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I'm excited to be joined by Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber from Kivvit. Jonathan is Kivvit’s Associate Director of Insights. He specializes in project management, data analysis, campaign development, and public affairs risk modeling. Jonathan analyzes dynamics between the private sector, the regional economy, infrastructure, and government policy to advise clients strategy. Prior to joining Kivvit, Jonathan served as an Economic and Policy Research Analyst at the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he began his career at the New York City Council. Zach Silber is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kivvit. A pioneer in the strategic communications field, Zach works across Kivvit’s offices to lead the firm's insights and innovation practice — an award-winning team of technologists and data strategists charged with analyzing news, social media, advertising, and audience trends and integrating that data, tools, and technologies throughout Kivvit’s work. Prior to joining Kivvit, Zach was the political director of the New York Observer so I will pass it over to you too to share your screen and take us away.   Zach Silber: Right now I’m going to give a little bit of more background on Kivvit. We're a public affairs firm working with hundreds of corporations leading foundations and institutions across the United States. Our work streams from everything including corporate reputation to crisis management to legislative advocacy, to more traditional public affairs and public education type campaigns. We're very excited to be here today, Quorum is one of our favorite partners that we work with, and my colleague Jonathan Scharff, who you just saw a moment ago, we'll go to the next slide Jonathan, just to see our faces there to remind everyone who we are.   We work very closely with the Quorum team to incorporate the type of data points that you're going to see in our presentation today throughout our work, just as Theresa said. I think today is really about walking through a process that Jonathan and I have developed as it relates to using data to inform the development of strategy across our work. That work is typically through a three-step process that I’ll discuss in a moment. The lens that I really want us to put on for this talk today is how the pendulum has shifted from reactive public affairs, where things come out in the press and you start to react to news cycles. That's still, of course, a component of what we do, but more and more as we have these mountains of data available to us, and different tools and frameworks and methodologies to synthesize data, we're trying to be as proactive as possible. We're trying to predict, forecast things before they happen.    We had the pleasure of working with Quorum a couple of weeks ago to illustrate a case study about Kivvit and our approach. It's available on the Quorum website and we suggest everyone take a look who's interested. There's a key quote in there about our approach which is really to beat the news cycle and understand trends before they break. That requires an upfront diagnostic assessment to really understand the landscape of a particular issue, or state jurisdiction, or government entity, that we are trying to interface with. That is all about the process that we're gonna walk through with you today, and it's what grounds the ability to start thinking in a predictive fashion and be able to forecast trends before they break. I’ll say at the onset it's not easy. Every different issue is going to have a different type of profile there's no one-size-fits-all but generally our methodology will have these three steps. So the diagnostic we're going to go over today to understand the history, trajectory, and context of an issue. Be able to start using that,  about how we start to forecast trends, and the strategic imperatives of what goes into a campaign. Then, we have to monitor the hell out of whatever it is we're focused on.Dynamic is the nature of the game and things are going to change on a day by day sometimes hour-by-hour basis and it's by using the mountains of data at our disposal and real-time alerts through tools like quorum that are going to be essential to keeping abreast and making sure that our strategy is is evolving with the landscape. So if you can do these three things, you have the best shot at staying ahead of trends before they break, and of course delivering results for your organization or your client, in our case. I'll turn it to Jonathan to just give a little bit of a preview also about how we use Quorum at different levels of government as well.   Jonathan Scharff: So when you think about doing the diagnostic chart analyzing the policy landscape, really trying to get at those insights and beating the news cycle. One of the ways that Quorum really helps us is that we provide this platform to standardize the information that we're consuming. When you think about how all the data in legislatures or at the federal level or local level exists, it's all disparate. If there's no one system that captures the way that bills move through a legislature, they're all using different platforms. The data sources are all different, and so when I think about using Quorum at the federal level it's almost the case of, there's so much data how do we find out what's most important and cull through it and get to those uh strategic data points? At the state level, all 50 state legislatures operating on different platforms and Quorum helps us really be able to search through all of those different data sources. At the local level, it's almost a problem of there not being enough data. So Quorum being the tool to capture what's out there and available and making that into a valuable resource that we use. A tangible example to kind of show the diagnostic landscape or the policy landscape in practice when talking about the metrics that matter, the data points that matter in a policy landscape diagnostic.    Zach mentioned we want to use an example to walk you guys through. In this instance, we want to focus on environmental social governance or ESG. It’s a rising trending topic right now globally and also in the United States. ESG involves how investors evaluate companies for their impact to the environment, their policies on diversity and inclusion, and their corporate processes. It's influential in Europe, it's important for stakeholders that are paying attention to climate change, and it's a growing kind of investment framework here in the United States. To set this conversation up, what we're showing you right here are media articles mentioning ESG over the last three years. You see this steady increase and 2021 isn't even over yet and so this is largely being driven by heightened interests in all these issues - climate change, diversity inclusion, responsible corporate governance these are all these drivers driving these media articles. So when we were talking about the challenges of staying ahead and using the data points as a way to inform decision making, the question becomes - can we use Quorum to understand these media trends that we're seeing and observing at Kivvit? What we're seeing being driven in Europe will translate into policymaking amongst elected officials in the U.S.    Zach: I would just add that it's really a conversation right now, I  think everyone who's probably on this webinar and who works in the type of public affairs environment that we do. ESG is like tattooed on our forehead, it's something that's becoming synonymous with social impact, CSR, and the different environmental and social issues that are obviously very pervasive in our society. But just to piggyback and reinforce something that Jonathan just said is, we're trying to understand the intersection of ESG with the policymaking landscape. When we look at this chart we're seeing the public landscape of media and, just to give you a little taste of the in-depth analysis we've done outside of Quorum, we understand that a lot of the media coverage is still within what I would call stakeholder or business media publications. There might be people who are doing all sorts of different activist activities around ESG topics but they're not calling it ESG. So we're looking here to understand the convergence of ESG with those more public-facing activist-driven issues and when ESG will really go mainstream on a broader level outside of the stakeholder community. But at the same time we need to understand where it is. So we know in the media we see the traction picking up here. We'll take you through where we're seeing it in the policymaker orbit.   Jonathan: So where to start this investigation into ESG? An obvious first metric is to look at, when is this activity occurring? Where are the mentions happening of ESG amongst our elected officials at the federal level? We could see right this chart from Quorum data correlates very closely to the chart we just showed you on the previous slide with media coverage. It's an obvious signal the topic's increasing amongst elected officials and this is just sort of the first glance at the analysis. It's just the basics of what's the volume of mentions over time, but it really means that we have to go deeper and really figure this out and dig in. So when we start to do that right and thinking about the data point of who is driving this conversation, who are the people that are mentioning ESG as a topic? For every kind of campaign that Kivvit does and the planning process that we think through, who has the power? That question of who has the power, who can create the change, that the client is potentially seeking really starts with understanding who's driving the conversation. And in this case, you can see Representative Waters from California has mentioned the issue the most. You dig deeper into that and you see that it’s mentions from debating the bill on the floor of the House on a bill called the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act that was passed in June. Others on this list come from the House Financial Services Committee or have other influential roles in finance overall. Seeing the partisan breakdown is obviously important contextually when it comes to devising campaign strategy to reach these decision-makers later on. Think through kind of the overall volume of mentions, then get into the who, and look at that through the lens of who has the power to create regulations to do policymaking on ESG. That's the next step of a deeper analysis of the policy landscape.    Another data point that we think is particularly valuable is using the social media data that Quorum provides to look at retweets. Here we're calling out retweet data, which is just the helpful indicator of identifying who are potential stakeholders and influencers. This is on ESG, in particular, a legislator retweeting a stakeholder group, a reporter, an advocacy organization, it's a telling sign. It gives us visibility into something they intentionally chose to do. So what shows up here are retweets of an account sharing Brookings Institute event on ESG, and then a reporter focusing on the Biden administration's approach to ESG. It's also interesting too, when you see these tweets show up and these retweets show up, when elected officials say these are my own personal views, not reflective of where I work, but at the same time we can get meaningful analysis out of that. They're retweeting it for a purpose, and perhaps they're looking towards the Brooking Institute for the ESG policy or at least consuming that information. So having these indicators of who these influential stakeholders are and using retweets as a proxy for that, helps us build this stakeholder list when it comes time to think through campaign tactics or strategy.   Another data point that's really helpful to understanding the overall kind of policy landscape and I give it we think through a geopolitical lens which puts the where at the forefront of that analysis and where are the elected officials coming from? Where do they represent? Where these issues are important, and so when you think about ESG, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that California elected officials are really leading that conversation, considering the state's focus on climate change and environmental issues, that makes a lot of sense. So this sort of verifies, and enables kind of further strategic thinking down the line when thinking about a campaign. What's also interesting is that Maryland pops up here as well but this goes to the point of not all mentions are created equal. ESG in the way that Maryland is talking about it is not about financial services, it's not about regulating companies, it's not about climate change, they're more focused on a term in affordable housing and community development called ESG, or emergency solutions grants, so you see that this conversation in Maryland is not actually related to environmental social governance as we're thinking about it and looking at it that's important because we know now to exclude that piece from the analysis. But without the kind of taking this view first and understanding why these states are popping up in the conversation, we wouldn't be able to make that strategic decision in the first place.   Zach: I would also just add that as we work with a series of different clients in different sectors on ESG, the one thing that's missing from ESG now, that maybe regulation will start to solve, is the consistent nomenclature the consistent language and taxonomy of how we talk about ESG issues, what's defined as E versus S versus G, some of it is clear cut of course but in terms of what is considered ESG is something that is still evolving on a very ongoing basis. So in the example here that Jonathan provides, obviously, a tweaking of the boolean or the search keywords can help make sure that we're talking and aligning on the right type of data that we're pulling. But I think it's also just interesting to know from this type of analysis, how people in different constituencies or different states or different sectors are talking about ESG and what they consider to be ESG topics or topics that fall under one pillar versus another.   I think that's on the next slide Jonathan, that we get more into the language of ESG, which has been a real big part of our work. Kivvit has actually developed a proprietary platform called M-ESG, if you say that together it's the word message. But it's really tracking the evolving language of the ESG space, the outputs from Quorum that you all might be familiar with are certainly available, are things like a word cloud or being able to rank the top keywords on the left side of the screen, just something to pull out that's kind of obvious there. If you see the word risk, for example, we have noticed not only in terms of policymaker communication but, just broader conversation among stakeholders about ESG, this idea of risk really comes about. It's being driven by the disclosure of climate risk really as the focal point of the ESG issue, but it means that in terms of message development for a client as we start to build a strategy, we have to be thinking about how we're talking about risk you know the management of risk the disclosure of risk how we're talking about risk, becomes the anchor to which a message framework can be built, and it's inspired in part by data points like this that we see on the left-hand side.   When we look at the right-hand side of the screen, and this is going a little bit more to my comments earlier about the trend we're trying to predict of ESG going mainstream and becoming more of a public issue versus a stakeholder or just purely a business investor issue, is how hashtags are used. Now we're all familiar that hashtags are generally employed when you're trying to do an advocacy campaign, and brand a call to action, or a certain type of issue around a hashtag. I think what we're seeing when we look at ESG, especially compared to the activity of the conversation in the US versus Europe the US has not really caught up in terms of social media usage and conversation on the ESG topic it's much more prevalent in the EU, where the SDFR  regulation has really advanced the conversation there from a public standpoint. So what we see here are obviously low counts of hashtag use outside of just ESG but again we're trying to get ahead of the trend and try to predict, to the best we can, about where there might be issues that really pick up traction from a public standpoint. And when I see #sustainability, #climatechange, #forcedlabor, #humantrafficking, #supplychain it starts to delineate the different categories of activity and engagement around ESG that we can start to try to forecast “these are going to be potential uh you know touch points where public attention is going to happen first.” The policymakers may drive it through the use of existing hashtags, the public may glom onto it or start a hashtag of their own, but the ability to understand how policymakers engage with an evolving public narrative can be start to be seen through the use of hashtags. I would just say that, looking at the list here, the emphasis on sustainability, climate change, it's not a surprise to us. But when you pair it with the point I mentioned earlier that when you see the increase, the dramatic record rise in news coverage of ESG this year, when we dive into the details of those articles, the most trending topics of that coverage, all have to do with sustainability. In 2020 there was probably more of a focus on the S and social but in 2021, we're seeing the most trending topics and hashtag use by policymakers around the E, which is about environmental sustainability. So that's an indicator that we use to build our forecast of where we see trends in ESG going and you know hopefully this illustrates exactly how we're thinking about these data points when it shows up on our Quorum screen.   Now this is my favorite feature of where Quorum gives us an output and I know that's the dorkiest thing to say but this is Wonk Week folks, this is where we could really, if you're not me, let your hair down and kind of be true to yourself. The indicator here that we're looking at are the different channels and mediums by which policymakers are communicating about ESG. I think it's notable to see that press releases here are really the primary way that policymakers are talking about this issue. As I've been saying, and again this data point reinforces this trend we're starting to predict, is that ESG in the public dialogue in the United States is not yet one of these mainstream topics that people are talking about on social media. It's not something where constituents are tagging legislators and legislators are responding to advocacy groups and constituents specifically about ESG. We know that they're talking about ESG issues - climate change, ethics, human rights, those issues get baked into ESG. But, again, what we're focused on here is, through the ESG lens, when is ESG really going to break in and become the mainstream identifier of what we're talking about outside the business community and the investor community where I think it's really entrenched today.    So what reinforces that point, is not only that this is something that is being covered by media and that's being driven through press releases with the hope that media gets to see that type of communication, but in the lack of traction and focus in terms of tweets, Facebook posts, youtube videos, we’ll typically be looking at an issue to understand is it something that's really viral, that's really in sort of the zeitgeist of conversation. And that will be reflected when you see the social channels really be the main sources of communication on-topic but the fact that this is still a very primarily press release driven issue, it's going to be more confined at this point to media coverage and, press secretaries and press assistants,  pressing send than someone getting on a platform on social media and going on a tweetstorm or having an extensive conversation about that. And that's where we are right now in terms of this trend, but again, we're giving you the framework and the types of data points that we pay attention to, so as those evolve we can update and inform our forecasts as the landscape shifts.   