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WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [name] => replace-coalition-with-network-of-influence [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog ) [query_vars] => Array ( [name] => replace-coalition-with-network-of-influence [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] => 6051 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2021-11-17 21:03:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-11-17 21:03:10 [post_content] => Coalition building is a traditional organizing technique built on groups collaborating to achieve a common policy objective. This could be anything from getting a bill passed to public awareness campaigns, or changing public perception on a given issue. Coalitions traditionally provide organizations the opportunity to collaborate and combine resources — to make a deeper impact than if an organization acts alone. Cicely Simpson, CEO of Summit Public Affairs, noticed this top-down approach no longer effectively works in today’s more modern and open political arena. “Today’s political environment has disrupted the traditional top-down hierarchy by opening up new connections and channels of communication that distort, up-end, and, in some cases, completely recreate traditional approaches to public policy,” Simpson said. To meet the moment, Simpson shifted her strategy from building one conglomerate coalition to leveraging a wider circle, which she refers to as a network of influence, that strategically plays off the strengths of each stakeholder’s unique realm of influence and expertise. “Networks of influence are ideas-centric,” Simpson said. “They are value-driven communications that concentrate on principles and shared benefits to transparency and clarity of purpose. Engaging in genuine exchange, seeking to empower and enlist at the center of the network, rather than to dominate from the top.” The difference between a traditional coalition and a network of influence involves the way you lean on these strategic relationships. Coalitions are a one-size-fits-all model, with a top-down leadership style. Networks of influence take a center-out approach, where each stakeholder has different strengths you can use to your goal’s advantage. By placing your organization at the center of this network and establishing relationships among a diverse array of influencers with varying resources and backgrounds, you bolster your organization’s overall reach and influence. 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This could be anything from getting a bill passed to public awareness campaigns, or changing public perception on a given issue. Coalitions traditionally provide organizations the opportunity to collaborate and combine resources — to make a deeper impact than if an organization acts alone. Cicely Simpson, CEO of Summit Public Affairs, noticed this top-down approach no longer effectively works in today’s more modern and open political arena. “Today’s political environment has disrupted the traditional top-down hierarchy by opening up new connections and channels of communication that distort, up-end, and, in some cases, completely recreate traditional approaches to public policy,” Simpson said. To meet the moment, Simpson shifted her strategy from building one conglomerate coalition to leveraging a wider circle, which she refers to as a network of influence, that strategically plays off the strengths of each stakeholder’s unique realm of influence and expertise. “Networks of influence are ideas-centric,” Simpson said. “They are value-driven communications that concentrate on principles and shared benefits to transparency and clarity of purpose. Engaging in genuine exchange, seeking to empower and enlist at the center of the network, rather than to dominate from the top.” The difference between a traditional coalition and a network of influence involves the way you lean on these strategic relationships. Coalitions are a one-size-fits-all model, with a top-down leadership style. Networks of influence take a center-out approach, where each stakeholder has different strengths you can use to your goal’s advantage. By placing your organization at the center of this network and establishing relationships among a diverse array of influencers with varying resources and backgrounds, you bolster your organization’s overall reach and influence. 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This could be anything from getting a bill passed to public awareness campaigns, or changing public perception on a given issue. Coalitions traditionally provide organizations the opportunity to collaborate and combine resources — to make a deeper impact than if an organization acts alone. Cicely Simpson, CEO of Summit Public Affairs, noticed this top-down approach no longer effectively works in today’s more modern and open political arena. “Today’s political environment has disrupted the traditional top-down hierarchy by opening up new connections and channels of communication that distort, up-end, and, in some cases, completely recreate traditional approaches to public policy,” Simpson said. To meet the moment, Simpson shifted her strategy from building one conglomerate coalition to leveraging a wider circle, which she refers to as a network of influence, that strategically plays off the strengths of each stakeholder’s unique realm of influence and expertise. “Networks of influence are ideas-centric,” Simpson said. “They are value-driven communications that concentrate on principles and shared benefits to transparency and clarity of purpose. Engaging in genuine exchange, seeking to empower and enlist at the center of the network, rather than to dominate from the top.” The difference between a traditional coalition and a network of influence involves the way you lean on these strategic relationships. Coalitions are a one-size-fits-all model, with a top-down leadership style. Networks of influence take a center-out approach, where each stakeholder has different strengths you can use to your goal’s advantage. By placing your organization at the center of this network and establishing relationships among a diverse array of influencers with varying resources and backgrounds, you bolster your organization’s overall reach and influence. 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Why You Should Replace Your Coalition with a Network of Influence

