Challenge: Identifying Real-Time Risks and Opportunities for Public Affairs Clients
Kivvit is a data-driven public affairs and communications firm whose philosophy is that insights drive results. Zach Silber and Jonathan Scharff are at the core of that, helping lead Kivvit’s insights team where they use geopolitical analytics to support the development of strategy for their clients.
“Kivvit has pioneered the next generation of geopolitical analytics. Our cutting-edge approach delivers differentiated insights and strategy,” said Silber, Chief Innovation Officer at Kivvit.
In order to give that data-driven advantage, the Kivvit team employs a powerful suite of tools that tap into what is happening in a given policy area or industry. To that end, they needed a methodology that covered multiple geographies and kept a pulse of changes to the policy landscape in real-time.
“We are working across issues, sectors, jurisdictions, and cycles, so we need to be incredibly flexible to stay abreast of changing dynamics wherever they’re taking place,” said Scharff, Associate Director of Insights.
In the past, firms had traditionally relied largely on news reporting and manual research to stay up to date on how legislation was moving, but as a data-driven public affairs firm, Kivvit is constantly seeking new ways to evaluate the policy landscape.
“In a world increasingly influenced by real-time events and digital engagement, there is a broader context than just the content of legislation itself,” said Scharff. “What we’re seeing now is that policymakers are creating news and signaling policy shifts from things they are saying and doing on social media and through other communications channels.”
“We’re tying that all together,” Scharff added.
Solution: Real-Time Updates Give Kivvit Visibility Across All Levels of Government
Kivvit integrated Quorum into the firm’s award-winning insights and analytics suite to track legislative activity at the federal, state, and local levels. With Quorum, the insights team gains real-time tracking of legislation, which they then contextualize with a deeper understanding of what policymakers are saying and doing.
Silber and Scharff say Kivvit’s process for incorporating geopolitical analytics into each client’s public affairs strategy is centered around three steps: diagnostically assessing the landscape, forecasting what is going to happen next, and monitoring changes in real-time.
Step #1: Diagnostically Assessing the Geopolitical Landscape
When they kick off a new project for a client, Silber and Scharff, along with their colleagues on Kivvit’s Insights team, start with a diagnostic assessment of the landscape around a given policy landscape. The diagnostic evaluates the history, trajectory, and present context of an issue.
With this information, Kivvit can gauge the appropriate level of depth for monitoring and work with client teams to formulate a strategy to move forward.
Step #2: Forecasting Trends, Strategic Imperatives, and Outcomes
By conducting a comprehensive diagnostic at the start of the strategic process and by tracking primary sources in real-time, Kivvit is better able to forecast what’s next.
“There is so much geopolitical volatility today. We need to be able to see the bigger picture and separate signal from noise. We do this by remaining laser-focused on integrating technology with subject matter expertise to predict what is going to happen next,” said Scharff.
By combining Quorum’s real-time tracking with Kivvit’s broader analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, Kivvit can understand the sphere of influence within a given policy area and identify the strategies that create desired outcomes.
“Our approach to geopolitical analytics is comprehensive. By knowing how and where legislation is advancing, as well as what is being amplified by officials and other stakeholders such as trade associations or advocacy groups, we can start to build a multi-faceted public affairs strategy — including messaging, channel strategy, and third-party outreach – and make sure we’re setting up campaigns for success from the start,” Scharff said.
Step #3: Monitoring Real-Time Activity Across Geographies
While Kivvit’s diagnostic approach helps predict where trends will go in the future, alerts in Quorum help them stay on top of new developments as they happen. For example, Kivvit can get an alert via email or push notification through Quorum’s mobile app if a legislator mentions a key policy area or if a new resolution is introduced anywhere in the country.
Impact: Predict What Happens Next
While the traditional approach to monitoring was waiting until a reporter published a story from a given statehouse, now they can get the messages straight from the people they seek to influence — policymakers themselves.
“The reality is that cutbacks in news and local journalism mean there is going to be less coverage of nitty-gritty things that aren’t necessarily sexy, but have a tremendous impact on people’s lives and how different industries operate. So, it’s even more important to have this front-end look at what policymakers are signaling,” said Silber.
“If we are learning about a new policy development because it’s published on the front page of a paper or website somewhere, then we’ve missed the boat. That is why Kivvit has integrated Quorum into our suite of next-generation geopolitical analytics: to beat the news cycle and understand trends before they break,” said Silber.
“We are further ahead than our competitors today, but we don’t take comfort in that. This is a fast-changing space, so we are constantly asking ourselves: what’s next?”