Where does it all come together? I think we've walked you through our thinking, like the live demonstration of when Jonathan and I look at different data points from Quorum and match it with the suite of tools that we use to help contextualize this information but it all boils down to a few key questions that we ask ourselves as we move into strategy development- which is really the core bread and butter of what Kivvit does, strategy development, strategy conceptualization andcampaign execution. It all starts with this question of who has power? Who are you trying to persuade? Is it voters? Is it decision makers? Is it one governor or is it a committee? The identification of who is most vocal on an issue can start to present that pathway for you in terms of illuminating the jurisdictions that matter, in terms of who the allies or opponents are going to be, and then it begins to really create that engagement matrix of who do I need to amplify or mitigate to be able to move an issue? And by identifying who has power, it brings the next question of what moves them? We showed you some information earlier in terms of what third parties are engaged by policymakers right these are potential opportunities for coalition building. We also saw how policymakers are communicating and how to reach them. So these are the types of data points that start to fill in these questions of who has power, what moves them, and ultimately informs what campaign is needed. On the next slide just to walk you again through some of the thinking, just based on information that we've seen here today, knowing that ESG as a conversation topic among policymakers today is being driven by media, you can start to think about media relations and op-eds as something that's going to be kind of core to the strategy. It's where the activity around ESG is taking place today but at the same time we also talked extensively about how the social media conversation, the more public viral zeitgeist of conversation engagement outside of just investors, business, leaders, and policymakers, has yet to really take shape on an ESG basis. So in our view, we would look at that, likely, as an open lane, where if we are working with a client or an entity to want to be active in the social media space, has an opportunity to really be out front on the issue. Media is sort of like the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour, but there you are on a nice open road on social media, being able to get your message across.    This is how we start to think as we put together a strategy, and certainly from the positioning of a coalition, we've already talked about the third parties and how that fits into the strategy as well.   Jonathan: Then when you start to think about taking these campaign tactics and prioritizing them accordingly because nobody has unlimited resources. Resources are finite but you need to be able to prioritize accordingly and drive your campaign to create the right strategic outcomes in the right places. This is where we think about it from a geopolitical perspective again of just campaign execution. What we're able to do is use the data points that Quorum provides to us with the analysis that we just showed you and combine that with a lot of the other information, tools, and services that we have access to build a model. What we're looking at here is an example of how you can take these data points, you can overlay them across the country and start to understand how to prioritize your campaign resources or tactics or stakeholder engagement or strategy and execute in different states in a priority order.   So if we know that ESG is a popular conversation and there's a lot of policymaking being debated in California, that's perhaps an indicator of where we need to start and think about how that impacts the other states that may or may not be paying attention there as well. This is all to say, you can think through the broad policy landscape, you can use Quorum data points to inform that, create a process to layer in other data, or just think critically about what it is that you're looking at and think through kind of what are the right campaign tactics to apply, what is the right strategy to put into place, and then how do you prioritize that accordingly to create the most impact.    Zach: That, I believe, is the content of what we wanted to share but I know this is interactive so if there are questions from the group or from Theresa and Patrick we're happy to oblige.   Theresa: Thank you so much we do have some questions coming in. First question from the audience: what about data and metrics kind of on the other side of your campaign? So you've run your campaign, what are the metrics that you look at for success? Are there any of the same ones you look to see if you move the needle? Anything like that?   Zach: yeah well I think execution of a campaign there's a whole myriad of different ways to measure it.There's everything from social media management, to digital advertising performance, to open rates of emails and clicks, and website behavior, those are all important. You're going to want to have a landing page for your campaign, most likely a social media handle, and there's a whole series of metrics that just come off of that engagement. But I think it related to where what we've just discussed comes into the execution phase, we want to know we moved the needle because if we want to create conversation and activity around a particular issue, we can use the same types of frameworks we just looked at to see to what extent the policymakers that we're engaging are participating in the conversation. Whether we've elevated the issue among policymakers overall, and then the language and nomenclature of how different policymakers or stakeholders are talking about an issue. Are they picking up on our messaging right? Are we being reactive to understanding that risk is what we need to frame our argument about? Or, is there something else we want to introduce that we want to see in that word cloud really appear as a big keyword or be a hashtag that we're introducing that really gets picked up?    I’d say around ESG right now, the opportunity is there, I think that's something you've heard me and Jonathan be stressing as we've been talking about it's certainly where a lot of companies are circling and focused on the space but, to really be a leader on ESG, is something where you can look back at the data points we've just identified and start to really see where you've introduced different aspects of strategy that have now appeared when we do the same analysis you know six months from now.   Theresa: Yeah definitely that smart kind of seeing are they using the words are they using the ideas that you presented another question on the social media side so obviously it's been a noisy year, there's lots going on with Covid, lots going on with the infrastructure bills, the many many policies happening. What have you seen breakthrough to get members’ attention on social media? So when the legislators are your target audience what gets their attention when there's so much noise?   Zach: yeah it's a great question and I think, ESG just to take a step back, it's not necessarily ESG, is we have sort of the playbook or the best practice I think that's sort of the open opportunity that we've been reinforcing but it's direct engagement right? Direct engagement where a constituent, or a story of a constituent, or just a real average person is something that can really humanize an issue. That is a consistent thread we see in campaigns on social media and news headlines, that when you can really boil down the issue to a story rather than like a particular event, that is sort of corporate-facing versus person-facing that tends to get not only the pickup among policymakers, but because there's a larger constituency elevating the issue because the people are kind of bonding together, that's really what social media kind of is designed for and what we've seen resonate. Jonathan, I don't know if you have any other perspective that you'd want to add but I think sort of the humanizing and personal stories is something that across sectors we've seen uh really pick up and resonate.   Jonathan: Yeah and I think it kind of points back to the geopolitical a bit, where you want to identify the area, the where. And the constituents within that legislator’s district, those are critical voices as Zach was saying, so that's kind of where we can start to think through how can we prioritize by geography to reach the most compelling voices that are going to have an impact with those legislators.   Theresa: So another question about how you kind of blend this very quantitative analysis that you are pulling from Quorum from other tools and introduce some of those qualitative data points that you might have from past experiences from personal relationships, how do you incorporate those into your approach to making decisions about how to move forward?   Zach: It's a wonderful question and I think it's funny that I, as the Chief Innovation Officer of a company who work with Jonathan on data insights and analytics team will say this but, the technology is not the hard part the technology is available. There are mountains of data. The hard part is building the methodology of how to do what you just asked, Theresa. It comes, I think most importantly, from building a culture. Obviously, you need the right expertise and sort of strategic resources within your firm. People who have life experience working on Capitol Hill, in different agencies, or in different sectors and you could seek that out obviously not just within your own firm but through relationships. But making sure that you're bringing data points to them that they can look at and help you contextualize, and this is not like a secret behind the curtain thing that I'm telling you, but the data has to tell a story you can't get someone with a strategic mind for all the experience they have in you know a particular area to look at a spreadsheet and just be like “oh voila here's the insight that you were missing” by just being a quant. The qualitative has to be presented to those internal either colleagues or just stakeholders in a way that really builds a narrative that tells the story of what we're seeing in the data hopefully what we've walked you through today around ESG gives you a preview of how that's done but it gets sort of the conversation going and when I say conversation, it's true that. It's not there's no AI to it, it's just you know, we're talking it through and really having a strategic conversation. But in order to facilitate that as much as that's like a process, as much as like the quant, it has to be presented in the right way. I go back to building a data-driven culture the thing I am most proud of at Kivvit is that we built a data-driven culture where people on the strategic side of our business who are working with clients every day who may have backgrounds in media relations or digital advertising or just creative strategy and writing copy for ads they appreciate where the data comes, from they see it how it can enhance and accelerate their work, they don't view it as a threat they view it as complementary and they feel empowered to push back when something doesn't make sense. That's part of a culture you have to build and that's the hard building blocks to facilitate I think what was just asked.   Theresa: And kind of follow follow-up that this is obviously a snapshot in time on ESG, it gives us the historical data, say it was a client you were working with on this issue, as a hypothetical, how often are you checking back in on these metrics to see has it transitioned from press releases to Twitter, has it spiked? Is it experiences that lead you to go back to the data, or data that lead the way? What's your order of operations there?   Zach: yeah and i think it's obviously going to be case by case which is not the answer you want. You know you're going to have your alert set up right step three of our process and I think what Quorum does a great job at as relates to understanding when you know a message goes out from a policymaker somewhere in the United States. It's paying attention to that and if it registers is enough impact just in terms of you're seeing the pickup or someone notable you know you could start to re-evaluate but you know typically i would say you're not going to rechecking Quorum every day, you're going to be seeing that ESG needle move, and that's where I think, as much as we really use Quorum, as you can see, and value what it does, it's one component of a large suite of tools and analytics that we're considering. We're watching the public narrative, we're watching what's trending in news coverage, we're understanding the behavior and the interaction of news consumers broadly with what's resonating with them. When we start to paint that picture with these different components, it informs us more about, is it the policymaker arena that we need to focus on or somewhere else? But when we see those lights going off that's sort of where we'll say “okay we need to go back refresh what we have.”   Theresa: Yeah and obviously ESG, while not the biggest issue, while a growing issue, there are a lot of policies out there that folks on this call work on that are pretty niched, how do you go about this process on a more niche issue that doesn't maybe have the scale to fill up all of these graphs kind of when something is either new that doesn't hasn't quite broken through yet or it's in the weeds of some specific policy?   Zach: You want to take that Jonathan?   Jonathan:Yeah so I think that the fact that it's new is the opportunity, That's your opportunity to fill up the graphs and charts with the data and information that you want to drive. And so from that perspective, while you're not able to view what's out there directly relevant to your issue, I mean there are other proxy issues out there that can provide some sort of indicator as to how an elected official might approach an issue based upon previous experience with something similar. That's something that we've done often where we take a look at these proxy issues that we think could be helpful indicators as to how they would feel about whatever this niche issue is, so you could really do the policy landscape approach and think through several issues that kind of get you in the ballpark and then start to think through what are the actual kind of insightful pieces that you can draw from to inform your own strategy about something that's new and niche.   Zach: Yeah and with ESG, as we've been saying all along, we're taking a little bit of like a strict lens about ESG versus you know the issues like climate change, social justice, that are very much out there that you can find you know those issues so if you want to predict where this or the intersection of ESG is with the public on a particular issue that's your road map. But I think it works just as much, and Jonathan and I do an extensive amount of work around infrastructure and if someone's trying to build a data center somewhere you know there may not be a local legislator who's commented on their stance on data centers before, but maybe there was a large construction project that could be like a mixed-use housing commercial thing, it could be a new road and you could see how they react to something else that involves landmarks, and that's a great indicator of behavior. A lot of why we rely on social media and things that policymaker are generating rather than just reading about in the news from a reactive standpoint, is that we're allowing behavior to send the signal right we're allowing them to tell us what direction they're viewing something or how they feel or what they engage on. And those past precedents really provide the roadmap to the best of our abilities and then constant monitoring as you actually start to introduce becomes important but as Jonathan said and I want to reinforce the opportunity that it's new but in order to keep that opportunity as an opportunity and not turn into a risk you need proactive engagement. So the diagnostic that we've talked about is almost even more important I’d say Jonathan if not certainly equally important to making sure that you are doing a proactive plan so that as information starts to seep out about this new thing that there's not misunderstanding miscommunication misperception that kind of spirals out and now you're hiring Kivvit not to build your strategy but to contain a crisis   Theresa: Yeah, I think that the issue of proxy issues is really interesting like what's in the general like the same area that you can infer from and pull into a new topic is really interesting. I'm wondering what your approach would be if you do this diagnostic and there's tons of dialogue, but there hasn't been a lot of action where it's drumming up all over social media but bills aren't necessarily moving, how would you push to translate that dialogue into action?   Zach: Who has power? What moves them? And what's the campaign that's needed? I think that the framework that we've identified at the end is what we try to take that information and start to synthesize into the strategic campaign plan. It's not moving because someone with power is not seeing it is not moved by this as a priority so what needs to change for them to start to see that differently and that's where you can evaluate, is it the validators, is it the messaging, is it the tactics, is it the amplification of activity that's not breaking through to them? And it's going to go back to that set of questions in my mind. Jonathan if you have anything else to add?   Jonathan: No I think that that makes a lot of sense and I think though too, if there's just continuous volume, it's just an opportunity to constantly be learning more.   Theresa:We've got one last question before we wrap up here, you all have been using Quorum for a couple of years now, I'm wondering what if you can speak to, what's a data point that you look at now, that maybe two, three years ago wasn't part of your equation - whether it's social data, something new, and what's something that you see potentially including in the future as trends and behaviors by policymakers, by advocates change?   Zach: Well, I'll give you my wish list item for the future. I know that a lot of people get to use quorum for sending emails and I imagine that you might be in a position to look across the board at what the trends are, what resonates and what breaks through, and what gets opened. I think we're always looking for context before we have to spend money on advertising or advocacy of what's going to resonate. We're using the existing data points today. We've made the case already about how different behavioral signals from different channels, associated media, or even if it's just a press release which I think you guys do a great job of capturing, give us that forecasting ability but certainly when someone's out there, advertising or someone's out there doing an advocacy campaign, and this is where the hashtag starts to come into play, the more visibility into how advocacy works or doesn't independent as a component of the larger conversation, that's always the meaningful road map to know where someone else has tried something before and what do I need to do to do it better? Strictly around the advocacy campaign and other entities trying to push their agenda.   Jonathan: Yeah I think from my perspective I continue to get excited about the developments that are made around  maps and to me the maps equate geopolitical and something I focus on that I've been talking about a lot today but the ability to kind of see it in map form and then also kind of overlay some additional data points it's important and it's helpful from a strategic perspective of the value that you can get out of it   Theresa: Awesome now before we jump off where can folks find you and learn more about Kivvit and see the work that you all are doing?   Zach:Kivvit.com. I am on Twitter I'm not a big tweeter but I watch a lot as you can imagine from different angles and it's @zacksilber and Jonathan you have a handle too I believe.   