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WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [name] => public-affairs-post-election-playbook [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog ) [query_vars] => Array ( [name] => public-affairs-post-election-playbook [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [tag] => [cat] => [tag_id] => [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [paged] => 0 [meta_key] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( ) [category__not_in] => Array ( ) [category__and] => Array ( ) [post__in] => Array ( ) [post__not_in] => Array ( ) [post_name__in] => Array ( ) [tag__in] => Array ( ) [tag__not_in] => Array ( ) [tag__and] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__in] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__and] => Array ( ) [post_parent__in] => Array ( ) [post_parent__not_in] => Array ( ) [author__in] => Array ( ) [author__not_in] => Array ( ) [ignore_sticky_posts] => [suppress_filters] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [posts_per_page] => 10 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => [order] => DESC ) [tax_query] => [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( ) [relation] => [meta_table] => [meta_id_column] => [primary_table] => [primary_id_column] => [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( ) [clauses:protected] => Array ( ) [has_or_relation:protected] => ) [date_query] => [queried_object] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7773 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_content] => It’s election season. And it’s football season. What do the two have in common? More than you think — and I don’t just say that because ex-NFL player Herschel Walker is a key player in control of the Senate in 2022.  In football, you can’t just make decisions on a whim about how you approach a situation. You have your two-minute drill — how you’re going to score when time is of the essence. You have your red zone defense — how you will stop the other team when they are on the precipice of scoring. You have your adjustments based on your opponent on any given week.  To handle each of these scenarios, coaches prepare an in-depth playbook that prepares for potential scenarios.  In public affairs during election season, you need a playbook as well.  What’s your approach if the House or Senate changes majorities and your key committees have new leadership? Or if the majority changes and your issue area is now in prime time? What will you do if the district where you have a crucial facility has a new representative at the federal and state level? What if the candidate who called your organization out on the campaign trail in a negative way gets elected? How will you reset your PAC strategy going into a new election cycle? While football coaches and players get several months to build their strategy between the Super Bowl and the next season’s kickoff, public affairs professionals don’t have the benefit of an off-season. Even for state government affairs professionals who don’t have year-round sessions, you never know when a major current event will spur new movement on your policy issue. You’re building out your strategy for the new year while the current year is still playing out. Thankfully, public affairs is not a zero-sum game where everyone’s a winner or a loser.   So, we’ll help build the playbook for you with strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_title] => The Public Affairs Post-Election Playbook [post_excerpt] => In this playbook, find post-election public affairs strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => public-affairs-post-election-playbook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=7773 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 7773 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'public-affairs-post-election-playbook' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7773 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_content] => It’s election season. And it’s football season. What do the two have in common? More than you think — and I don’t just say that because ex-NFL player Herschel Walker is a key player in control of the Senate in 2022.  In football, you can’t just make decisions on a whim about how you approach a situation. You have your two-minute drill — how you’re going to score when time is of the essence. You have your red zone defense — how you will stop the other team when they are on the precipice of scoring. You have your adjustments based on your opponent on any given week.  To handle each of these scenarios, coaches prepare an in-depth playbook that prepares for potential scenarios.  In public affairs during election season, you need a playbook as well.  What’s your approach if the House or Senate changes majorities and your key committees have new leadership? Or if the majority changes and your issue area is now in prime time? What will you do if the district where you have a crucial facility has a new representative at the federal and state level? What if the candidate who called your organization out on the campaign trail in a negative way gets elected? How will you reset your PAC strategy going into a new election cycle? While football coaches and players get several months to build their strategy between the Super Bowl and the next season’s kickoff, public affairs professionals don’t have the benefit of an off-season. Even for state government affairs professionals who don’t have year-round sessions, you never know when a major current event will spur new movement on your policy issue. You’re building out your strategy for the new year while the current year is still playing out. Thankfully, public affairs is not a zero-sum game where everyone’s a winner or a loser.   So, we’ll help build the playbook for you with strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_title] => The Public Affairs Post-Election Playbook [post_excerpt] => In this playbook, find post-election public affairs strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => public-affairs-post-election-playbook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=7773 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7773 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-11-08 22:12:46 [post_content] => It’s election season. And it’s football season. What do the two have in common? More than you think — and I don’t just say that because ex-NFL player Herschel Walker is a key player in control of the Senate in 2022.  In football, you can’t just make decisions on a whim about how you approach a situation. You have your two-minute drill — how you’re going to score when time is of the essence. You have your red zone defense — how you will stop the other team when they are on the precipice of scoring. You have your adjustments based on your opponent on any given week.  To handle each of these scenarios, coaches prepare an in-depth playbook that prepares for potential scenarios.  In public affairs during election season, you need a playbook as well.  What’s your approach if the House or Senate changes majorities and your key committees have new leadership? Or if the majority changes and your issue area is now in prime time? What will you do if the district where you have a crucial facility has a new representative at the federal and state level? What if the candidate who called your organization out on the campaign trail in a negative way gets elected? How will you reset your PAC strategy going into a new election cycle? While football coaches and players get several months to build their strategy between the Super Bowl and the next season’s kickoff, public affairs professionals don’t have the benefit of an off-season. Even for state government affairs professionals who don’t have year-round sessions, you never know when a major current event will spur new movement on your policy issue. You’re building out your strategy for the new year while the current year is still playing out. Thankfully, public affairs is not a zero-sum game where everyone’s a winner or a loser.   So, we’ll help build the playbook for you with strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_title] => The Public Affairs Post-Election Playbook [post_excerpt] => In this playbook, find post-election public affairs strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => public-affairs-post-election-playbook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-11-15 15:24:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=7773 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 4d0f7b7b7ad6458d6db8b498a410ccc5 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
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The Public Affairs Post-Election Playbook

