As the year comes to an end, many state government affairs teams are tasked with reporting the activity of the year to the rest of the public affairs team. End-of-year (or end-of-session) reports are critical to show the work you’ve done throughout the year and the impact of that work.
Keep reading to learn what metrics your state government affairs team should include in your state legislative reporting and how to build those reports using Quorum.
6 Things to Include in Your State Legislative Reporting
Meetings with Lawmakers
Building and maintaining relationships with lawmakers is one of the most important aspects of many state government affairs jobs — but quantifying and reporting on those relationships can be difficult. One way to quantify your relationships is by reporting on the number of meetings you’ve had with lawmakers. For this, we recommend breaking down your meetings and showing:
- Total number of meetings with lawmakers
- Meetings by party
- Meetings by issue
- Meetings by influence
- Meetings by issue alignment (champion, neutral, detractor)
If you really want to impress, highlight any relationships that shifted alignment after your meeting. For instance, if a lawmaker was previously identified as “neutral” on your issue and moves to a more positive position, that is a huge win for your organization.
Number of Relevant Bills
Showcasing the total number of bills you or your team tracked throughout the year is another great way to highlight the importance of your work.
If you work across states, we recommend breaking this down by state. For example, you might have eyes on 11 bills in Minnesota, 16 in Wisconsin, and 12 in Illinois. Putting this into perspective can help show the breadth of your coverage.
Bonus tip: Don’t just report on the work you’ve done so far, also mention what is on the horizon for next year by reporting on the number of pre-filed bills in each state.
The previous metrics are all based on quantifying actions, but your actions are only beneficial if they lead to impact. Reporting on your legislative wins and losses might be the most important section of your EOY report.
One good way to quantify this is to report on the percentage of bills your organization supported that passed and the percentage of bills your organization opposed that passed:
While not technically a “metric” to track, we like the idea of highlighting important legislative wins from the year. Pick one high-priority piece of legislation and focus on the impact the bill will have thanks to your efforts.
This is your chance to tell a story. For example, if your team worked hard to pass a bill, how will the bill impact your community? Who will benefit the most? How does this connect to your organization’s mission? Is there a dollar amount you can attach to this effort?
Media Mentions of Your Issues/Organization
Many organizations choose to measure the exposure of their issues in media outlets. This can be a great metric to track because you can attach it to a dollar amount. For example, let’s say that a paid ad in a local newspaper costs $10,000, but your organization was mentioned positively by reporters four times throughout the year. Theoretically, your organization received $40,000 of media exposure — also known as Equivalent Advertising Value (EAV).
Coalition Building Results
While this is a little less tangible than other items on this list, it is still a great idea to report on the relationships you’ve built with other like-minded organizations. Did your team connect with any new organizations throughout the year? What were the results of any co-sponsored campaigns or events?
Building Your State Legislative EOY Report (with Quorum)
Building reports from scratch is laborious work, especially if you don’t have the data handy. That’s why truly affecting EOY reporting starts at the BOY — beginning of the year. Set yourself up for success by tracking everything throughout the year instead of scrambling come Q4.
In Quorum, we recommend these actions early on to make reporting easier:
- Set alignment for as many lawmakers as possible
- Make logging meetings a habit
- Create your own issues and attach stakeholders, documents, legislation, grassroots campaigns, etc. to that issue
- Mark your stance and priority on bills as soon as you are alerted
Once the hay is in the barn, so to speak, you can now leverage that hard work to quickly build your EOY reports.
Building a Report with Sheets
With Quorum, organizations can create qualitative and quantitative reports on their legislative activity, and then share that report with internal and external stakeholders.
Sheets is where you’ll spend most of your time building reports in Quorum. This spreadsheet tool allows you to collate information from everywhere else on the platform:
- To start, select what you want to report on. The most common data sets for state public affairs teams are probably officials and issues, but you can pull in custom data if desired.
- From there, you’ll narrow down your data set. For example, if you are reporting on officials, you can narrow it down to state senators in Iowa.
- Finally, the fun part is selecting your columns. This is where you can pick what data you want to showcase related to the dataset selected in step 1. The opportunities are basically endless, and you can get creative.
For example, this Sheet shows the number of interactions with state lawmakers and their relationship with the organization.
After pulling the information you need into a Sheet, you can then use the Visualization tool to create different types of charts to make it more digestible for your reports.
Building a Report with Dashboards
Dashboards are where you can collate your different Sheets visualizations and lists to create a one-stop-shop for state legislative reporting. The below image shows a Federal and State dashboard which includes a state heat map, the status of tracked bills, bills by issue, meetings by party, social media mentions, press mentions, and more. One of the best parts of building your reports in Quorum is that they are auto-updating, which means you can build them at the beginning of the year and check on them regularly to track your progress and share with leadership.