Jonathan: Yes, @jscharff1 is my Twitter handle. Theresa: Awesome thanks so much [post_title] => Metrics That Matter in Public Affairs with Kivvit's Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => metrics-that-matter-public-affairs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-10-15 23:44:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-10-15 23:44:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5789 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 5789 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'metrics-that-matter-public-affairs' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5789 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2021-10-15 23:42:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-10-15 23:42:59 [post_content] => Theresa Hebert: Hey everyone welcome to our next session today on understanding data points you need to know in public affairs. I'm excited to be joined by Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber from Kivvit. Jonathan is Kivvit’s Associate Director of Insights. He specializes in project management, data analysis, campaign development, and public affairs risk modeling. Jonathan analyzes dynamics between the private sector, the regional economy, infrastructure, and government policy to advise clients strategy. Prior to joining Kivvit, Jonathan served as an Economic and Policy Research Analyst at the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he began his career at the New York City Council. Zach Silber is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kivvit. A pioneer in the strategic communications field, Zach works across Kivvit’s offices to lead the firm's insights and innovation practice — an award-winning team of technologists and data strategists charged with analyzing news, social media, advertising, and audience trends and integrating that data, tools, and technologies throughout Kivvit’s work. Prior to joining Kivvit, Zach was the political director of the New York Observer so I will pass it over to you too to share your screen and take us away.   Zach Silber: Right now I’m going to give a little bit of more background on Kivvit. We're a public affairs firm working with hundreds of corporations leading foundations and institutions across the United States. Our work streams from everything including corporate reputation to crisis management to legislative advocacy, to more traditional public affairs and public education type campaigns. We're very excited to be here today, Quorum is one of our favorite partners that we work with, and my colleague Jonathan Scharff, who you just saw a moment ago, we'll go to the next slide Jonathan, just to see our faces there to remind everyone who we are.   We work very closely with the Quorum team to incorporate the type of data points that you're going to see in our presentation today throughout our work, just as Theresa said. I think today is really about walking through a process that Jonathan and I have developed as it relates to using data to inform the development of strategy across our work. That work is typically through a three-step process that I’ll discuss in a moment. The lens that I really want us to put on for this talk today is how the pendulum has shifted from reactive public affairs, where things come out in the press and you start to react to news cycles. That's still, of course, a component of what we do, but more and more as we have these mountains of data available to us, and different tools and frameworks and methodologies to synthesize data, we're trying to be as proactive as possible. We're trying to predict, forecast things before they happen.    We had the pleasure of working with Quorum a couple of weeks ago to illustrate a case study about Kivvit and our approach. It's available on the Quorum website and we suggest everyone take a look who's interested. There's a key quote in there about our approach which is really to beat the news cycle and understand trends before they break. That requires an upfront diagnostic assessment to really understand the landscape of a particular issue, or state jurisdiction, or government entity, that we are trying to interface with. That is all about the process that we're gonna walk through with you today, and it's what grounds the ability to start thinking in a predictive fashion and be able to forecast trends before they break. I’ll say at the onset it's not easy. Every different issue is going to have a different type of profile there's no one-size-fits-all but generally our methodology will have these three steps. So the diagnostic we're going to go over today to understand the history, trajectory, and context of an issue. Be able to start using that,  about how we start to forecast trends, and the strategic imperatives of what goes into a campaign. Then, we have to monitor the hell out of whatever it is we're focused on.Dynamic is the nature of the game and things are going to change on a day by day sometimes hour-by-hour basis and it's by using the mountains of data at our disposal and real-time alerts through tools like quorum that are going to be essential to keeping abreast and making sure that our strategy is is evolving with the landscape. So if you can do these three things, you have the best shot at staying ahead of trends before they break, and of course delivering results for your organization or your client, in our case. I'll turn it to Jonathan to just give a little bit of a preview also about how we use Quorum at different levels of government as well.   Jonathan Scharff: So when you think about doing the diagnostic chart analyzing the policy landscape, really trying to get at those insights and beating the news cycle. One of the ways that Quorum really helps us is that we provide this platform to standardize the information that we're consuming. When you think about how all the data in legislatures or at the federal level or local level exists, it's all disparate. If there's no one system that captures the way that bills move through a legislature, they're all using different platforms. The data sources are all different, and so when I think about using Quorum at the federal level it's almost the case of, there's so much data how do we find out what's most important and cull through it and get to those uh strategic data points? At the state level, all 50 state legislatures operating on different platforms and Quorum helps us really be able to search through all of those different data sources. At the local level, it's almost a problem of there not being enough data. So Quorum being the tool to capture what's out there and available and making that into a valuable resource that we use. A tangible example to kind of show the diagnostic landscape or the policy landscape in practice when talking about the metrics that matter, the data points that matter in a policy landscape diagnostic.    Zach mentioned we want to use an example to walk you guys through. In this instance, we want to focus on environmental social governance or ESG. It’s a rising trending topic right now globally and also in the United States. ESG involves how investors evaluate companies for their impact to the environment, their policies on diversity and inclusion, and their corporate processes. It's influential in Europe, it's important for stakeholders that are paying attention to climate change, and it's a growing kind of investment framework here in the United States. To set this conversation up, what we're showing you right here are media articles mentioning ESG over the last three years. You see this steady increase and 2021 isn't even over yet and so this is largely being driven by heightened interests in all these issues - climate change, diversity inclusion, responsible corporate governance these are all these drivers driving these media articles. So when we were talking about the challenges of staying ahead and using the data points as a way to inform decision making, the question becomes - can we use Quorum to understand these media trends that we're seeing and observing at Kivvit? What we're seeing being driven in Europe will translate into policymaking amongst elected officials in the U.S.    Zach: I would just add that it's really a conversation right now, I  think everyone who's probably on this webinar and who works in the type of public affairs environment that we do. ESG is like tattooed on our forehead, it's something that's becoming synonymous with social impact, CSR, and the different environmental and social issues that are obviously very pervasive in our society. But just to piggyback and reinforce something that Jonathan just said is, we're trying to understand the intersection of ESG with the policymaking landscape. When we look at this chart we're seeing the public landscape of media and, just to give you a little taste of the in-depth analysis we've done outside of Quorum, we understand that a lot of the media coverage is still within what I would call stakeholder or business media publications. There might be people who are doing all sorts of different activist activities around ESG topics but they're not calling it ESG. So we're looking here to understand the convergence of ESG with those more public-facing activist-driven issues and when ESG will really go mainstream on a broader level outside of the stakeholder community. But at the same time we need to understand where it is. So we know in the media we see the traction picking up here. We'll take you through where we're seeing it in the policymaker orbit.   Jonathan: So where to start this investigation into ESG? An obvious first metric is to look at, when is this activity occurring? Where are the mentions happening of ESG amongst our elected officials at the federal level? We could see right this chart from Quorum data correlates very closely to the chart we just showed you on the previous slide with media coverage. It's an obvious signal the topic's increasing amongst elected officials and this is just sort of the first glance at the analysis. It's just the basics of what's the volume of mentions over time, but it really means that we have to go deeper and really figure this out and dig in. So when we start to do that right and thinking about the data point of who is driving this conversation, who are the people that are mentioning ESG as a topic? For every kind of campaign that Kivvit does and the planning process that we think through, who has the power? That question of who has the power, who can create the change, that the client is potentially seeking really starts with understanding who's driving the conversation. And in this case, you can see Representative Waters from California has mentioned the issue the most. You dig deeper into that and you see that it’s mentions from debating the bill on the floor of the House on a bill called the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act that was passed in June. Others on this list come from the House Financial Services Committee or have other influential roles in finance overall. Seeing the partisan breakdown is obviously important contextually when it comes to devising campaign strategy to reach these decision-makers later on. Think through kind of the overall volume of mentions, then get into the who, and look at that through the lens of who has the power to create regulations to do policymaking on ESG. That's the next step of a deeper analysis of the policy landscape.    Another data point that we think is particularly valuable is using the social media data that Quorum provides to look at retweets. Here we're calling out retweet data, which is just the helpful indicator of identifying who are potential stakeholders and influencers. This is on ESG, in particular, a legislator retweeting a stakeholder group, a reporter, an advocacy organization, it's a telling sign. It gives us visibility into something they intentionally chose to do. So what shows up here are retweets of an account sharing Brookings Institute event on ESG, and then a reporter focusing on the Biden administration's approach to ESG. It's also interesting too, when you see these tweets show up and these retweets show up, when elected officials say these are my own personal views, not reflective of where I work, but at the same time we can get meaningful analysis out of that. They're retweeting it for a purpose, and perhaps they're looking towards the Brooking Institute for the ESG policy or at least consuming that information. So having these indicators of who these influential stakeholders are and using retweets as a proxy for that, helps us build this stakeholder list when it comes time to think through campaign tactics or strategy.   Another data point that's really helpful to understanding the overall kind of policy landscape and I give it we think through a geopolitical lens which puts the where at the forefront of that analysis and where are the elected officials coming from? Where do they represent? Where these issues are important, and so when you think about ESG, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that California elected officials are really leading that conversation, considering the state's focus on climate change and environmental issues, that makes a lot of sense. So this sort of verifies, and enables kind of further strategic thinking down the line when thinking about a campaign. What's also interesting is that Maryland pops up here as well but this goes to the point of not all mentions are created equal. ESG in the way that Maryland is talking about it is not about financial services, it's not about regulating companies, it's not about climate change, they're more focused on a term in affordable housing and community development called ESG, or emergency solutions grants, so you see that this conversation in Maryland is not actually related to environmental social governance as we're thinking about it and looking at it that's important because we know now to exclude that piece from the analysis. But without the kind of taking this view first and understanding why these states are popping up in the conversation, we wouldn't be able to make that strategic decision in the first place.   Zach: I would also just add that as we work with a series of different clients in different sectors on ESG, the one thing that's missing from ESG now, that maybe regulation will start to solve, is the consistent nomenclature the consistent language and taxonomy of how we talk about ESG issues, what's defined as E versus S versus G, some of it is clear cut of course but in terms of what is considered ESG is something that is still evolving on a very ongoing basis. So in the example here that Jonathan provides, obviously, a tweaking of the boolean or the search keywords can help make sure that we're talking and aligning on the right type of data that we're pulling. But I think it's also just interesting to know from this type of analysis, how people in different constituencies or different states or different sectors are talking about ESG and what they consider to be ESG topics or topics that fall under one pillar versus another.   I think that's on the next slide Jonathan, that we get more into the language of ESG, which has been a real big part of our work. Kivvit has actually developed a proprietary platform called M-ESG, if you say that together it's the word message. But it's really tracking the evolving language of the ESG space, the outputs from Quorum that you all might be familiar with are certainly available, are things like a word cloud or being able to rank the top keywords on the left side of the screen, just something to pull out that's kind of obvious there. If you see the word risk, for example, we have noticed not only in terms of policymaker communication but, just broader conversation among stakeholders about ESG, this idea of risk really comes about. It's being driven by the disclosure of climate risk really as the focal point of the ESG issue, but it means that in terms of message development for a client as we start to build a strategy, we have to be thinking about how we're talking about risk you know the management of risk the disclosure of risk how we're talking about risk, becomes the anchor to which a message framework can be built, and it's inspired in part by data points like this that we see on the left-hand side.   When we look at the right-hand side of the screen, and this is going a little bit more to my comments earlier about the trend we're trying to predict of ESG going mainstream and becoming more of a public issue versus a stakeholder or just purely a business investor issue, is how hashtags are used. Now we're all familiar that hashtags are generally employed when you're trying to do an advocacy campaign, and brand a call to action, or a certain type of issue around a hashtag. I think what we're seeing when we look at ESG, especially compared to the activity of the conversation in the US versus Europe the US has not really caught up in terms of social media usage and conversation on the ESG topic it's much more prevalent in the EU, where the SDFR  regulation has really advanced the conversation there from a public standpoint. So what we see here are obviously low counts of hashtag use outside of just ESG but again we're trying to get ahead of the trend and try to predict, to the best we can, about where there might be issues that really pick up traction from a public standpoint. And when I see #sustainability, #climatechange, #forcedlabor, #humantrafficking, #supplychain it starts to delineate the different categories of activity and engagement around ESG that we can start to try to forecast “these are going to be potential uh you know touch points where public attention is going to happen first.” The policymakers may drive it through the use of existing hashtags, the public may glom onto it or start a hashtag of their own, but the ability to understand how policymakers engage with an evolving public narrative can be start to be seen through the use of hashtags. I would just say that, looking at the list here, the emphasis on sustainability, climate change, it's not a surprise to us. But when you pair it with the point I mentioned earlier that when you see the increase, the dramatic record rise in news coverage of ESG this year, when we dive into the details of those articles, the most trending topics of that coverage, all have to do with sustainability. In 2020 there was probably more of a focus on the S and social but in 2021, we're seeing the most trending topics and hashtag use by policymakers around the E, which is about environmental sustainability. So that's an indicator that we use to build our forecast of where we see trends in ESG going and you know hopefully this illustrates exactly how we're thinking about these data points when it shows up on our Quorum screen.   Now this is my favorite feature of where Quorum gives us an output and I know that's the dorkiest thing to say but this is Wonk Week folks, this is where we could really, if you're not me, let your hair down and kind of be true to yourself. The indicator here that we're looking at are the different channels and mediums by which policymakers are communicating about ESG. I think it's notable to see that press releases here are really the primary way that policymakers are talking about this issue. As I've been saying, and again this data point reinforces this trend we're starting to predict, is that ESG in the public dialogue in the United States is not yet one of these mainstream topics that people are talking about on social media. It's not something where constituents are tagging legislators and legislators are responding to advocacy groups and constituents specifically about ESG. We know that they're talking about ESG issues - climate change, ethics, human rights, those issues get baked into ESG. But, again, what we're focused on here is, through the ESG lens, when is ESG really going to break in and become the mainstream identifier of what we're talking about outside the business community and the investor community where I think it's really entrenched today.    So what reinforces that point, is not only that this is something that is being covered by media and that's being driven through press releases with the hope that media gets to see that type of communication, but in the lack of traction and focus in terms of tweets, Facebook posts, youtube videos, we’ll typically be looking at an issue to understand is it something that's really viral, that's really in sort of the zeitgeist of conversation. And that will be reflected when you see the social channels really be the main sources of communication on-topic but the fact that this is still a very primarily press release driven issue, it's going to be more confined at this point to media coverage and, press secretaries and press assistants,  pressing send than someone getting on a platform on social media and going on a tweetstorm or having an extensive conversation about that. And that's where we are right now in terms of this trend, but again, we're giving you the framework and the types of data points that we pay attention to, so as those evolve we can update and inform our forecasts as the landscape shifts.   