Why You Should Replace Your Coalition with a Network of Influence

Coalition building is a traditional organizing technique built on groups collaborating to achieve a common policy objective. This could be anything from getting a bill passed to public awareness campaigns, or changing public perception on a given issue. Coalitions traditionally provide organizations the opportunity to collaborate and combine resources — to make a deeper impact than if an organization acts alone.

Cicely Simpson, CEO of Summit Public Affairs, noticed this top-down approach no longer effectively works in today’s more modern and open political arena.

“Today’s political environment has disrupted the traditional top-down hierarchy by opening up new connections and channels of communication that distort, up-end, and, in some cases, completely recreate traditional approaches to public policy,” Simpson said.

To meet the moment, Simpson shifted her strategy from building one conglomerate coalition to leveraging a wider circle, which she refers to as a network of influence, that strategically plays off the strengths of each stakeholder’s unique realm of influence and expertise.

“Networks of influence are ideas-centric,” Simpson said. “They are value-driven communications that concentrate on principles and shared benefits to transparency and clarity of purpose. Engaging in genuine exchange, seeking to empower and enlist at the center of the network, rather than to dominate from the top.”

The difference between a traditional coalition and a network of influence involves the way you lean on these strategic relationships. Coalitions are a one-size-fits-all model, with a top-down leadership style. Networks of influence take a center-out approach, where each stakeholder has different strengths you can use to your goal’s advantage. By placing your organization at the center of this network and establishing relationships among a diverse array of influencers with varying resources and backgrounds, you bolster your organization’s overall reach and influence.

1. State Legislators

When looking to influence federal legislators, state legislators are key allies to have in your corner.

“If you work with state legislators, you can leverage the federal and state together to make a power center that benefits you and certainly your company and your goals,” Simpson said.

Federal and state legislators often already know each other, representing the same regions, meaning you can strategically utilize your relationships with state legislators to signal you’re tuned into what’s going on at the district level in your meetings with federal policymakers.

2. State and Local Stakeholders

Whether your organization has global or local reach, you need strong teams on the ground in key regions involved in building both your strategy and your network.

“Local stakeholders can really be your eyes and ears,” Simpson said, “You can leverage the power of that local reach to benefit you.”

The right mix of capabilities is key. One example of a powerful stakeholder to include in your network are small business owners. These stakeholders are often well-known and respected within their communities and keep an eye on policy developments that can impact their bottom line. Local and state stakeholders can also act as your eyes and ears on the ground, allowing you to harness the power of that local reach to benefit your organization.

3. Trade Press

As Simpson explained, members of the trade press write “compelling narratives that can motivate and inspire diverse audiences to act — key to your network of influence.” The trade press is a very powerful ally you can employ to plant your stories, capture your objectives, and promote these objectives in their writings.

4. Technical Experts

If you’re not taking advantage of the technical experts in a policy field, you’re missing a huge opportunity. We’re in a data-driven world that has transformed the ways in which public affairs campaigns and messages are designed and validated. Adding experts to your network allows you to bring research, numbers, and data-backed talking points to meetings with officials. Data prepared by experienced and respected researchers can transcend party lines to achieve your policy goals.

“People used to ask me all the time  —’You’re a Democrat, how can you work with the Trump administration, how do you have such a great relationship with them?’ Simpson said, “And I would bring it down to one-word—data.”

With technical experts in your influence, use the facts and figures they provide to add credibility to your influence and your talking points.

