The Challenge: Communicating Your Organization’s Impact to Congress
As a member of the public affairs team at Walmart, it’s Matt Fitz-Gerald’s job to communicate to federal and state officials the work that Walmart is doing in districts across the country. This happens in two ways: organizing electronic communication of Walmart’s reputation or legislative goals and arranging site visits for elected officials to Walmart facilities.
To do this, Fitz-Gerald gets reports from the rest of his team about ways that Walmart is impacting particular districts—this includes press hits mentioning Walmart, opening of new stores or facilities, or making a donation to a particular area. Once he gets this report, he must identify which legislator represents that district, find the contact information for the relevant staffer in that official’s office, and craft correspondence to share the message from Walmart. This would take two hours a day, according to Fitz-Gerald, but he was looking for a way to make this process faster and more comprehensive.
“There’s a volume issue because I’m only one person,” said Fitz-Gerald, Senior Manager in Public Affairs at Walmart. “Without the use of Quorum, it would take two hours a day.”
The Solution: Engagement in Minutes
With Quorum Outbox, Fitz-Gerald has been able to shrink the time it takes to communicate Walmart’s impact from hours to minutes. Quorum’s database of contact information for staffers in each legislative office enables Fitz-Gerald to find the addresses he needs without combing through multiple websites. Then, with Quorum Outbox’s placeholder tools, he can send one email to multiple staffers at once, each with a personal touch.
“For instance, we have a dairy plant in Rep. Todd Rokita’s district and it’s the only dairy plant we have in the country,” Fitz-Gerald told Quorum. “We want to make sure that he or the senators—Donnelly or Young—might be interested in coming and checking it out, so we’ll use Quorum to send out an invite to all three of them.”
Walmart’s public affairs team is able to add press hits to a member’s profile. Then, if someone on the team is going into a meeting with that office, they can have that information accessible along with a member’s background information, allowing them to bring the company’s impact up in meetings.
“If someone’s on Ways and Means and they are looking at a tax reform bill that affects us, perhaps something around the Border Adjustment Tax, we want to make sure they understand that we support American-made products,” FitzGerald said. “Where there might be an event or an article about one of our suppliers in the district, we share a note with them.”
After adding notes to member profiles about messages the rest of the team could be sharing, each of the messages are logged as interactions that the Walmart team can then visualize in a network graph to see which members of Congress they have the strongest relationships with.
The Impact: Easy and Efficient Way to Communicate
In many districts, Walmart is one of if not the biggest employer, and FitzGerald was in need of an easy and efficient way to communicate that impact to those members. With Quorum, Fitz-Gerald can minimize the time it takes to accomplish these tasks and complete them in a more personal and thoughtful way.
Along with Walmart using Quorum to foster its relationships with elected officials, the public affairs team can also use Quorum’s analytical tools to visualize its strongest relationships, identify weak points, and communicate its impact to the wider Walmart organization.