Where does it all come together? I think we've walked you through our thinking, like the live demonstration of when Jonathan and I look at different data points from Quorum and match it with the suite of tools that we use to help contextualize this information but it all boils down to a few key questions that we ask ourselves as we move into strategy development- which is really the core bread and butter of what Kivvit does, strategy development, strategy conceptualization andcampaign execution. It all starts with this question of who has power? Who are you trying to persuade? Is it voters? Is it decision makers? Is it one governor or is it a committee? The identification of who is most vocal on an issue can start to present that pathway for you in terms of illuminating the jurisdictions that matter, in terms of who the allies or opponents are going to be, and then it begins to really create that engagement matrix of who do I need to amplify or mitigate to be able to move an issue? And by identifying who has power, it brings the next question of what moves them? We showed you some information earlier in terms of what third parties are engaged by policymakers right these are potential opportunities for coalition building. We also saw how policymakers are communicating and how to reach them. So these are the types of data points that start to fill in these questions of who has power, what moves them, and ultimately informs what campaign is needed. On the next slide just to walk you again through some of the thinking, just based on information that we've seen here today, knowing that ESG as a conversation topic among policymakers today is being driven by media, you can start to think about media relations and op-eds as something that's going to be kind of core to the strategy. It's where the activity around ESG is taking place today but at the same time we also talked extensively about how the social media conversation, the more public viral zeitgeist of conversation engagement outside of just investors, business, leaders, and policymakers, has yet to really take shape on an ESG basis. So in our view, we would look at that, likely, as an open lane, where if we are working with a client or an entity to want to be active in the social media space, has an opportunity to really be out front on the issue. Media is sort of like the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour, but there you are on a nice open road on social media, being able to get your message across.    This is how we start to think as we put together a strategy, and certainly from the positioning of a coalition, we've already talked about the third parties and how that fits into the strategy as well.   Jonathan: Then when you start to think about taking these campaign tactics and prioritizing them accordingly because nobody has unlimited resources. Resources are finite but you need to be able to prioritize accordingly and drive your campaign to create the right strategic outcomes in the right places. This is where we think about it from a geopolitical perspective again of just campaign execution. What we're able to do is use the data points that Quorum provides to us with the analysis that we just showed you and combine that with a lot of the other information, tools, and services that we have access to build a model. What we're looking at here is an example of how you can take these data points, you can overlay them across the country and start to understand how to prioritize your campaign resources or tactics or stakeholder engagement or strategy and execute in different states in a priority order.   So if we know that ESG is a popular conversation and there's a lot of policymaking being debated in California, that's perhaps an indicator of where we need to start and think about how that impacts the other states that may or may not be paying attention there as well. This is all to say, you can think through the broad policy landscape, you can use Quorum data points to inform that, create a process to layer in other data, or just think critically about what it is that you're looking at and think through kind of what are the right campaign tactics to apply, what is the right strategy to put into place, and then how do you prioritize that accordingly to create the most impact.    Zach: That, I believe, is the content of what we wanted to share but I know this is interactive so if there are questions from the group or from Theresa and Patrick we're happy to oblige.   Theresa: Thank you so much we do have some questions coming in. First question from the audience: what about data and metrics kind of on the other side of your campaign? So you've run your campaign, what are the metrics that you look at for success? Are there any of the same ones you look to see if you move the needle? Anything like that?   Zach: yeah well I think execution of a campaign there's a whole myriad of different ways to measure it.There's everything from social media management, to digital advertising performance, to open rates of emails and clicks, and website behavior, those are all important. You're going to want to have a landing page for your campaign, most likely a social media handle, and there's a whole series of metrics that just come off of that engagement. But I think it related to where what we've just discussed comes into the execution phase, we want to know we moved the needle because if we want to create conversation and activity around a particular issue, we can use the same types of frameworks we just looked at to see to what extent the policymakers that we're engaging are participating in the conversation. Whether we've elevated the issue among policymakers overall, and then the language and nomenclature of how different policymakers or stakeholders are talking about an issue. Are they picking up on our messaging right? Are we being reactive to understanding that risk is what we need to frame our argument about? Or, is there something else we want to introduce that we want to see in that word cloud really appear as a big keyword or be a hashtag that we're introducing that really gets picked up?    I’d say around ESG right now, the opportunity is there, I think that's something you've heard me and Jonathan be stressing as we've been talking about it's certainly where a lot of companies are circling and focused on the space but, to really be a leader on ESG, is something where you can look back at the data points we've just identified and start to really see where you've introduced different aspects of strategy that have now appeared when we do the same analysis you know six months from now.   Theresa: Yeah definitely that smart kind of seeing are they using the words are they using the ideas that you presented another question on the social media side so obviously it's been a noisy year, there's lots going on with Covid, lots going on with the infrastructure bills, the many many policies happening. What have you seen breakthrough to get members’ attention on social media? So when the legislators are your target audience what gets their attention when there's so much noise?   Zach: yeah it's a great question and I think, ESG just to take a step back, it's not necessarily ESG, is we have sort of the playbook or the best practice I think that's sort of the open opportunity that we've been reinforcing but it's direct engagement right? Direct engagement where a constituent, or a story of a constituent, or just a real average person is something that can really humanize an issue. That is a consistent thread we see in campaigns on social media and news headlines, that when you can really boil down the issue to a story rather than like a particular event, that is sort of corporate-facing versus person-facing that tends to get not only the pickup among policymakers, but because there's a larger constituency elevating the issue because the people are kind of bonding together, that's really what social media kind of is designed for and what we've seen resonate. Jonathan, I don't know if you have any other perspective that you'd want to add but I think sort of the humanizing and personal stories is something that across sectors we've seen uh really pick up and resonate.   Jonathan: Yeah and I think it kind of points back to the geopolitical a bit, where you want to identify the area, the where. And the constituents within that legislator’s district, those are critical voices as Zach was saying, so that's kind of where we can start to think through how can we prioritize by geography to reach the most compelling voices that are going to have an impact with those legislators.   Theresa: So another question about how you kind of blend this very quantitative analysis that you are pulling from Quorum from other tools and introduce some of those qualitative data points that you might have from past experiences from personal relationships, how do you incorporate those into your approach to making decisions about how to move forward?   Zach: It's a wonderful question and I think it's funny that I, as the Chief Innovation Officer of a company who work with Jonathan on data insights and analytics team will say this but, the technology is not the hard part the technology is available. There are mountains of data. The hard part is building the methodology of how to do what you just asked, Theresa. It comes, I think most importantly, from building a culture. Obviously, you need the right expertise and sort of strategic resources within your firm. People who have life experience working on Capitol Hill, in different agencies, or in different sectors and you could seek that out obviously not just within your own firm but through relationships. But making sure that you're bringing data points to them that they can look at and help you contextualize, and this is not like a secret behind the curtain thing that I'm telling you, but the data has to tell a story you can't get someone with a strategic mind for all the experience they have in you know a particular area to look at a spreadsheet and just be like “oh voila here's the insight that you were missing” by just being a quant. The qualitative has to be presented to those internal either colleagues or just stakeholders in a way that really builds a narrative that tells the story of what we're seeing in the data hopefully what we've walked you through today around ESG gives you a preview of how that's done but it gets sort of the conversation going and when I say conversation, it's true that. It's not there's no AI to it, it's just you know, we're talking it through and really having a strategic conversation. But in order to facilitate that as much as that's like a process, as much as like the quant, it has to be presented in the right way. I go back to building a data-driven culture the thing I am most proud of at Kivvit is that we built a data-driven culture where people on the strategic side of our business who are working with clients every day who may have backgrounds in media relations or digital advertising or just creative strategy and writing copy for ads they appreciate where the data comes, from they see it how it can enhance and accelerate their work, they don't view it as a threat they view it as complementary and they feel empowered to push back when something doesn't make sense. That's part of a culture you have to build and that's the hard building blocks to facilitate I think what was just asked.   Theresa: And kind of follow follow-up that this is obviously a snapshot in time on ESG, it gives us the historical data, say it was a client you were working with on this issue, as a hypothetical, how often are you checking back in on these metrics to see has it transitioned from press releases to Twitter, has it spiked? Is it experiences that lead you to go back to the data, or data that lead the way? What's your order of operations there?   Zach: yeah and i think it's obviously going to be case by case which is not the answer you want. You know you're going to have your alert set up right step three of our process and I think what Quorum does a great job at as relates to understanding when you know a message goes out from a policymaker somewhere in the United States. It's paying attention to that and if it registers is enough impact just in terms of you're seeing the pickup or someone notable you know you could start to re-evaluate but you know typically i would say you're not going to rechecking Quorum every day, you're going to be seeing that ESG needle move, and that's where I think, as much as we really use Quorum, as you can see, and value what it does, it's one component of a large suite of tools and analytics that we're considering. We're watching the public narrative, we're watching what's trending in news coverage, we're understanding the behavior and the interaction of news consumers broadly with what's resonating with them. When we start to paint that picture with these different components, it informs us more about, is it the policymaker arena that we need to focus on or somewhere else? But when we see those lights going off that's sort of where we'll say “okay we need to go back refresh what we have.”   Theresa: Yeah and obviously ESG, while not the biggest issue, while a growing issue, there are a lot of policies out there that folks on this call work on that are pretty niched, how do you go about this process on a more niche issue that doesn't maybe have the scale to fill up all of these graphs kind of when something is either new that doesn't hasn't quite broken through yet or it's in the weeds of some specific policy?   Zach: You want to take that Jonathan?   Jonathan:Yeah so I think that the fact that it's new is the opportunity, That's your opportunity to fill up the graphs and charts with the data and information that you want to drive. And so from that perspective, while you're not able to view what's out there directly relevant to your issue, I mean there are other proxy issues out there that can provide some sort of indicator as to how an elected official might approach an issue based upon previous experience with something similar. That's something that we've done often where we take a look at these proxy issues that we think could be helpful indicators as to how they would feel about whatever this niche issue is, so you could really do the policy landscape approach and think through several issues that kind of get you in the ballpark and then start to think through what are the actual kind of insightful pieces that you can draw from to inform your own strategy about something that's new and niche.   Zach: Yeah and with ESG, as we've been saying all along, we're taking a little bit of like a strict lens about ESG versus you know the issues like climate change, social justice, that are very much out there that you can find you know those issues so if you want to predict where this or the intersection of ESG is with the public on a particular issue that's your road map. But I think it works just as much, and Jonathan and I do an extensive amount of work around infrastructure and if someone's trying to build a data center somewhere you know there may not be a local legislator who's commented on their stance on data centers before, but maybe there was a large construction project that could be like a mixed-use housing commercial thing, it could be a new road and you could see how they react to something else that involves landmarks, and that's a great indicator of behavior. A lot of why we rely on social media and things that policymaker are generating rather than just reading about in the news from a reactive standpoint, is that we're allowing behavior to send the signal right we're allowing them to tell us what direction they're viewing something or how they feel or what they engage on. And those past precedents really provide the roadmap to the best of our abilities and then constant monitoring as you actually start to introduce becomes important but as Jonathan said and I want to reinforce the opportunity that it's new but in order to keep that opportunity as an opportunity and not turn into a risk you need proactive engagement. So the diagnostic that we've talked about is almost even more important I’d say Jonathan if not certainly equally important to making sure that you are doing a proactive plan so that as information starts to seep out about this new thing that there's not misunderstanding miscommunication misperception that kind of spirals out and now you're hiring Kivvit not to build your strategy but to contain a crisis   Theresa: Yeah, I think that the issue of proxy issues is really interesting like what's in the general like the same area that you can infer from and pull into a new topic is really interesting. I'm wondering what your approach would be if you do this diagnostic and there's tons of dialogue, but there hasn't been a lot of action where it's drumming up all over social media but bills aren't necessarily moving, how would you push to translate that dialogue into action?   Zach: Who has power? What moves them? And what's the campaign that's needed? I think that the framework that we've identified at the end is what we try to take that information and start to synthesize into the strategic campaign plan. It's not moving because someone with power is not seeing it is not moved by this as a priority so what needs to change for them to start to see that differently and that's where you can evaluate, is it the validators, is it the messaging, is it the tactics, is it the amplification of activity that's not breaking through to them? And it's going to go back to that set of questions in my mind. Jonathan if you have anything else to add?   Jonathan: No I think that that makes a lot of sense and I think though too, if there's just continuous volume, it's just an opportunity to constantly be learning more.   Theresa:We've got one last question before we wrap up here, you all have been using Quorum for a couple of years now, I'm wondering what if you can speak to, what's a data point that you look at now, that maybe two, three years ago wasn't part of your equation - whether it's social data, something new, and what's something that you see potentially including in the future as trends and behaviors by policymakers, by advocates change?   Zach: Well, I'll give you my wish list item for the future. I know that a lot of people get to use quorum for sending emails and I imagine that you might be in a position to look across the board at what the trends are, what resonates and what breaks through, and what gets opened. I think we're always looking for context before we have to spend money on advertising or advocacy of what's going to resonate. We're using the existing data points today. We've made the case already about how different behavioral signals from different channels, associated media, or even if it's just a press release which I think you guys do a great job of capturing, give us that forecasting ability but certainly when someone's out there, advertising or someone's out there doing an advocacy campaign, and this is where the hashtag starts to come into play, the more visibility into how advocacy works or doesn't independent as a component of the larger conversation, that's always the meaningful road map to know where someone else has tried something before and what do I need to do to do it better? Strictly around the advocacy campaign and other entities trying to push their agenda.   Jonathan: Yeah I think from my perspective I continue to get excited about the developments that are made around  maps and to me the maps equate geopolitical and something I focus on that I've been talking about a lot today but the ability to kind of see it in map form and then also kind of overlay some additional data points it's important and it's helpful from a strategic perspective of the value that you can get out of it   Theresa: Awesome now before we jump off where can folks find you and learn more about Kivvit and see the work that you all are doing?   Zach:Kivvit.com. I am on Twitter I'm not a big tweeter but I watch a lot as you can imagine from different angles and it's @zacksilber and Jonathan you have a handle too I believe.   