Local groups that work on drug and alcohol addiction issues may wish to bring attention to their cause by seeking an acknowledgement of this month from local officials.

Target and Timing

Proclamations can be issued at a local, state or national level. Decide how great a reach you want your proclamation to have, and target the appropriate official. The office of the mayor is a good place to start for a local proclamation. Get in touch with the mayor's assistant or communications officer by letter, mail, phone call or in person. The writer of the proclamation also needs a plan for when the announcement should happen, and the timing should be meaningful. If a historical group thinks the founder of a town should be acknowledged with a proclamation, that group may want to consider the founder's birthday as a target date, for example.

Build Your Case

The officeholder's website might explain how to petition for a proclamation, such as what format to use, whom to contact and what information it should include. But when lobbying for an official proclamation, your written presentation should include compelling reasons for that objective. Use active statements. List statistics where relevant. Find facts that support the reasons for your proclamation and include them, especially those with local relevance.

Wording and Format

Proclamations are one page in length. Your proposal should make your case using "Whereas" statements supporting the case for your proclamation, each with a paragraph break following it. For example, if you are suggesting a proclamation in support of a cause, you should list facts and statistics that support the urgency of publicizing that cause. After several "Whereas" statements, comes a "Therefore" statement; this is where you suggest the hoped-for result of your proposal, for example, "Therefore, May 13th should be heart health day in Metropolis." Include contact information in the proclamation, so the official can easily reach you for more information or to let you know the fate of your proposal.