Politics has been a major player in the last few seasons of Succession — the DOJ investigation of the cruise scandal, seeking regulatory approval of the GoJo merger, and ATN’s pre-emptive call of the presidential election — the Roys seem to have some real sway (even if Conor couldn’t win the presidency, or even Kentucky).
Even without the chaos of these events, the days of Season 4 would be a critical time for a Waystar Royco lobbyist as they seek to project calm during a major company transition in leadership following the death of Logan Roy. The success or failure of Waystar Royco and its many divisions could legitimately impact countless congressional districts.
We asked Quorum newsletter subscribers what they would do if they were a lobbyist or advocacy professional for the conglomerate, and here are a few of their answers.
If I worked at Waystar Royco, I think I might take the Jess route and get out while I could… If I wanted to stay though, my strategy would be to bolster Kendall by crafting a narrative that sets him up as his father’s most natural, strongest successor. That seems like the best bet in terms of firm continuity and the business not completely tanking.
We know Kendall would love this strategy. To do this, a lobbyist could start sending a series of emails to Capitol Hill (maybe using a tool like Outbox) written by the public affairs team but sent “from” Kendall to grow his brand (or rebuild it) among legislators and their staff. We’d also recommend a tour of Washington for Kendall, with strict one-pagers for him of talking points on how the company is managing the transition. The key would be never letting him out of the lobbyists’ sight…
In Succession, you need to be 10 steps ahead (or more than the next person) to win. I would log all my interactions and set them so only I could see them. I can remember everyone’s inside-scoops they shared during meetings and keep good track of where I have been.
This isn’t the typical use-case of team permissions in Quorum (a feature that lets you determine what information is visible to which teammates in your CRM), but we love the creativity. Keep building the legislative relationships, but don’t let the rest of your team know how effective you are for fear of creating internal enemies. Then, when Roman tries to fire you for no reason, show the evidence of all the institutional knowledge at risk if you leave.
I’d focus on damage control by contacting key stakeholders, working with the legal team (still Gerri?), monitoring media coverage (Hugo ), and advocating for policies that would benefit Waystar Royco. I’d also focus on building relationships with key decision-makers in government (Mencken ), developing a strong research and intelligence network, and communicating effectively with the company’s employees and shareholders.
Even in a normal family, clear communication is important after the transition of a leader like Logan. Make sure everyone knows the faces in the organization and where they stand. This is even more important with the trio of Kendall, Shiv, and Roman all being possible leaders. Gerri seems to be the closest thing to a real adult in the room — elevate her as much as possible.
My strategy would be to bring data analytics on!
The election night data analyst who got wasabi in his eye and was bullied into calling the election early for Mencken before any other network doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the existing data infrastructure. A revamp definitely can’t hurt.
My most important strategy would be to make sure to do a thorough stakeholder + landscape analysis!
Find the legislators Logan had the closest relationships with and make sure they are confident in the path forward. Find neutral legislators who may be willing to re-open the conversation with new leadership. Map the legislators with a theme park, cruise port, or newspaper of Waystar’s in their district and show them how you will continue to grow the economic impact in their region.
Controlling the narrative. Drive home the fact it is a family business and the family is UNITED and working together to keep their hand on the rudder. What worked in the past will continue while new projects to keep the company moving forward will be explored. Image is everything. Fake it until you make it.
This is a tall task. You deserve a raise if you can convince the public that the family is united. Maybe you can use it to buy a ludicrously capacious bag.
My strategy would be to enhance engagement with the staff so we could better provide community outreach. Communication is key – people can’t get on board if they don’t know what is going on…Some want to know WHY they should think or vote a certain way, and to others, it’s enough to know that a recognizable figure whom they trust votes or feels that way. Transparency is important.
This advice screams for a strong grassroots advocacy campaign. Bring some of the attention off the Roy kids and make the employees of Waystar the face of the campaign. Get the park employees to send letters to their legislators about how policy impacts them to provide a new face to the issues. Maybe don’t rely on cruise employees just yet though…
I’d create a PAC.
The Roys may have deep pockets but are stuck with the same donation restrictions as everyone else. Look to senior employees to continue to grow influence by all means possible.
The right answer is to get Quorum so they can track all legislator mentions of Waystar Royco
No, we didn’t write this one ourselves, but we think it’s a pretty good idea :).