Jonathan: Yes, @jscharff1 is my Twitter handle. Theresa: Awesome thanks so much [post_title] => Metrics That Matter in Public Affairs with Kivvit's Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => metrics-that-matter-public-affairs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-10-15 23:44:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-10-15 23:44:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5789 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5789 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2021-10-15 23:42:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-10-15 23:42:59 [post_content] => Theresa Hebert: Hey everyone welcome to our next session today on understanding data points you need to know in public affairs. I'm excited to be joined by Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber from Kivvit. Jonathan is Kivvit’s Associate Director of Insights. He specializes in project management, data analysis, campaign development, and public affairs risk modeling. Jonathan analyzes dynamics between the private sector, the regional economy, infrastructure, and government policy to advise clients strategy. Prior to joining Kivvit, Jonathan served as an Economic and Policy Research Analyst at the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he began his career at the New York City Council. Zach Silber is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kivvit. A pioneer in the strategic communications field, Zach works across Kivvit’s offices to lead the firm's insights and innovation practice — an award-winning team of technologists and data strategists charged with analyzing news, social media, advertising, and audience trends and integrating that data, tools, and technologies throughout Kivvit’s work. Prior to joining Kivvit, Zach was the political director of the New York Observer so I will pass it over to you too to share your screen and take us away.   Zach Silber: Right now I’m going to give a little bit of more background on Kivvit. We're a public affairs firm working with hundreds of corporations leading foundations and institutions across the United States. Our work streams from everything including corporate reputation to crisis management to legislative advocacy, to more traditional public affairs and public education type campaigns. We're very excited to be here today, Quorum is one of our favorite partners that we work with, and my colleague Jonathan Scharff, who you just saw a moment ago, we'll go to the next slide Jonathan, just to see our faces there to remind everyone who we are.   We work very closely with the Quorum team to incorporate the type of data points that you're going to see in our presentation today throughout our work, just as Theresa said. I think today is really about walking through a process that Jonathan and I have developed as it relates to using data to inform the development of strategy across our work. That work is typically through a three-step process that I’ll discuss in a moment. The lens that I really want us to put on for this talk today is how the pendulum has shifted from reactive public affairs, where things come out in the press and you start to react to news cycles. That's still, of course, a component of what we do, but more and more as we have these mountains of data available to us, and different tools and frameworks and methodologies to synthesize data, we're trying to be as proactive as possible. We're trying to predict, forecast things before they happen.    We had the pleasure of working with Quorum a couple of weeks ago to illustrate a case study about Kivvit and our approach. It's available on the Quorum website and we suggest everyone take a look who's interested. There's a key quote in there about our approach which is really to beat the news cycle and understand trends before they break. That requires an upfront diagnostic assessment to really understand the landscape of a particular issue, or state jurisdiction, or government entity, that we are trying to interface with. That is all about the process that we're gonna walk through with you today, and it's what grounds the ability to start thinking in a predictive fashion and be able to forecast trends before they break. I’ll say at the onset it's not easy. Every different issue is going to have a different type of profile there's no one-size-fits-all but generally our methodology will have these three steps. So the diagnostic we're going to go over today to understand the history, trajectory, and context of an issue. Be able to start using that,  about how we start to forecast trends, and the strategic imperatives of what goes into a campaign. Then, we have to monitor the hell out of whatever it is we're focused on.Dynamic is the nature of the game and things are going to change on a day by day sometimes hour-by-hour basis and it's by using the mountains of data at our disposal and real-time alerts through tools like quorum that are going to be essential to keeping abreast and making sure that our strategy is is evolving with the landscape. So if you can do these three things, you have the best shot at staying ahead of trends before they break, and of course delivering results for your organization or your client, in our case. I'll turn it to Jonathan to just give a little bit of a preview also about how we use Quorum at different levels of government as well.   Jonathan Scharff: So when you think about doing the diagnostic chart analyzing the policy landscape, really trying to get at those insights and beating the news cycle. One of the ways that Quorum really helps us is that we provide this platform to standardize the information that we're consuming. When you think about how all the data in legislatures or at the federal level or local level exists, it's all disparate. If there's no one system that captures the way that bills move through a legislature, they're all using different platforms. The data sources are all different, and so when I think about using Quorum at the federal level it's almost the case of, there's so much data how do we find out what's most important and cull through it and get to those uh strategic data points? At the state level, all 50 state legislatures operating on different platforms and Quorum helps us really be able to search through all of those different data sources. At the local level, it's almost a problem of there not being enough data. So Quorum being the tool to capture what's out there and available and making that into a valuable resource that we use. A tangible example to kind of show the diagnostic landscape or the policy landscape in practice when talking about the metrics that matter, the data points that matter in a policy landscape diagnostic.    Zach mentioned we want to use an example to walk you guys through. In this instance, we want to focus on environmental social governance or ESG. It’s a rising trending topic right now globally and also in the United States. ESG involves how investors evaluate companies for their impact to the environment, their policies on diversity and inclusion, and their corporate processes. It's influential in Europe, it's important for stakeholders that are paying attention to climate change, and it's a growing kind of investment framework here in the United States. To set this conversation up, what we're showing you right here are media articles mentioning ESG over the last three years. You see this steady increase and 2021 isn't even over yet and so this is largely being driven by heightened interests in all these issues - climate change, diversity inclusion, responsible corporate governance these are all these drivers driving these media articles. So when we were talking about the challenges of staying ahead and using the data points as a way to inform decision making, the question becomes - can we use Quorum to understand these media trends that we're seeing and observing at Kivvit? What we're seeing being driven in Europe will translate into policymaking amongst elected officials in the U.S.    Zach: I would just add that it's really a conversation right now, I  think everyone who's probably on this webinar and who works in the type of public affairs environment that we do. ESG is like tattooed on our forehead, it's something that's becoming synonymous with social impact, CSR, and the different environmental and social issues that are obviously very pervasive in our society. But just to piggyback and reinforce something that Jonathan just said is, we're trying to understand the intersection of ESG with the policymaking landscape. When we look at this chart we're seeing the public landscape of media and, just to give you a little taste of the in-depth analysis we've done outside of Quorum, we understand that a lot of the media coverage is still within what I would call stakeholder or business media publications. There might be people who are doing all sorts of different activist activities around ESG topics but they're not calling it ESG. So we're looking here to understand the convergence of ESG with those more public-facing activist-driven issues and when ESG will really go mainstream on a broader level outside of the stakeholder community. But at the same time we need to understand where it is. So we know in the media we see the traction picking up here. We'll take you through where we're seeing it in the policymaker orbit.   Jonathan: So where to start this investigation into ESG? An obvious first metric is to look at, when is this activity occurring? Where are the mentions happening of ESG amongst our elected officials at the federal level? We could see right this chart from Quorum data correlates very closely to the chart we just showed you on the previous slide with media coverage. It's an obvious signal the topic's increasing amongst elected officials and this is just sort of the first glance at the analysis. It's just the basics of what's the volume of mentions over time, but it really means that we have to go deeper and really figure this out and dig in. So when we start to do that right and thinking about the data point of who is driving this conversation, who are the people that are mentioning ESG as a topic? For every kind of campaign that Kivvit does and the planning process that we think through, who has the power? That question of who has the power, who can create the change, that the client is potentially seeking really starts with understanding who's driving the conversation. And in this case, you can see Representative Waters from California has mentioned the issue the most. You dig deeper into that and you see that it’s mentions from debating the bill on the floor of the House on a bill called the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act that was passed in June. Others on this list come from the House Financial Services Committee or have other influential roles in finance overall. Seeing the partisan breakdown is obviously important contextually when it comes to devising campaign strategy to reach these decision-makers later on. Think through kind of the overall volume of mentions, then get into the who, and look at that through the lens of who has the power to create regulations to do policymaking on ESG. That's the next step of a deeper analysis of the policy landscape.    Another data point that we think is particularly valuable is using the social media data that Quorum provides to look at retweets. Here we're calling out retweet data, which is just the helpful indicator of identifying who are potential stakeholders and influencers. This is on ESG, in particular, a legislator retweeting a stakeholder group, a reporter, an advocacy organization, it's a telling sign. It gives us visibility into something they intentionally chose to do. So what shows up here are retweets of an account sharing Brookings Institute event on ESG, and then a reporter focusing on the Biden administration's approach to ESG. It's also interesting too, when you see these tweets show up and these retweets show up, when elected officials say these are my own personal views, not reflective of where I work, but at the same time we can get meaningful analysis out of that. They're retweeting it for a purpose, and perhaps they're looking towards the Brooking Institute for the ESG policy or at least consuming that information. So having these indicators of who these influential stakeholders are and using retweets as a proxy for that, helps us build this stakeholder list when it comes time to think through campaign tactics or strategy.   Another data point that's really helpful to understanding the overall kind of policy landscape and I give it we think through a geopolitical lens which puts the where at the forefront of that analysis and where are the elected officials coming from? Where do they represent? Where these issues are important, and so when you think about ESG, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that California elected officials are really leading that conversation, considering the state's focus on climate change and environmental issues, that makes a lot of sense. So this sort of verifies, and enables kind of further strategic thinking down the line when thinking about a campaign. What's also interesting is that Maryland pops up here as well but this goes to the point of not all mentions are created equal. ESG in the way that Maryland is talking about it is not about financial services, it's not about regulating companies, it's not about climate change, they're more focused on a term in affordable housing and community development called ESG, or emergency solutions grants, so you see that this conversation in Maryland is not actually related to environmental social governance as we're thinking about it and looking at it that's important because we know now to exclude that piece from the analysis. But without the kind of taking this view first and understanding why these states are popping up in the conversation, we wouldn't be able to make that strategic decision in the first place.   Zach: I would also just add that as we work with a series of different clients in different sectors on ESG, the one thing that's missing from ESG now, that maybe regulation will start to solve, is the consistent nomenclature the consistent language and taxonomy of how we talk about ESG issues, what's defined as E versus S versus G, some of it is clear cut of course but in terms of what is considered ESG is something that is still evolving on a very ongoing basis. So in the example here that Jonathan provides, obviously, a tweaking of the boolean or the search keywords can help make sure that we're talking and aligning on the right type of data that we're pulling. But I think it's also just interesting to know from this type of analysis, how people in different constituencies or different states or different sectors are talking about ESG and what they consider to be ESG topics or topics that fall under one pillar versus another.   I think that's on the next slide Jonathan, that we get more into the language of ESG, which has been a real big part of our work. Kivvit has actually developed a proprietary platform called M-ESG, if you say that together it's the word message. But it's really tracking the evolving language of the ESG space, the outputs from Quorum that you all might be familiar with are certainly available, are things like a word cloud or being able to rank the top keywords on the left side of the screen, just something to pull out that's kind of obvious there. If you see the word risk, for example, we have noticed not only in terms of policymaker communication but, just broader conversation among stakeholders about ESG, this idea of risk really comes about. It's being driven by the disclosure of climate risk really as the focal point of the ESG issue, but it means that in terms of message development for a client as we start to build a strategy, we have to be thinking about how we're talking about risk you know the management of risk the disclosure of risk how we're talking about risk, becomes the anchor to which a message framework can be built, and it's inspired in part by data points like this that we see on the left-hand side.   When we look at the right-hand side of the screen, and this is going a little bit more to my comments earlier about the trend we're trying to predict of ESG going mainstream and becoming more of a public issue versus a stakeholder or just purely a business investor issue, is how hashtags are used. Now we're all familiar that hashtags are generally employed when you're trying to do an advocacy campaign, and brand a call to action, or a certain type of issue around a hashtag. I think what we're seeing when we look at ESG, especially compared to the activity of the conversation in the US versus Europe the US has not really caught up in terms of social media usage and conversation on the ESG topic it's much more prevalent in the EU, where the SDFR  regulation has really advanced the conversation there from a public standpoint. So what we see here are obviously low counts of hashtag use outside of just ESG but again we're trying to get ahead of the trend and try to predict, to the best we can, about where there might be issues that really pick up traction from a public standpoint. And when I see #sustainability, #climatechange, #forcedlabor, #humantrafficking, #supplychain it starts to delineate the different categories of activity and engagement around ESG that we can start to try to forecast “these are going to be potential uh you know touch points where public attention is going to happen first.” The policymakers may drive it through the use of existing hashtags, the public may glom onto it or start a hashtag of their own, but the ability to understand how policymakers engage with an evolving public narrative can be start to be seen through the use of hashtags. I would just say that, looking at the list here, the emphasis on sustainability, climate change, it's not a surprise to us. But when you pair it with the point I mentioned earlier that when you see the increase, the dramatic record rise in news coverage of ESG this year, when we dive into the details of those articles, the most trending topics of that coverage, all have to do with sustainability. In 2020 there was probably more of a focus on the S and social but in 2021, we're seeing the most trending topics and hashtag use by policymakers around the E, which is about environmental sustainability. So that's an indicator that we use to build our forecast of where we see trends in ESG going and you know hopefully this illustrates exactly how we're thinking about these data points when it shows up on our Quorum screen.   Now this is my favorite feature of where Quorum gives us an output and I know that's the dorkiest thing to say but this is Wonk Week folks, this is where we could really, if you're not me, let your hair down and kind of be true to yourself. The indicator here that we're looking at are the different channels and mediums by which policymakers are communicating about ESG. I think it's notable to see that press releases here are really the primary way that policymakers are talking about this issue. As I've been saying, and again this data point reinforces this trend we're starting to predict, is that ESG in the public dialogue in the United States is not yet one of these mainstream topics that people are talking about on social media. It's not something where constituents are tagging legislators and legislators are responding to advocacy groups and constituents specifically about ESG. We know that they're talking about ESG issues - climate change, ethics, human rights, those issues get baked into ESG. But, again, what we're focused on here is, through the ESG lens, when is ESG really going to break in and become the mainstream identifier of what we're talking about outside the business community and the investor community where I think it's really entrenched today.    So what reinforces that point, is not only that this is something that is being covered by media and that's being driven through press releases with the hope that media gets to see that type of communication, but in the lack of traction and focus in terms of tweets, Facebook posts, youtube videos, we’ll typically be looking at an issue to understand is it something that's really viral, that's really in sort of the zeitgeist of conversation. And that will be reflected when you see the social channels really be the main sources of communication on-topic but the fact that this is still a very primarily press release driven issue, it's going to be more confined at this point to media coverage and, press secretaries and press assistants,  pressing send than someone getting on a platform on social media and going on a tweetstorm or having an extensive conversation about that. And that's where we are right now in terms of this trend, but again, we're giving you the framework and the types of data points that we pay attention to, so as those evolve we can update and inform our forecasts as the landscape shifts.   