Whether you’re a corporation, trade association, or nonprofit, policy at both the federal and state levels can have a significant impact on your ability to succeed in your work. To make sure your organization’s interests aren’t left behind, it’s important to have a strong public affairs strategy.
Check out three examples of organizations who have implemented key tactics that should be a part of every public affairs strategy:
To build relationships with legislators, Walmart makes sure to interact with them beyond the instances when they need a favor. One way they do this is by sharing timely success stories from Walmart that impact constituents in a legislator’s district.
For example, whenever Walmart opens a new store in a district, they always make sure to inform the local legislator so they understand the magnitude of Walmart’s impact on the local economy. To build further goodwill, Walmart also reaches out to legislators to share whenever the company makes a donation to a local community organization.
In addition to communicating your impact with elected officials, it’s also important to monitor and engage your organization’s stakeholders. Coca-Cola’s stakeholders include community leaders and those who have received grants from Coca-Cola’s Community Relations team. The Community Relations team makes sure these stakeholders are informed of company announcements, such as the roll out of a new product or the release of the Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial, just as they would with legislators.
By keeping stakeholder information in an organized database, it’s easy for the Community Relations team to organize events and invite relevant stakeholders by filtering contacts by issue area or location.
VFAI cares about legislation that affects veterans and their relatives. While building relationships with legislators to impact this type of policy, the non-profit realized that veteran and family member advocates are highly effective at driving conversations. By directly calling on advocates to engage with members of Congress, VFAI is able to increase the amount of pressure they put on legislators while simultaneously making the grassroots advocate messages they share more personal.
Key to the success of VFAI’s grassroots work is having an organized database of all their advocates. This database allows them to target certain asks to different types of people based on their background or level of previous engagement.