When your team works in conjunction with a set of external consultants, establishing a system to document and share institutional knowledge between everyone is essential. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to have everyone keep track of their interactions. However, setting expectations and getting follow-through can be challenging.
Here are three tactics to help you get started:
First and foremost, the mandate for outside consultants to log their interactions needs to come from the highest level.
One Quorum client—a large corporation—makes it clear to their consultants that logging interactions is required as part of their relationship. If activity is not logged, then it did not happen; the consultants won’t get paid without documenting their work.
Requiring consultants to log their interactions is about more than just adding a new reporting process to their workflow. Explain to your consultants how logging meetings will be helpful in their work for you.
Logging meetings maintains institutional knowledge. If your contract lobbyists log their meetings in a unified system as your team, then when one of your internal lobbyists goes to a meeting with an official, they can pick back up right where the lobbyist left off, helping you work smarter to have an impact on the issues your organization cares about.
Additionally, providing consultant access to your public affairs software, like Quorum, can help your contract lobbyists as well. For example, if you’re using data to visualize your organization’s facilities, employees, or member organizations, show the lobbyists how they can leverage this in their meetings with lawmakers to communicate the impact your organization has in a state or legislative district.
Set a standard for what should be included each time an interaction is logged. Typically, this includes (A) who the meeting was with, (B) key points or topics of discussion, and (C) any asks, requests, or follow-up that came from the meeting.
Additionally, set a standard for how quickly after a meeting interactions should be logged in the system. With Quorum’s mobile app, a best practice is to log meetings on-the-go while the information is still fresh.
To see how Quorum can help with the relationship between your organization and your contract lobbyists, download our five key steps to seamless information sharing.