The Public Affairs Post-Election Playbook

It’s election season. And it’s football season. What do the two have in common? More than you think — and I don’t just say that because ex-NFL player Herschel Walker is a key player in control of the Senate in 2022. 

In football, you can’t just make decisions on a whim about how you approach a situation. You have your two-minute drill — how you’re going to score when time is of the essence. You have your red zone defense — how you will stop the other team when they are on the precipice of scoring. You have your adjustments based on your opponent on any given week. 

To handle each of these scenarios, coaches prepare an in-depth playbook that prepares for potential scenarios. 

In public affairs during election season, you need a playbook as well. 

What’s your approach if the House or Senate changes majorities and your key committees have new leadership? Or if the majority changes and your issue area is now in prime time? What will you do if the district where you have a crucial facility has a new representative at the federal and state level? What if the candidate who called your organization out on the campaign trail in a negative way gets elected? How will you reset your PAC strategy going into a new election cycle?

While football coaches and players get several months to build their strategy between the Super Bowl and the next season’s kickoff, public affairs professionals don’t have the benefit of an off-season. Even for state government affairs professionals who don’t have year-round sessions, you never know when a major current event will spur new movement on your policy issue. You’re building out your strategy for the new year while the current year is still playing out.

Thankfully, public affairs is not a zero-sum game where everyone’s a winner or a loser.  

So, we’ll help build the playbook for you with strategies your team can implement across lobbying, grassroots, PAC, communications, and stakeholder engagement. 

Lobbying Strategy

The lobbyists are the linemen. They are the first interaction whether you’re playing offense or defense. Your lobbying strategy will be the earliest action come January as your lobbyists hit the Hill or state capitol immediately. 

Here are a few lobbying strategies to prepare for your playbook: 

Map Your Legislative Stakeholders Based on Alignment to Your Organization’s Issues

Come January, there will be new faces across the federal and state legislatures, which means new potential partners for key legislation or new threats to your organization. If a chamber sees a transition in the majority party, that change will be even more dramatic. So, you’ll need to remap your legislative stakeholders based on their alignment with your organization’s issues. 

Why Map Stakeholders?

Stakeholder mapping is the process of organizing your stakeholders according to an internal organization system, such as tiers of engagement, issue areas, or job role. Mapping plays two key roles when kicking off a new year:

1) Organize Your Messaging by Audience: By mapping stakeholders by different categories (like issue area or champion vs. detractor), you can better segment your communication and adjust the message based on the audience. 

2) Measuring ROI of Your Efforts: By mapping stakeholders at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year, you can measure your team’s ability to grow relationships. For example, look at how many neutral stakeholders became champions or how many you moved out of the detractor category.

Like a new opponent each week in the football season, you have to scout the legislature to build your mapping plan. There are different plays to use for mapping based on different circumstances, namely the volume of issues in your organization’s portfolio and the changing dynamics of a given legislature based on election results. 

Party majority changes are the new head coach. While there may be flavors of the past season, you know the new leadership will change the strategy to better match their preferences. Whereas if it’s the same coach year over year, you know their style of play, and you can start from your baseline plan from the previous year. 

