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The Public Affairs Council hosted their “Making Your Issue Part of the Debate” panel discussion last week in Washington, DC. Here are the key takeaways.

1. Pay Attention to Social Media

Social media allows for unprecedented access to presidential candidates. Following their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat accounts helps your organization understand where a candidate stands on your issues, and presents opportunities for engagement. For best results, set up alerts using media tracking platforms like Meltwater or Cision for press coverage and online monitoring tools like Mention to track social media so you are notified every time a candidate mentions your issues (Storyful hand-aggregates social media accounts of campaigns and their staff).

2. Find Engagement Opportunities

As part of your engagement strategy, map your organization’s hotspots. These can be areas where your organization has a physical presence or geographic areas you’d like to target. The American Community Survey breaks down demographics congressional districts with statistics on race, income, and employment (to name a few) and helps identify areas that will be receptive to your message.

3. Track Candidate Engagement

You’re engagement won’t be worth anything unless you are keeping track of where and when engagement with candidates happen. Make sure you are recording every interaction you have with a legislator in excel or a CRM platform (Salesforce, Hubspot, or Quorum).

To have a greater impact, publicize your candidate engagement. For example, The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurants Decide campaign capitalizes on presidential candidates visiting local eateries while on the campaign trail. By posting photos of the candidates’ visit, tagging the candidates, and adding captions about the event and legislative priorities, the organization builds dialog and interest.

4. Spend on Paid Advertising

There’s plenty of opportunities to promote your content, organization, and legislative agenda online--you should take full advantage.

Social media is your best bet if you’re looking to target specific demographics.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers targeting based on job title, company, and geographic area in addition to sponsored InMail messages. Leverage it to target influencers in your issue areas, as well as key stakeholders. In addition, Google AdWords is the internet’s tried and trued paid advertising platform, promoting paid links tied to specific keywords. For a unique positioning opportunities, think about keywords where your organization has an impact but is not known to work frequently.

5. Plan For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It’s critical that your organization be prepared for positive and negative reactions, especially if your issues are considered controversial. Find time for your team to map out a strategy for responding to a crisis. You should include a list of possible controversies and how your organization will respond, as well as delineate responsibilities and spokespeople. Assistance from a public relations firm (like FleishmanHillard or Glover Park Group or QGA) in creating and managing an action plan is a helpful option that can provide peace of mind.

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The Public Affairs Council hosted their “Making Your Issue Part of the Debate” panel discussion last week in Washington, DC. Here are the key takeaways.

1. Pay Attention to Social Media

Social media allows for unprecedented access to presidential candidates. Following their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat accounts helps your organization understand where a candidate stands on your issues, and presents opportunities for engagement. For best results, set up alerts using media tracking platforms like Meltwater or Cision for press coverage and online monitoring tools like Mention to track social media so you are notified every time a candidate mentions your issues (Storyful hand-aggregates social media accounts of campaigns and their staff).

2. Find Engagement Opportunities

As part of your engagement strategy, map your organization’s hotspots. These can be areas where your organization has a physical presence or geographic areas you’d like to target. The American Community Survey breaks down demographics congressional districts with statistics on race, income, and employment (to name a few) and helps identify areas that will be receptive to your message.

3. Track Candidate Engagement

You’re engagement won’t be worth anything unless you are keeping track of where and when engagement with candidates happen. Make sure you are recording every interaction you have with a legislator in excel or a CRM platform (Salesforce, Hubspot, or Quorum).

To have a greater impact, publicize your candidate engagement. For example, The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurants Decide campaign capitalizes on presidential candidates visiting local eateries while on the campaign trail. By posting photos of the candidates’ visit, tagging the candidates, and adding captions about the event and legislative priorities, the organization builds dialog and interest.

4. Spend on Paid Advertising

There’s plenty of opportunities to promote your content, organization, and legislative agenda online--you should take full advantage.

Social media is your best bet if you’re looking to target specific demographics.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers targeting based on job title, company, and geographic area in addition to sponsored InMail messages. Leverage it to target influencers in your issue areas, as well as key stakeholders. In addition, Google AdWords is the internet’s tried and trued paid advertising platform, promoting paid links tied to specific keywords. For a unique positioning opportunities, think about keywords where your organization has an impact but is not known to work frequently.

5. Plan For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It’s critical that your organization be prepared for positive and negative reactions, especially if your issues are considered controversial. Find time for your team to map out a strategy for responding to a crisis. You should include a list of possible controversies and how your organization will respond, as well as delineate responsibilities and spokespeople. Assistance from a public relations firm (like FleishmanHillard or Glover Park Group or QGA) in creating and managing an action plan is a helpful option that can provide peace of mind.

