This is part one of a three-part series on how to expand the impact of your global affairs team. For the full e-book, download here.
When operating in many countries and markets, it can be challenging to keep up with all of the moving conversations happening among stakeholders. Organized intelligence gathering and sharing enable you to be proactive rather than reactive in your government affairs work.
In today’s digital world, it’s easy for trends in one country to pick up and spread to new countries and regions. With this virality, it’s critical for your organization to know immediately when the conversation is gaining momentum on a given issue so you can respond quickly.
Fredrik Lofthagne, CEO of Interel, reinforced this message when he told the Public Affairs Council, “It’s very expensive to be caught off-guard on a particular issue that might wipe away a market for you because you weren’t clued into what was going on politically.”
By tracking what elected officials and stakeholders are saying on social media about your organization and its issues, you successfully quell the fear of missing out with an early-warning system of what’s coming down the political pipeline.
With a system like Quorum, set email alerts so that as soon as a stakeholder mentions a relevant keyword, your team member responsible for that region is notified. Tag documents to an issue profile for a central source of information on what’s being said around the world on a given issue.
Whether you have someone on the ground in that country or are operating from a central headquarters, monitoring social media gives insight into the views and objectives of your international stakeholders providing an early warning system for business threats or opportunities.
Your government relations team is spread around the globe in different time zones, making it challenging to come together as a group and share the knowledge each person has gathered in the field. With challenges in information sharing come challenges in collaboration, resulting in team members operating with limited insights to how their colleagues have handled similar issues in other locations.
Share intelligence among your team with a meeting tracking system. That way, you can have a repository of information gleaned from interactions with stakeholders.
First, each individual would log their interactions with their assigned stakeholder, such as an email, phone call, a planned meeting, or an unexpected encounter at an event. That logged interaction would include the stakeholders involved, a description of what was discussed, and a tag of what issue the interaction was related to. Then, set email alerts to let you know as soon as a member of your team has logged a relevant note.
A bonus—use a system with a mobile option like Quorum that allows your team to log meetings on-the-go, enabling them to log talking points immediately after a conversation while the information is fresh rather than waiting to get back to the office.
“It’s a unique challenge to provide meaningful input into global decisions when you’re sitting in the United States,” Harley Davidson’s Director of Government Affairs, Ed Moreland, said in an interview with the Public Affairs Council. “The more we communicate in real time, the more likely we are able to address issues quickly and effectively.”
Along with real-time updates to keep tabs on the government affairs team around the world, having central repositories of information on each of your organization's issues helps get new employees up to speed quickly. Simply read through issue profiles for previous activity in their country and how those experiences compare to team members in other countries on a given issue.
With a system to alert and track intelligence around the world, worry less about missing information and spend more time setting your global strategy.