The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) takes hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill in a given year according to Jesse Childs, a government relations manager at the association. After each meeting, however, there was no formal way for the team to share information on the discussions and outcomes of their conversations.“We weren’t really [tracking any meetings],” Childs said. “People would either email or bring it up in our weekly meeting, but there wasn’t really a good intel tracker.”
But when tax reform came to the table, RILA knew it was going to be even more active in its efforts on Capitol Hill and would need a more robust system of mapping stakeholders to keep everyone on the same page.
“We got bombarded by this threat,” Childs said. “It became apparent that we needed to log these meetings since we were doing hundreds of them.”
While tax reform instigated the need to log meetings, it has now become a part of RILA’s daily work in Quorum. RILA tracks and sorts each of its meetings, which allows them to keep a constant stakeholder map of where the chamber stands on different issues impacting the retail industry. After each meeting, RILA team members open the Quorum mobile app and log an interaction with the office, adding who was in the meeting, the duration, and notes on what was discussed. Within each note, the team member specifies which policy issues were discussed and the member’s stance on the given issue.
This kind of systemized note taking makes it easy for RILA to quickly search for and sort their notes by keywords as well as filter members by issue stance. RILA has also built dashboards that visually display where each member stands on the organization’s issues. The team created lists for each potential stance a member could take, then as they learn of each member’s position they add them to their respective list.
Quorum's Issue Management profiles allow RILA to see on one screen who supports, opposes, or has no opinion on a given piece of legislation. With an up-to-date log of members’ positions, RILA can decide what future actions to take with each office and track their engagement moving forward.
“It was really helpful because we could keep track in one place if we’d met with someone, if they are helpful, if we need to return back to that office,” Childs said.The association also keeps member organizations saved as stakeholder contacts in Quorum, allowing them to track which members were present in which meetings and reference back to those organizations in future meetings with a legislator.
The ability to log meetings and analyze the conversations in those meetings strengthens RILA’s ability to be proactive on issues that affect the retail industry.
“One of the most useful things about it is helping track and see what the climate is like,” Childs said.