5. Customer Vendors, Franchisees, and Agents

Your influence depends on the strength of the business representatives that you have on the ground. These are among the most powerful allies you have because they are the ones who help carry your message to local and state officials.

You can harness the power of your local reach via your relationships with franchise owners to create a center of influence within those local markets. When you’re in-person attending meetings with state and local officials, invite franchisees working within their district to come to the meeting and give a firsthand account of what an objective means for their bottom line.

6. National Decision-Makers

National decision-makers are members of Congress. Maintain these relationships not only to achieve your business objectives but also so that these decision-makers become champions of your objectives within your network.

“When a national decision-maker uses my line and my talking points, I know they are truly are bought-in to the point of view I’m asking them to adopt,” Simpson said. “That’s really where the influence between the network you’re in starts to leverage Congress.”

7. Interest Groups and NGOs

The way you lean on your relationships with NGOs and other non-state actors depends on your organization type and the other relationships you have in your network of influence. When interest groups and other NGOs take up your cause and join your network of influence, they amplify your policy position, strengthening your industry credibility when meeting with legislators.

8. Government Regulatory Agencies

Leveraging relationships with regulators appropriately can help increase your influence from the inside.

“There’s a way to talk to enforcement agencies and regulators that you may be against on Monday, but you’re working with on Tuesday to help leverage your message and increase your influence,” Simpson said. “They are very powerful mouthpieces for [your network].”

Regulators expressing their desire for a bill to pass can be incredibly persuasive to legislators deciding how to vote.

9. National Media

Much like regulatory agencies, developing strong relationships with key reporters that cover your policy areas can transform them into powerful allies that carry your message to the public.

“If you leverage the national press and social media effectively, you can create a sense of urgency on Capitol Hill that you wouldn’t have had otherwise because now, you have the press attention and social media attention around it,” Simpson said.

Plant stories with key reporters to convey a sense of urgency to legislators and motivate them to quickly act in your favor.

10. Private Sector

Private sector organizations convey wider industry support of your goals to legislators. When multiple organizations within the same industry make the same asks of legislators, you create an echo chamber that grows in volume the more organizations you add to it. With this echo chamber in motion, you stretch your organization’s influence farther and can combine coalitions to show widespread support.

11. Key Industry Influencers

Influencers aren’t just for social media. Industry influencers, those in your industry that carry a lot of weight, are great spokesperson candidates for your organization. Those who have established a large following and respect within their industry can be key allies in promoting your goals out to legislators and within your industry at the same time.

12. The Public

While it may take more work to educate the public on your goals, the public is an incredibly powerful ally in your network of influence.

“There’s no more powerful ally on Capitol Hill, with the administration, or even state and local level, than the individual public,” Simpson said. “When they say ‘ look, X is doing the right thing, I’m there with them, and here’s my story and to combine that personal story with it is so powerful.”

Constituents can make powerful emotion-charged appeals on your behalf to legislators. These anecdotes can apply public pressure on policymakers, making it difficult for them to ignore or stay neutral on a given policy objective.

IHRSA Wields their Network of Influence to Gain 184 Cosponsors for Key Bill in Under Nine Months

IHRSA, the fitness industry trade association, used Quorum to build and activate their network of influence, the National Health and Fitness Alliance (NHFA) to rally support for the GYMS Act — a $30 billion relief bill for fitness businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With IHRSA at the center of their network of influence, they recruited association members, private sector partners, locally owned and franchised fitness facilities, fitness equipment manufacturers, and customers of the health and fitness industry to join their robust network. Their work culminated in over 62,000 emails sent to the Hill. This influx of outreach generated buzz around the GYMS Act, gaining 157 cosponsors in the House and 27 cosponsors in the Senate since the bill’s introduction as of February 2021.

Success in using your network of influence comes from placing your organization firmly at the center of that network, allowing you to reap the benefits and activate different key groups depending on your needs. By shifting the framework of your coalition from a traditional top-down approach to a center-out approach, you will better leverage your networks to achieve your goals.

IHRSA uses Quorum to build and grow their coalition