Play A: Few Issue Areas, Same Party in Power Play B: Few Issue Areas, New Party in Power
Play C: Many Issue Areas, Same Party in Power Play D: Many Issue Areas, New Party in Power


Play A: An Organization with Only a Few Issues in their Portfolio and Working in a Legislature with the Same Party in Power

Because you’re working on only a few issues, you can map stakeholders across a simpler set of criteria. In this case, we recommend an interest-influence matrix. Each stakeholder is considered on two criteria — their level of interest in an issue and their level of influence.

Your most important stakeholders are high-interest and high-influence. While there are more complex means of mapping stakeholders, this two-variable method will suffice for an organization with a smaller issue portfolio. 

If you’re working in a legislature that retains the same majority, take your mapped stakeholders from the year prior and evaluate any necessary changes based on new committee assignments, seniority or other adjustments.

Play B: Few Issue Areas, New Party in Power

Similar to Play A, you’d want to use an interest-influence matrix given you’re working in a small group of issue areas. However, with a new party in power, you’ll want to re-do your mapping likely from scratch as the influence axis has shifted with new committee memberships and leaders and new hierarchies of seniority.

Play C: Many Issue Areas, Same Party in Power

If you’re working with the same party in power but with a vast issue portfolio, you can use your baseline from last year’s mapping, but will want to use a more in-depth mapping system than just an interest-influence matrix.

With a vast issue portfolio, you can’t take a one-size fits all approach — a legislator might be a champion of one issue because they hold the same stance as your organization and they are in a key committee position of power. However that same stakeholder may be a detractor on a different issue. So, you’ll want to use a stakeholder alignment methodology that maps each player as a champion, neutral, or detractor relative to that issue area

Play D: Many Issue Areas, New Party in Power

If you’re working with a vast issue portfolio AND a new party in power in a given legislature, you’re dealing with the most advanced stakeholder mapping play. Use the stakeholder alignment methodology, but you’re going to want to start from scratch given shifts in influence. 

Different organizations use different criteria for determining a champion vs. neutral or neutral vs. detractor, and their influence on an issue (like a position of power in a committee) can often be the criteria that pushes them one way or the other. So, you’ll want to do a full refresh when there’s a party transition in a given legislature.

Build Your January Communications Strategy to Introduce Your Organization

Introducing your organization to new legislators early is critical — like a newly signed free agent’s introductory press conference. Get in their inbox before you have an ask for them, like a vote or a sponsorship of a critical bill, to leave a positive first impression. 

You want to kickstart the year with proactive communication so that the officials and staff know your organization and issues before you need them. So, get started with an introductory newsletter in January. 

Rather than dive deep into policy, introduce your organization’s leadership, community impact, and key business initiatives you’re excited about for the coming year. With a tool like Quorum, you can personalize these messages at scale by including your organization’s custom data — like how many employees or facilities you have in a given district — to show your impact on that official’s community early on.

This strategy of proactive brand communications shouldn’t end in January. From there, map out your policy reputation calendar for the rest of 2023. While you’ll likely have instances of needing rapid response to policy issues, your policy reputation calendar ensures that you have an evergreen plan to continue building your brand among legislators. Then when you do need them to take action, you’re not starting your relationship from scratch.

Schedule Site Visits in Key Districts

When a football team goes on the road, they often like to get to the city they are playing in a few days early to understand the conditions — grass or turf, hot weather or snow, open-air or dome. Likewise, candidates have been crisscrossing their districts to drum up votes. Once they are officially elected, they’ll again have reason to travel the district to meet relevant policy stakeholders. 

Traveling the district is especially important in 2023 as redistricting goes into effect — even incumbents have new faces and new constituents to meet. This means that in addition to the need to introduce your organization to newly elected legislators, you should also prioritize legislators who newly represent key regions for your business, such as your corporate headquarters or a critical manufacturing facility. These may be represented by a member who has been in Congress for years but is new to that community. Think of it like how the Los Angeles Rams — a storied franchise in a new city — had to work to rebuild their brand amongst their new fans. 

Manage Federal, State, or Local Government Affairs with Quorum

Grassroots Strategy

Your post-election grassroots strategy has two groups of stakeholders — the advocates taking action on your campaigns and the officials and staff receiving the outreach from your advocates. Getting an early jump start on your advocacy helps you be proactive rather than reactive.

