1. Get Access to a Breadth of Auto-Updating Political Intelligence
Intelligence is currency in public affairs work, which is why you need to be able to find accurate information, fast. Without a single, centralized place to store the insights you need to support your day-to-day activities you can end up spending hours on manual tasks like tracking down contact information or finding plenary agendas. This can lead to significant productivity losses by leaving you with less time to focus on what really matters — developing strategy and analyzing policy.
While it’s possible to use non-specialist tools as part of your workflow to help plug these gaps, it requires a significant time investment — both during set-up and on a day-to-day basis — to adapt them to the specific needs of your public affairs team. Put simply, it’s hard to focus on your policy work if you still need to manually check data and set up convoluted workarounds in a tool that’s simply not made for that kind of work.
So, what’s the solution? Consider software that’s tailor-made for public affairs. Quorum Federal helps you stay connected to Washington with a federal directory of over 100,000 verified official, staffer, executive, and agency contacts. Each profile includes up-to-date contact information, detailed background information, district data, and more — powered by KnowWho — so you can get to the right people faster. Or for teams based in Europe, Quorum European Union gives your team access to an aggregated database of publicly available information for over 40,000 EU officials and staff, including the Permanent Representations.
These directories are auto-updating, so you don’t need to constantly double-check everything online or spend time manually editing your contact list after each election or mid-term; Quorum does it for you. Additionally, both solutions are complemented with dialogue tracking functionalities, social media monitoring, a unified meeting log, an email tool, and reporting capabilities — all in one place. This sets you up with the information and functionalities you need to move faster on your public affairs priorities, right out of the box.
So, with a tool that sets you up for success from day one, you can dedicate more time to handling the moving parts in your day-to-day — like managing stakeholders and tracking issues.
2. Capture Nuances in Stakeholder Relationships and Follow Specific Issues With Needle-Point Accuracy
Your stakeholder relationships evolve over time — just like the issues you’re tracking their alignment on. But non-specialist software is often better-equipped for following linear relationships which unfold steadily towards a one-time goal or outcome, rather than taking into account the nuances and shifts inherent to stakeholder interactions in public affairs work.
For example, your organization may broadly align with a policymaker on climate issues, but may not agree with their views on energy policy more specifically. Their stance on those issues may also progressively change, which is a valuable insight you need to be able to keep a pulse on to inform your ongoing interactions with them. If your organization’s chosen software isn’t able to easily catch that nuance, then you’ll likely miss opportunities to nurture and build that relationship or to engage with them on pertinent topics.
How does public affairs software help you do this more effectively? In Quorum, you can maintain an in-depth repository of knowledge about your priority topics using Issue Profiles. These keep everything about an issue in one place, covering records of interactions with officials, meeting notes, lists of key stakeholders, relevant documents and legislation from the institutions, and much more. With this breadth of information available in your Issue Profile, you can then track a particular stakeholder’s alignment with that topic over time, which provides you with a deeper insight into your team’s effectiveness — put simply, how your lobbying efforts are performing — so that you can identify where and how your time is best spent for maximum impact.
In addition, Quorum helps you move faster on capturing a full overview of your interactions with stakeholders, even when you’re away from your desk. With Quorum Mobile, you can easily access, search, and update your information on the go — including meeting notes, legislation, contacts, and more — so you’re never more than a tap away from your data. This empowers you to build up a richer source of insights from your meetings as you can record the relevant details while the meeting is still fresh in your mind — no need to head back to the office first.
By capturing and visualizing your stakeholder relationships and priority issues in a nuanced way, you’re then better equipped to close the loop by demonstrating your successes to internal and external stakeholders.
3. Keep a Pulse on Your Impact and Demonstrate Return-on-Investment With a Tool Tailor-Made for Public Affairs
The mark of success for public affairs teams often involves avoiding or minimizing a negative outcome, which can be difficult to quantify. As such, it can be tricky to tangibly measure the impact of your work and to communicate that value in a way that speaks to both internal and external stakeholders — which leads to missed opportunities to showcase how your team is moving the needle on your organization’s priority topics. This difficulty is compounded when your team is using a tool that is not designed to capture metrics specific to advocacy work, like meeting sentiment or stakeholder alignment.
This is where using specialized public affairs software can lighten the load and help you effortlessly demonstrate your team’s return-on-investment. For example, Quorum has pre-set and customisable fields so you can closely track the metrics that matter to you — whether that’s risk level on your key issues, the quality of interactions with stakeholders, or something else altogether. You can then weave these insights into 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 — and by keeping it all in one place, you no longer need to search for information or produce fresh reports each time. All of this allows your organization to easily keep a pulse on engagement strategies and uncover opportunities to increase your impact.
Specialized software helps teams like yours move faster on their public affairs priorities from end to end. Consider a tool like Quorum to help you map, track, change, and report on your policy landscape — all in one place.