Over the last several years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of government relations teams logging their meetings with stakeholders. From non-profits, to lobbying firms, to associations, to corporate teams, here are the reasons why:
Retain Institutional Knowledge
Once interactions are logged, your team can track analytics on the types of interactions, who is having the most interactions, and which office your team is interacting the most with.
Your team is your most precious resource, representing you on the Hill, in state capitols, and at events around the country. Every year they make contact with hundreds of legislators and their staff talking about your issues. And you want to make sure that information stays with your team even if they were to leave. Storing all of those interactions and relationships in Quorum can not only do just that, but also significantly speed up on-boarding for new employees and provide a refresher for current employees whenever necessary.
Keep Track of Legislators
Elected officials are consistently shuffling positions as they look to move up the political ladder. State legislators are becoming Members of Congress, Members of Congress becoming Attorneys General, Attorneys General becoming Governors and Governors becoming Senators. Over the course of a member’s career, multiple members of your team are going to interact with him or her and you want to make sure the relationship and notes are passed along from one employee to another.
Keep Everyone in the Loop
We hear time and time again about the embarrassing moment of an organization visiting the same office twice in one week for different issues or the dreaded team-wide email asking who knows a particular set of offices. A central feed allows everybody to know the conversations that are happening, makes it easy to see who has a relationship with the office, or when the last visit to that office was.
Show Your Impact
Everybody is trying to figure out how to communicate the return on investment of a government affairs team. One of the best measurements is to track inputs to show both internal and external stakeholders the impact of your team. How many engagements with legislators has your team had? How many Governors did you see at NGA? How many plant tours were accomplished in 2016? These become easy statistics to pull when the information is in one place. Take your targeting farther with public statistics and your own organizational data to inform your legislative strategy.
So these reasons make sense, but how do you get your team to actually take the time to log their meetings? There is no doubt that logging meetings require work, but here are some strategies we’ve seen from teams who have been successful at it:
Get Your Team on Board
Have a team-wide conversation about how logging meetings will make their lives easier by allowing them to know the last time a team member interacted with an office and demonstrating your entire team’s impact.
Establish a Mandate
In almost every successful case where a team logs their meetings there has been a mandate from leadership that it is required. Make a team-wide announcement that this is now the expectation – hopefully after you have had a conversation to get your team on board.
Encourage the Habit
The best way to keep an accurate meeting log is to record the meeting right after it occurs – either in the hallway or on the plane / cab ride back to the office. We built Quorum’s mobile app to make this as easy as possible.
Keep a Scoreboard
Many teams historically have a weekly team meeting to review what meetings took place the previous week. Save the hour and have a member of your team send it out by e-mail easily through Quorum. Not only will it improve the collaboration amongst your team but it will make it clear who is logging meetings and who is not.
One of our clients brings in cupcakes at the end of the month for team members that have logged their meetings in Quorum. If you haven’t logged your meeting you don’t get a cupcake.
At the end of the year, you can easily pull who did the most meetings and how an individual team member compares to his or her colleagues. This not only serves as an accountability tool but also encourages your team to be doing more outreach.