Where does it all come together? I think we've walked you through our thinking, like the live demonstration of when Jonathan and I look at different data points from Quorum and match it with the suite of tools that we use to help contextualize this information but it all boils down to a few key questions that we ask ourselves as we move into strategy development- which is really the core bread and butter of what Kivvit does, strategy development, strategy conceptualization andcampaign execution. It all starts with this question of who has power? Who are you trying to persuade? Is it voters? Is it decision makers? Is it one governor or is it a committee? The identification of who is most vocal on an issue can start to present that pathway for you in terms of illuminating the jurisdictions that matter, in terms of who the allies or opponents are going to be, and then it begins to really create that engagement matrix of who do I need to amplify or mitigate to be able to move an issue? And by identifying who has power, it brings the next question of what moves them? We showed you some information earlier in terms of what third parties are engaged by policymakers right these are potential opportunities for coalition building. We also saw how policymakers are communicating and how to reach them. So these are the types of data points that start to fill in these questions of who has power, what moves them, and ultimately informs what campaign is needed. On the next slide just to walk you again through some of the thinking, just based on information that we've seen here today, knowing that ESG as a conversation topic among policymakers today is being driven by media, you can start to think about media relations and op-eds as something that's going to be kind of core to the strategy. It's where the activity around ESG is taking place today but at the same time we also talked extensively about how the social media conversation, the more public viral zeitgeist of conversation engagement outside of just investors, business, leaders, and policymakers, has yet to really take shape on an ESG basis. So in our view, we would look at that, likely, as an open lane, where if we are working with a client or an entity to want to be active in the social media space, has an opportunity to really be out front on the issue. Media is sort of like the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour, but there you are on a nice open road on social media, being able to get your message across.    This is how we start to think as we put together a strategy, and certainly from the positioning of a coalition, we've already talked about the third parties and how that fits into the strategy as well.   Jonathan: Then when you start to think about taking these campaign tactics and prioritizing them accordingly because nobody has unlimited resources. Resources are finite but you need to be able to prioritize accordingly and drive your campaign to create the right strategic outcomes in the right places. This is where we think about it from a geopolitical perspective again of just campaign execution. What we're able to do is use the data points that Quorum provides to us with the analysis that we just showed you and combine that with a lot of the other information, tools, and services that we have access to build a model. What we're looking at here is an example of how you can take these data points, you can overlay them across the country and start to understand how to prioritize your campaign resources or tactics or stakeholder engagement or strategy and execute in different states in a priority order.   So if we know that ESG is a popular conversation and there's a lot of policymaking being debated in California, that's perhaps an indicator of where we need to start and think about how that impacts the other states that may or may not be paying attention there as well. This is all to say, you can think through the broad policy landscape, you can use Quorum data points to inform that, create a process to layer in other data, or just think critically about what it is that you're looking at and think through kind of what are the right campaign tactics to apply, what is the right strategy to put into place, and then how do you prioritize that accordingly to create the most impact.    Zach: That, I believe, is the content of what we wanted to share but I know this is interactive so if there are questions from the group or from Theresa and Patrick we're happy to oblige.   Theresa: Thank you so much we do have some questions coming in. First question from the audience: what about data and metrics kind of on the other side of your campaign? So you've run your campaign, what are the metrics that you look at for success? Are there any of the same ones you look to see if you move the needle? Anything like that?   Zach: yeah well I think execution of a campaign there's a whole myriad of different ways to measure it.There's everything from social media management, to digital advertising performance, to open rates of emails and clicks, and website behavior, those are all important. You're going to want to have a landing page for your campaign, most likely a social media handle, and there's a whole series of metrics that just come off of that engagement. But I think it related to where what we've just discussed comes into the execution phase, we want to know we moved the needle because if we want to create conversation and activity around a particular issue, we can use the same types of frameworks we just looked at to see to what extent the policymakers that we're engaging are participating in the conversation. Whether we've elevated the issue among policymakers overall, and then the language and nomenclature of how different policymakers or stakeholders are talking about an issue. Are they picking up on our messaging right? Are we being reactive to understanding that risk is what we need to frame our argument about? Or, is there something else we want to introduce that we want to see in that word cloud really appear as a big keyword or be a hashtag that we're introducing that really gets picked up?    I’d say around ESG right now, the opportunity is there, I think that's something you've heard me and Jonathan be stressing as we've been talking about it's certainly where a lot of companies are circling and focused on the space but, to really be a leader on ESG, is something where you can look back at the data points we've just identified and start to really see where you've introduced different aspects of strategy that have now appeared when we do the same analysis you know six months from now.   Theresa: Yeah definitely that smart kind of seeing are they using the words are they using the ideas that you presented another question on the social media side so obviously it's been a noisy year, there's lots going on with Covid, lots going on with the infrastructure bills, the many many policies happening. What have you seen breakthrough to get members’ attention on social media? So when the legislators are your target audience what gets their attention when there's so much noise?   Zach: yeah it's a great question and I think, ESG just to take a step back, it's not necessarily ESG, is we have sort of the playbook or the best practice I think that's sort of the open opportunity that we've been reinforcing but it's direct engagement right? Direct engagement where a constituent, or a story of a constituent, or just a real average person is something that can really humanize an issue. That is a consistent thread we see in campaigns on social media and news headlines, that when you can really boil down the issue to a story rather than like a particular event, that is sort of corporate-facing versus person-facing that tends to get not only the pickup among policymakers, but because there's a larger constituency elevating the issue because the people are kind of bonding together, that's really what social media kind of is designed for and what we've seen resonate. Jonathan, I don't know if you have any other perspective that you'd want to add but I think sort of the humanizing and personal stories is something that across sectors we've seen uh really pick up and resonate.   Jonathan: Yeah and I think it kind of points back to the geopolitical a bit, where you want to identify the area, the where. And the constituents within that legislator’s district, those are critical voices as Zach was saying, so that's kind of where we can start to think through how can we prioritize by geography to reach the most compelling voices that are going to have an impact with those legislators.   Theresa: So another question about how you kind of blend this very quantitative analysis that you are pulling from Quorum from other tools and introduce some of those qualitative data points that you might have from past experiences from personal relationships, how do you incorporate those into your approach to making decisions about how to move forward?   Zach: It's a wonderful question and I think it's funny that I, as the Chief Innovation Officer of a company who work with Jonathan on data insights and analytics team will say this but, the technology is not the hard part the technology is available. There are mountains of data. The hard part is building the methodology of how to do what you just asked, Theresa. It comes, I think most importantly, from building a culture. Obviously, you need the right expertise and sort of strategic resources within your firm. People who have life experience working on Capitol Hill, in different agencies, or in different sectors and you could seek that out obviously not just within your own firm but through relationships. But making sure that you're bringing data points to them that they can look at and help you contextualize, and this is not like a secret behind the curtain thing that I'm telling you, but the data has to tell a story you can't get someone with a strategic mind for all the experience they have in you know a particular area to look at a spreadsheet and just be like “oh voila here's the insight that you were missing” by just being a quant. The qualitative has to be presented to those internal either colleagues or just stakeholders in a way that really builds a narrative that tells the story of what we're seeing in the data hopefully what we've walked you through today around ESG gives you a preview of how that's done but it gets sort of the conversation going and when I say conversation, it's true that. It's not there's no AI to it, it's just you know, we're talking it through and really having a strategic conversation. But in order to facilitate that as much as that's like a process, as much as like the quant, it has to be presented in the right way. I go back to building a data-driven culture the thing I am most proud of at Kivvit is that we built a data-driven culture where people on the strategic side of our business who are working with clients every day who may have backgrounds in media relations or digital advertising or just creative strategy and writing copy for ads they appreciate where the data comes, from they see it how it can enhance and accelerate their work, they don't view it as a threat they view it as complementary and they feel empowered to push back when something doesn't make sense. That's part of a culture you have to build and that's the hard building blocks to facilitate I think what was just asked.   Theresa: And kind of follow follow-up that this is obviously a snapshot in time on ESG, it gives us the historical data, say it was a client you were working with on this issue, as a hypothetical, how often are you checking back in on these metrics to see has it transitioned from press releases to Twitter, has it spiked? Is it experiences that lead you to go back to the data, or data that lead the way? What's your order of operations there?   Zach: yeah and i think it's obviously going to be case by case which is not the answer you want. You know you're going to have your alert set up right step three of our process and I think what Quorum does a great job at as relates to understanding when you know a message goes out from a policymaker somewhere in the United States. It's paying attention to that and if it registers is enough impact just in terms of you're seeing the pickup or someone notable you know you could start to re-evaluate but you know typically i would say you're not going to rechecking Quorum every day, you're going to be seeing that ESG needle move, and that's where I think, as much as we really use Quorum, as you can see, and value what it does, it's one component of a large suite of tools and analytics that we're considering. We're watching the public narrative, we're watching what's trending in news coverage, we're understanding the behavior and the interaction of news consumers broadly with what's resonating with them. When we start to paint that picture with these different components, it informs us more about, is it the policymaker arena that we need to focus on or somewhere else? But when we see those lights going off that's sort of where we'll say “okay we need to go back refresh what we have.”   Theresa: Yeah and obviously ESG, while not the biggest issue, while a growing issue, there are a lot of policies out there that folks on this call work on that are pretty niched, how do you go about this process on a more niche issue that doesn't maybe have the scale to fill up all of these graphs kind of when something is either new that doesn't hasn't quite broken through yet or it's in the weeds of some specific policy?   Zach: You want to take that Jonathan?   Jonathan:Yeah so I think that the fact that it's new is the opportunity, That's your opportunity to fill up the graphs and charts with the data and information that you want to drive. And so from that perspective, while you're not able to view what's out there directly relevant to your issue, I mean there are other proxy issues out there that can provide some sort of indicator as to how an elected official might approach an issue based upon previous experience with something similar. That's something that we've done often where we take a look at these proxy issues that we think could be helpful indicators as to how they would feel about whatever this niche issue is, so you could really do the policy landscape approach and think through several issues that kind of get you in the ballpark and then start to think through what are the actual kind of insightful pieces that you can draw from to inform your own strategy about something that's new and niche.   Zach: Yeah and with ESG, as we've been saying all along, we're taking a little bit of like a strict lens about ESG versus you know the issues like climate change, social justice, that are very much out there that you can find you know those issues so if you want to predict where this or the intersection of ESG is with the public on a particular issue that's your road map. But I think it works just as much, and Jonathan and I do an extensive amount of work around infrastructure and if someone's trying to build a data center somewhere you know there may not be a local legislator who's commented on their stance on data centers before, but maybe there was a large construction project that could be like a mixed-use housing commercial thing, it could be a new road and you could see how they react to something else that involves landmarks, and that's a great indicator of behavior. A lot of why we rely on social media and things that policymaker are generating rather than just reading about in the news from a reactive standpoint, is that we're allowing behavior to send the signal right we're allowing them to tell us what direction they're viewing something or how they feel or what they engage on. And those past precedents really provide the roadmap to the best of our abilities and then constant monitoring as you actually start to introduce becomes important but as Jonathan said and I want to reinforce the opportunity that it's new but in order to keep that opportunity as an opportunity and not turn into a risk you need proactive engagement. So the diagnostic that we've talked about is almost even more important I’d say Jonathan if not certainly equally important to making sure that you are doing a proactive plan so that as information starts to seep out about this new thing that there's not misunderstanding miscommunication misperception that kind of spirals out and now you're hiring Kivvit not to build your strategy but to contain a crisis   Theresa: Yeah, I think that the issue of proxy issues is really interesting like what's in the general like the same area that you can infer from and pull into a new topic is really interesting. I'm wondering what your approach would be if you do this diagnostic and there's tons of dialogue, but there hasn't been a lot of action where it's drumming up all over social media but bills aren't necessarily moving, how would you push to translate that dialogue into action?   Zach: Who has power? What moves them? And what's the campaign that's needed? I think that the framework that we've identified at the end is what we try to take that information and start to synthesize into the strategic campaign plan. It's not moving because someone with power is not seeing it is not moved by this as a priority so what needs to change for them to start to see that differently and that's where you can evaluate, is it the validators, is it the messaging, is it the tactics, is it the amplification of activity that's not breaking through to them? And it's going to go back to that set of questions in my mind. Jonathan if you have anything else to add?   Jonathan: No I think that that makes a lot of sense and I think though too, if there's just continuous volume, it's just an opportunity to constantly be learning more.   Theresa:We've got one last question before we wrap up here, you all have been using Quorum for a couple of years now, I'm wondering what if you can speak to, what's a data point that you look at now, that maybe two, three years ago wasn't part of your equation - whether it's social data, something new, and what's something that you see potentially including in the future as trends and behaviors by policymakers, by advocates change?   Zach: Well, I'll give you my wish list item for the future. I know that a lot of people get to use quorum for sending emails and I imagine that you might be in a position to look across the board at what the trends are, what resonates and what breaks through, and what gets opened. I think we're always looking for context before we have to spend money on advertising or advocacy of what's going to resonate. We're using the existing data points today. We've made the case already about how different behavioral signals from different channels, associated media, or even if it's just a press release which I think you guys do a great job of capturing, give us that forecasting ability but certainly when someone's out there, advertising or someone's out there doing an advocacy campaign, and this is where the hashtag starts to come into play, the more visibility into how advocacy works or doesn't independent as a component of the larger conversation, that's always the meaningful road map to know where someone else has tried something before and what do I need to do to do it better? Strictly around the advocacy campaign and other entities trying to push their agenda.   Jonathan: Yeah I think from my perspective I continue to get excited about the developments that are made around  maps and to me the maps equate geopolitical and something I focus on that I've been talking about a lot today but the ability to kind of see it in map form and then also kind of overlay some additional data points it's important and it's helpful from a strategic perspective of the value that you can get out of it   Theresa: Awesome now before we jump off where can folks find you and learn more about Kivvit and see the work that you all are doing?   Zach:Kivvit.com. I am on Twitter I'm not a big tweeter but I watch a lot as you can imagine from different angles and it's @zacksilber and Jonathan you have a handle too I believe.   Jonathan: Yes, @jscharff1 is my Twitter handle. 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Metrics That Matter in Public Affairs with Kivvit’s Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber