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The Public Affairs Council hosted their “Making Your Issue Part of the Debate” panel discussion last week in Washington, DC. Here are the key takeaways.

1. Pay Attention to Social Media

Social media allows for unprecedented access to presidential candidates. Following their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat accounts helps your organization understand where a candidate stands on your issues, and presents opportunities for engagement. For best results, set up alerts using media tracking platforms like Meltwater or Cision for press coverage and online monitoring tools like Mention to track social media so you are notified every time a candidate mentions your issues (Storyful hand-aggregates social media accounts of campaigns and their staff).

2. Find Engagement Opportunities

As part of your engagement strategy, map your organization’s hotspots. These can be areas where your organization has a physical presence or geographic areas you’d like to target. The American Community Survey breaks down demographics congressional districts with statistics on race, income, and employment (to name a few) and helps identify areas that will be receptive to your message.

3. Track Candidate Engagement

You’re engagement won’t be worth anything unless you are keeping track of where and when engagement with candidates happen. Make sure you are recording every interaction you have with a legislator in excel or a CRM platform (Salesforce, Hubspot, or Quorum).

To have a greater impact, publicize your candidate engagement. For example, The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurants Decide campaign capitalizes on presidential candidates visiting local eateries while on the campaign trail. By posting photos of the candidates’ visit, tagging the candidates, and adding captions about the event and legislative priorities, the organization builds dialog and interest.

4. Spend on Paid Advertising

There’s plenty of opportunities to promote your content, organization, and legislative agenda online--you should take full advantage.

Social media is your best bet if you’re looking to target specific demographics.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers targeting based on job title, company, and geographic area in addition to sponsored InMail messages. Leverage it to target influencers in your issue areas, as well as key stakeholders. In addition, Google AdWords is the internet’s tried and trued paid advertising platform, promoting paid links tied to specific keywords. For a unique positioning opportunities, think about keywords where your organization has an impact but is not known to work frequently.

5. Plan For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It’s critical that your organization be prepared for positive and negative reactions, especially if your issues are considered controversial. Find time for your team to map out a strategy for responding to a crisis. You should include a list of possible controversies and how your organization will respond, as well as delineate responsibilities and spokespeople. Assistance from a public relations firm (like FleishmanHillard or Glover Park Group or QGA) in creating and managing an action plan is a helpful option that can provide peace of mind.

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5 Ways You Can Shape The Presidential Debate

5 Ways You Can Shape The Presidential Debate

The Public Affairs Council hosted their “Making Your Issue Part of the Debate” panel discussion last week in Washington, DC. Here are the key takeaways.

1. Pay Attention to Social Media

Social media allows for unprecedented access to presidential candidates. Following their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat accounts helps your organization understand where a candidate stands on your issues, and presents opportunities for engagement. For best results, set up alerts using media tracking platforms like Meltwater or Cision for press coverage and online monitoring tools like Mention to track social media so you are notified every time a candidate mentions your issues (Storyful hand-aggregates social media accounts of campaigns and their staff).

2. Find Engagement Opportunities

As part of your engagement strategy, map your organization’s hotspots. These can be areas where your organization has a physical presence or geographic areas you’d like to target. The American Community Survey breaks down demographics congressional districts with statistics on race, income, and employment (to name a few) and helps identify areas that will be receptive to your message.

3. Track Candidate Engagement

You’re engagement won’t be worth anything unless you are keeping track of where and when engagement with candidates happen. Make sure you are recording every interaction you have with a legislator in excel or a CRM platform (Salesforce, Hubspot, or Quorum).

To have a greater impact, publicize your candidate engagement. For example, The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurants Decide campaign capitalizes on presidential candidates visiting local eateries while on the campaign trail. By posting photos of the candidates’ visit, tagging the candidates, and adding captions about the event and legislative priorities, the organization builds dialog and interest.

4. Spend on Paid Advertising

There’s plenty of opportunities to promote your content, organization, and legislative agenda online–you should take full advantage.

Social media is your best bet if you’re looking to target specific demographics.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers targeting based on job title, company, and geographic area in addition to sponsored InMail messages. Leverage it to target influencers in your issue areas, as well as key stakeholders. In addition, Google AdWords is the internet’s tried and trued paid advertising platform, promoting paid links tied to specific keywords. For a unique positioning opportunities, think about keywords where your organization has an impact but is not known to work frequently.

5. Plan For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

It’s critical that your organization be prepared for positive and negative reactions, especially if your issues are considered controversial. Find time for your team to map out a strategy for responding to a crisis. You should include a list of possible controversies and how your organization will respond, as well as delineate responsibilities and spokespeople. Assistance from a public relations firm (like FleishmanHillard or Glover Park Group or QGA) in creating and managing an action plan is a helpful option that can provide peace of mind.