A football team always wants to play with a lead. When it does, the team gets to control the pace and style of play. When you play from behind, you’re at the whim of the other team. You play hurriedly and have to rely on a more narrow playbook. If you only have a few minutes to score and catch up, you’re stuck with pass plays for big yardage — or even a risky hail mary. 

By getting ahead of your grassroots campaigns and building an evergreen strategy before your issue hits the floor, you can deploy your full system of plays and have more control over the conversation.

Here are a few strategies to implement right away: 

Survey Your Advocates for Grasstops Relationships

Your advocates may have personal relationships with legislators that you may not be aware of, like:

  • They live on the same street
  • They went to college together
  • Their kids play in the same soccer league 
  • They are both members of a community organization
  • They attend the same church

A survey helps uncover these relationships. If you identify connections within that survey, connect with those advocates to build a game plan to engage early in the session. This engagement will likely include a one-on-one meeting in the district and using that advocate as the point of contact for future requests of site visits, fly-in meetings, and, eventually, vote or sponsorship asks. 

Draft Your Grasstops Ambassadors for New Power Players

Once you’ve surveyed to find the existing relationships among advocates and new lawmakers, you’ll want to fill the gaps for key players with whom you don’t have a grasstops relationship. This should include new legislators and legislators with new levels of influence, like committee chairs or those with increased seniority in their state delegation. 

By pairing each legislator with a grasstops ambassador from your organization, you’ll be sure to have a personal relationship with someone from their district that can help drive engagement, rather than that legislator only hearing from your organization’s lobbyists.

Your first source of grasstops advocates should be existing leaders within your organization. These may be

  • Heads of your state chapter or affiliates
  • Top donors to your nonprofits
  • Your most active grassroots advocates
  • Department heads in a field office

These internal leaders will have an existing baseline of engagement and issue awareness, so they aren’t starting their advocacy experience from scratch.

If after discussing with these stakeholders you still don’t have a representative from a given district, look for eager grassroots advocates who may not be your top tier yet, but are interested in growing in their level of involvement. Organizations like the American Society of Anesthesiologists build their grasstops advocates from scratch by requiring them to go through an advocate training program that better equips them to make an impact. 

Launch an Early Campaign to Introduce Your Advocates + Story to New Legislators

In a media press conference, football coaches pick from the audience which reporters they want to hear from, and more often than not, it’s the local reporters that get the most opportunities to ask a question. The coaches know that those reporters have been following the team for the long haul and will ask a question that is well-informed. And,  it’s the readers of those local publications that spend money on tickets and team gear.

Likewise, legislators want to hear from the locals — which in most case means your organization’s advocates. While your lobbyists may get more in the weeds on an issue, legislators want to hear about how it impacts the people at home.

Even before there is a floor vote or filibuster, you’ll want to introduce your advocates to their legislators. A “Share Your Story” campaign is a great way to do that. Give advocates prompts to write about how different policy areas impact them and why it’s important for a legislator to care about those issues. 

Build an Education Campaign on Electoral Impact on Your Issues

As your organization implements a new playbook to adapt to the changing policy landscape, you must also prepare your advocates for the adjustment. Doing so is particularly important if you’ll focus on new issues or reprioritize certain issues to make up a bigger percentage of your campaigns. Advocates may not be well equipped to speak to those topics, so you must provide them with the knowledge to act on your behalf. 

To tackle this, consider a newsletter to advocates describing the broad electoral impact on your organization.

Depending on the size of your advocate list and the number of campaigns you intend to run, you can use this as an opportunity to segment your audience by their areas of interest. As you’re changing the issues you’re promoting, some advocates may be more interested than they were in the past in engaging with your organization, or less interested. 

To build those segments, have the call to action of your newsletter ask them to share their preferences on the issues they want to hear about. From there, you can send deeper issue dives to those narrower lists and get greater levels of engagement on each send.

In addition to a newsletter, consider the other channels you have to educate advocates on the issues — social media, in-person promotion, employee meetings, webinars, and more. Your communications should meet your advocates where they are, so the best channels will differ based on your advocates’ engagement preferences.

Acquire, Educate, and Activate Your Advocates

Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Legislators and advocates aren’t the only stakeholders who need to be a part of your post-election public affairs strategy. You also need to think of your third-party partners — community leaders, coalition members, and other non-government leaders who have an impact or an interest in your organization’s issues. 

