2. Name Your Insights
Define the categories of information that your team will systematically log after an interaction with a stakeholder. You should also land on harmonised terminology and naming conventions for your updates. Taking a streamlined approach from the outset means that your team’s activities and reports will be consistent in the long run, making you better able to track your progress and assess your strategy over time.
Here are some examples of information that you might record:
- Issue discussed: a high-level keyword to help categorise your activities.
- Either a specific file, such as “Digital Markets Act”
- Or a broader topic, such as “climate”.
- Description: a summary of the meeting, including what you discussed and any materials you left behind.
- Meeting quality score: create a metric to denote how valuable the meeting was. This will vary depending on your exact goals, but it could be based on the seniority of the stakeholder and their ability to influence your issue.
- Next steps and follow-up: outline the actions needed next, set deadlines to achieve them, and assign owners to each item.
The public affairs team at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) typically logs the date of the meeting, along with the topics discussed and colleagues who attended. This has enabled them to better track interactions with the EU institutions on board priorities.
3. Decide on the Cadence
Establish timings for when your team should log their meeting insights. To obtain the most accurate overview, we recommend doing this as soon as possible after the meeting.
You can move faster on logging your meetings with Quorum. With the capacity to log meetings on desktop or on a mobile app, Quorum empowers you to maintain a centralised record of your engagement with key contacts — no matter whether you’re on the go, or in the virtual office.
Why Your Team Should Log Meetings with Stakeholders
Now, with your meeting log in place, let’s talk about how it can make your organisation and your public affairs efforts more effective and impactful. There are three key benefits that we’ll discuss:
- Building Institutional Knowledge Across Your Organisation
- Reporting With Ease and Impact
- Nurturing Stakeholder Relations With Tailored Outreach
Building Institutional Knowledge Across Your Organisation
By maintaining a shared meeting log, you ensure that all colleagues have access to the vital insights that support your organisation’s work — which, in turn, helps to build institutional knowledge across the team. This happens in two key ways.
On one hand, your meeting log provides team members with a succinct overview of your organisation’s activities so they are correctly briefed on the most important priority issues — even on files where they are not heavily involved on a daily basis — without needing other team members to update them. This helps to fill in knowledge gaps, enabling you to work together as a team with an improved understanding of each other’s remits. By adopting this approach, the public affairs team at EFPIA has been able to optimise information flows and build an institutional memory easily accessible by all relevant colleagues.
On the other hand, storing insights from meetings in one central location helps to mitigate the effects of inevitable organisational turnover. When a team member leaves, your organisation is protected from knowledge loss since the history of their interactions is accessible by the rest of the team in the meeting log. Similarly, onboarding new colleagues is made more efficient as they can tab through the meeting notes to get a sense of organisational priorities and actions taken so far. The team at CropLife Europe has used Quorum to record these vital insights, helping to ensure continuity for the organisation during handover periods.
Level Up With Quorum: Quorum European Union’s meeting tracking system provides a comprehensive solution to log all interactions with officials, ranging from meetings to webinars attended. Add value for your team by including custom fields, such as issue topics discussed, and explanatory notes to summarise the discussion.
Reporting With Ease and Impact
Tracking your organisation’s meetings also helps you to build up a comprehensive picture of your efforts and results, facilitating the process to report back to the C-suite, directors, members, or clients. By aggregating data — such as the number of meetings taken per quarter, or the percentage of meetings with a positive sentiment score — you can easily visualise your wins and demonstrate return-on-investment (ROI) for your team’s work.
Storing this information also makes it faster and simpler to calculate the figures required by the EU Transparency Register. For example, you can record how much time was spent meeting with officials, and how many team members were involved. This forms the basis of a methodology to back up the data you disclose externally, helping to bolster lobbying transparency. This approach is favoured by CropLife Europe, who use Quorum European Union to track the meeting data that supports their transparency reporting.
Level Up With Quorum: Discover Quorum Dashboards: reports that translate efforts into impact with clear, data-backed visuals. Dashboards are completely customisable for every team member, issue area, or region, and are auto-updating — so you can keep the metrics that matter all in one place.
Nurturing Stakeholder Relations with Tailored Outreach
Over time, your team will populate your meeting log with valuable insights on their interactions with different stakeholders. This builds up a comprehensive view of what your contacts care about most, including their stances on certain issues and the level of support for your organisation’s position.
With this intelligence at your fingertips, you can quickly and easily produce tailored communications, such as briefings and talking points, which address your stakeholders’ priority issues and respond to their pain points. By doing this systematically, you’ll show up as a trusted source of relevant and insightful information for your network, which helps to strengthen and grow your stakeholder relationships.
Level Up With Quorum: With Outbox, Quorum’s integrated email tool, you can develop tailored messaging templates and send personalised emails to multiple stakeholders at once — making your communications even more strategic and targeted.
As we’ve seen, taking a consistent approach to logging your meetings with policymakers and other stakeholders plays a key role in levelling up your public affairs strategy. Consider integrating a tool like Quorum European Union into your workflow to help you keep a pulse on your engagements and store relevant insights from your meetings, all in a matter of clicks.