Metrics That Matter in Public Affairs with Kivvit’s Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber

Theresa Hebert: Hey everyone welcome to our next session today on understanding data points you need to know in public affairs. I’m excited to be joined by Jonathan Scharff and Zach Silber from Kivvit. Jonathan is Kivvit’s Associate Director of Insights. He specializes in project management, data analysis, campaign development, and public affairs risk modeling. Jonathan analyzes dynamics between the private sector, the regional economy, infrastructure, and government policy to advise clients strategy. Prior to joining Kivvit, Jonathan served as an Economic and Policy Research Analyst at the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he began his career at the New York City Council. Zach Silber is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kivvit. A pioneer in the strategic communications field, Zach works across Kivvit’s offices to lead the firm’s insights and innovation practice — an award-winning team of technologists and data strategists charged with analyzing news, social media, advertising, and audience trends and integrating that data, tools, and technologies throughout Kivvit’s work. Prior to joining Kivvit, Zach was the political director of the New York Observer so I will pass it over to you too to share your screen and take us away.

 

Zach Silber: Right now I’m going to give a little bit of more background on Kivvit. We’re a public affairs firm working with hundreds of corporations leading foundations and institutions across the United States. Our work streams from everything including corporate reputation to crisis management to legislative advocacy, to more traditional public affairs and public education type campaigns. We’re very excited to be here today, Quorum is one of our favorite partners that we work with, and my colleague Jonathan Scharff, who you just saw a moment ago, we’ll go to the next slide Jonathan, just to see our faces there to remind everyone who we are.