In the NFL and college football, some of the biggest stakeholders aren’t players or fans, but sponsors. They’re the ones who make the economic operation run. When you partner with them closely and work together, you can have strong mutual benefits — like Everfi’s partnership with the NFL on youth education programs in the 32 markets.  Conversely, when these relationships are neglected, it can cause significant harm to your bottom line — like when Fedex threatened to end its sponsorship of the now-Washington Commanders’ stadium over the team’s name. 

Here are some strategies to make sure that you’re maximizing your engagement of community stakeholders in a transition time of a new policy landscape: 

Drive Buy-In for Meeting Logging

The new year is a great time to reinforce team processes. One process that the best teams use is meeting logging, where team members share notes in a unified system based on the conversations they are having with stakeholders.

Meeting logging has two main benefits:

1) Information Sharing — different team members may meet with the same stakeholders. For example, one week Joe is meeting with the head of a nonprofit that works with your team on education issues in the community on one initiative. The next week, Dhruv is meeting with the same person on a different initiative. With meeting logging, Dhruv can look at the notes with the stakeholder before he goes in and ensure he isn’t repeating something his colleague discussed or sharing a conflicting message. 

2) Institutional Knowledge — We’ve been through the Great Resignation in the past year and have seen the impact of what happens when team members depart and take their institutional knowledge with them. While the trend has declined somewhat in the pace of team member departures, it’s still worthwhile to institute a system that helps protect important knowledge from leaving when a team member leaves. 

Despite these benefits, the adoption of meeting tracking can be difficult, especially when the benefits of institutional knowledge are seen more over the long term rather than daily.

Some teams take a carrot approach to driving this habit and offer snacks or prizes in exchange for adequately logging meetings (like a coach who ends practice early if you properly execute a drill). Others take a stick approach and make adoption a part of performance reviews (like when the Arizona Cardinals added a certain number of hours of film review to Kyler Murray’s contract).

Whichever approach you take, treat it like a New Year’s Resolution to drive further adoption before the year gets too chaotic. 

Build Your Policy Reputation Calendar for the Year for Community Stakeholders

There will be times that you need your stakeholders to do something on your behalf — spread your grassroots campaign to their organization’s advocates to expand your reach, host an event on your behalf, or make a phone call to one of their champions when you’re struggling to get in touch. But you don’t want that ask to be the first time they hear from you.

So, consider implementing a policy reputation calendar as a proactive tool to keep stakeholders engaged with what’s going on with your organization.

Organize the calendar around 12 themes or key messages you will share throughout the year. A theme could be a big initiative you’re launching, such as a new product line you want to promote, or aligned to events in the world, like your organization’s support of veterans’ organizations in November around Veteran’s Day.

Once you’ve selected your themes, you want to organize your channels and audiences. How will you reach your stakeholders, and who will you target with each message?

By getting ahead of this at the beginning of the year rather than planning one month at a time, you can ensure you’re hitting all your key audiences and planning for what assets you may need. Unexpected things always pop up, so planning your communications strategy ahead of time improves the chances that you can stay the course in executing your strategy. 

Host Events in Key Communities

Your organization can achieve and learn a lot through stakeholder events. Events are critical for a) identifying who your top stakeholders are and b) growing middle-tier stakeholders into top-tier stakeholders.

In identifying top stakeholders, you can look at who RSVPs for your events without needing promotion beyond an initial invitation. These are folks willing to take time out of their day and potentially travel to hear from you. As a result, this is a much more significant indicator of engagement than opening emails or reading content.

For those in the middle, inviting them to exclusive events can help nurture them into more engaged stakeholders. Inviting them shows that you value their time and want them to be more involved. 

The time after an election is a great time to host new events — whether it’s a post-election party, a holiday party, or a kickoff to the new year, there are plenty of reasons to get together. 

Grow Your Stakeholder Engagement Efforts

PAC Strategy

At the end of a season, a football team analyzes not only its play but also its salary cap and if they are spending in the right places. Post-election is when PAC professionals do the same thing — evaluate the results of their efforts as one cycle closes and begin planning as a new cycle kicks off. 

Reporting on Results with a Focus on Strategic Changes This Cycle

In the weeks and months following an election, PAC professionals are busy building out their reporting comparing the candidates they gave money to and whether those candidates won their races. 

However, this cycle was somewhat different as many organizations adjusted their disbursement strategies in the first election since the January 6th insurrection. For some organizations, this meant scaling down their level of engagement to exclude the 147 Republicans who voted not to certify the 2020 election. For others, it meant ramping up their disbursements to include more qualifiers like legislators who are leaders on social issues like LGBT or racial equality, women’s issues, or climate change. 

In addition to a general win/loss analysis on candidates you gave to, this is an opportunity to highlight new additions to your roster and how they fared in their races. 

Communicate to Eligibles on What the Election Means to Them

Over the past two years, you’ve been engaging your PAC eligibles on why they should give and why the PAC is important, now is the time to close the loop and share the results. While folks will likely be hearing about the election results across their news diet, by sharing news yourself, you can share more on the impact the issues will have personally on their day-to-day lives. This engagement will keep them invested in potentially giving to the PAC in the next cycle or participating in grassroots advocacy. 

To take this strategy to the next level, consider segmenting your eligibles based on their interests. For example, if you allowed team members to direct their contributions by party, send an email narrowly tailored to the results of the candidates in that party that the PAC gave to. If you have insights on the issues that an individual cares most about, send them a message about those key committee members and how they fared in their races. While this may create more upfront writing, you’ll see more engagement with a narrowly tailored message. 

Re-Evaluate Giving Criteria for 2024 Cycle

With Republicans retaking the House, there may be some conflicts for organizations who continued to withhold donations to the 147 Republicans who voted against election certification as they now hold new positions of power. Several of those 147 may now hold committee chairmanships. It’s almost guaranteed some of them will at least hold a seat on the committees that your organization works with most. How will you approach these scenarios? With committee assignments not coming out until at least January, you have time between Election Day and newly sitting committee members to set up your strategy.

Or, on a more positive note, maybe your organization added another Employee Resource Group in the last year. With this new group, you may add an additional category of disbursements for legislators who align with the interests of that group. 

Along with whatever decisions you make, make sure you have a communications plan to educate your eligible class on any updates in your giving strategy for the next cycle so they understand how their contributions are used.

 

See How Quorum Can Help Your PAC Management Strategy

Policy Communications Strategy

Communications and public affairs are becoming increasingly intertwined as organizations get more involved in social issues at consumers’ request. With that comes the need to prepare — you don’t want to end up like former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Mora in his infamous “Playoffs???” press conference when you get a question you’re not thrilled to answer. 

But more than preparing for reporters’ inquiries, a good policy communications plan at the beginning of a new year can help position you as a leading voice on the issues. That way, when staffers have questions on an issue, it’s you they seek out rather than the other way around. Consider these strategies for your team:

Prepare Your Executives to be an Information Source for Reporters

Policy can be complicated. The ins and outs of what different amendments or new bills mean on a given issue can be outside the scope of a beat reporter’s knowledge. So where do those reporters turn? With a good policy communications strategy, it can be your team.

As an organization that works daily on the issues that impact your team, your expertise can help position your brand as a thought leader in the press. But in those scenarios, your policy team isn’t usually interviewed, but your executives whose personal brands are recognized in the media.

So, it’s your job to make sure those executives are prepared. Consider crafting media one-pagers for your key issues that include the following details: 

  • The Reporter’s Publication and Beat: This will give your executive a baseline awareness of who the readers will be and the reporter’s level of sophistication on the issue. A generic politics reporter may ask simpler questions than a trade publication with greater expertise.
  • Recent Articles: What angles on the story have they covered recently? 
  • Company Talking Points: What are the key items you want to make sure the executive references (or doesn’t reference)

Look Out For Turnover in Reporter Beats

A change in the faces in Congress, state legislatures, and state executive offices won’t only bring new staffers, but potentially new reporters. A reporter who previously covered the minority party may get more seniority if power changes hands. Issue-area beat reporters may shift as different issues gain the spotlight with a Republican House of Representatives. More simply, a new year often means more turnover in roles as folks seek new opportunities in a new year.

With this in mind, you’ll want to track who the new key faces are on your issues and plan early engagements with them. Like officials, you don’t want your first impression to be when you’re pressed on a difficult question or when you’re trying to pitch a story.

With a policy communications software like Quorum, you can get alerts when a new reporter that fits your profile joins an organization, then use the integrated email tool to reach out and introduce yourself. 

Conclusion: Plan, But Prepare to Call an Audible 

Preparing these strategies for the new year will set you up for success, but it’s critical to stay nimble and prepare for the unexpected. Sometimes this can work out in your favor — like when Tom Brady came in for an injured Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots never looked back. But if you’re caught flat-footed, you can easily fall behind. 

See How Quorum Can Help

Quorum’s all-in-one place solution can help your team tackle each of these strategies, setting your team up for success in the new year.