 

We work very closely with the Quorum team to incorporate the type of data points that you’re going to see in our presentation today throughout our work, just as Theresa said. I think today is really about walking through a process that Jonathan and I have developed as it relates to using data to inform the development of strategy across our work. That work is typically through a three-step process that I’ll discuss in a moment. The lens that I really want us to put on for this talk today is how the pendulum has shifted from reactive public affairs, where things come out in the press and you start to react to news cycles. That’s still, of course, a component of what we do, but more and more as we have these mountains of data available to us, and different tools and frameworks and methodologies to synthesize data, we’re trying to be as proactive as possible. We’re trying to predict, forecast things before they happen. 

 

We had the pleasure of working with Quorum a couple of weeks ago to illustrate a case study about Kivvit and our approach. It’s available on the Quorum website and we suggest everyone take a look who’s interested. There’s a key quote in there about our approach which is really to beat the news cycle and understand trends before they break. That requires an upfront diagnostic assessment to really understand the landscape of a particular issue, or state jurisdiction, or government entity, that we are trying to interface with. That is all about the process that we’re gonna walk through with you today, and it’s what grounds the ability to start thinking in a predictive fashion and be able to forecast trends before they break. I’ll say at the onset it’s not easy. Every different issue is going to have a different type of profile there’s no one-size-fits-all but generally our methodology will have these three steps. So the diagnostic we’re going to go over today to understand the history, trajectory, and context of an issue. Be able to start using that,  about how we start to forecast trends, and the strategic imperatives of what goes into a campaign. Then, we have to monitor the hell out of whatever it is we’re focused on.Dynamic is the nature of the game and things are going to change on a day by day sometimes hour-by-hour basis and it’s by using the mountains of data at our disposal and real-time alerts through tools like quorum that are going to be essential to keeping abreast and making sure that our strategy is is evolving with the landscape. So if you can do these three things, you have the best shot at staying ahead of trends before they break, and of course delivering results for your organization or your client, in our case. I’ll turn it to Jonathan to just give a little bit of a preview also about how we use Quorum at different levels of government as well.

 

Jonathan Scharff: So when you think about doing the diagnostic chart analyzing the policy landscape, really trying to get at those insights and beating the news cycle. One of the ways that Quorum really helps us is that we provide this platform to standardize the information that we’re consuming. When you think about how all the data in legislatures or at the federal level or local level exists, it’s all disparate. If there’s no one system that captures the way that bills move through a legislature, they’re all using different platforms. The data sources are all different, and so when I think about using Quorum at the federal level it’s almost the case of, there’s so much data how do we find out what’s most important and cull through it and get to those uh strategic data points? At the state level, all 50 state legislatures operating on different platforms and Quorum helps us really be able to search through all of those different data sources. At the local level, it’s almost a problem of there not being enough data. So Quorum being the tool to capture what’s out there and available and making that into a valuable resource that we use. A tangible example to kind of show the diagnostic landscape or the policy landscape in practice when talking about the metrics that matter, the data points that matter in a policy landscape diagnostic. 

 

Zach mentioned we want to use an example to walk you guys through. In this instance, we want to focus on environmental social governance or ESG. It’s a rising trending topic right now globally and also in the United States. ESG involves how investors evaluate companies for their impact to the environment, their policies on diversity and inclusion, and their corporate processes. It’s influential in Europe, it’s important for stakeholders that are paying attention to climate change, and it’s a growing kind of investment framework here in the United States. To set this conversation up, what we’re showing you right here are media articles mentioning ESG over the last three years. You see this steady increase and 2021 isn’t even over yet and so this is largely being driven by heightened interests in all these issues – climate change, diversity inclusion, responsible corporate governance these are all these drivers driving these media articles. So when we were talking about the challenges of staying ahead and using the data points as a way to inform decision making, the question becomes – can we use Quorum to understand these media trends that we’re seeing and observing at Kivvit? What we’re seeing being driven in Europe will translate into policymaking amongst elected officials in the U.S. 

 

Zach: I would just add that it’s really a conversation right now, I  think everyone who’s probably on this webinar and who works in the type of public affairs environment that we do. ESG is like tattooed on our forehead, it’s something that’s becoming synonymous with social impact, CSR, and the different environmental and social issues that are obviously very pervasive in our society. But just to piggyback and reinforce something that Jonathan just said is, we’re trying to understand the intersection of ESG with the policymaking landscape. When we look at this chart we’re seeing the public landscape of media and, just to give you a little taste of the in-depth analysis we’ve done outside of Quorum, we understand that a lot of the media coverage is still within what I would call stakeholder or business media publications. There might be people who are doing all sorts of different activist activities around ESG topics but they’re not calling it ESG. So we’re looking here to understand the convergence of ESG with those more public-facing activist-driven issues and when ESG will really go mainstream on a broader level outside of the stakeholder community. But at the same time we need to understand where it is. So we know in the media we see the traction picking up here. We’ll take you through where we’re seeing it in the policymaker orbit.

 

Jonathan: So where to start this investigation into ESG? An obvious first metric is to look at, when is this activity occurring? Where are the mentions happening of ESG amongst our elected officials at the federal level? We could see right this chart from Quorum data correlates very closely to the chart we just showed you on the previous slide with media coverage. It’s an obvious signal the topic’s increasing amongst elected officials and this is just sort of the first glance at the analysis. It’s just the basics of what’s the volume of mentions over time, but it really means that we have to go deeper and really figure this out and dig in. So when we start to do that right and thinking about the data point of who is driving this conversation, who are the people that are mentioning ESG as a topic? For every kind of campaign that Kivvit does and the planning process that we think through, who has the power? That question of who has the power, who can create the change, that the client is potentially seeking really starts with understanding who’s driving the conversation. And in this case, you can see Representative Waters from California has mentioned the issue the most. You dig deeper into that and you see that it’s mentions from debating the bill on the floor of the House on a bill called the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act that was passed in June. Others on this list come from the House Financial Services Committee or have other influential roles in finance overall. Seeing the partisan breakdown is obviously important contextually when it comes to devising campaign strategy to reach these decision-makers later on. Think through kind of the overall volume of mentions, then get into the who, and look at that through the lens of who has the power to create regulations to do policymaking on ESG. That’s the next step of a deeper analysis of the policy landscape. 

 

Another data point that we think is particularly valuable is using the social media data that Quorum provides to look at retweets. Here we’re calling out retweet data, which is just the helpful indicator of identifying who are potential stakeholders and influencers. This is on ESG, in particular, a legislator retweeting a stakeholder group, a reporter, an advocacy organization, it’s a telling sign. It gives us visibility into something they intentionally chose to do. So what shows up here are retweets of an account sharing Brookings Institute event on ESG, and then a reporter focusing on the Biden administration’s approach to ESG. It’s also interesting too, when you see these tweets show up and these retweets show up, when elected officials say these are my own personal views, not reflective of where I work, but at the same time we can get meaningful analysis out of that. They’re retweeting it for a purpose, and perhaps they’re looking towards the Brooking Institute for the ESG policy or at least consuming that information. So having these indicators of who these influential stakeholders are and using retweets as a proxy for that, helps us build this stakeholder list when it comes time to think through campaign tactics or strategy.

 

Another data point that’s really helpful to understanding the overall kind of policy landscape and I give it we think through a geopolitical lens which puts the where at the forefront of that analysis and where are the elected officials coming from? Where do they represent? Where these issues are important, and so when you think about ESG, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that California elected officials are really leading that conversation, considering the state’s focus on climate change and environmental issues, that makes a lot of sense. So this sort of verifies, and enables kind of further strategic thinking down the line when thinking about a campaign. What’s also interesting is that Maryland pops up here as well but this goes to the point of not all mentions are created equal. ESG in the way that Maryland is talking about it is not about financial services, it’s not about regulating companies, it’s not about climate change, they’re more focused on a term in affordable housing and community development called ESG, or emergency solutions grants, so you see that this conversation in Maryland is not actually related to environmental social governance as we’re thinking about it and looking at it that’s important because we know now to exclude that piece from the analysis. But without the kind of taking this view first and understanding why these states are popping up in the conversation, we wouldn’t be able to make that strategic decision in the first place.

 

Zach: I would also just add that as we work with a series of different clients in different sectors on ESG, the one thing that’s missing from ESG now, that maybe regulation will start to solve, is the consistent nomenclature the consistent language and taxonomy of how we talk about ESG issues, what’s defined as E versus S versus G, some of it is clear cut of course but in terms of what is considered ESG is something that is still evolving on a very ongoing basis. So in the example here that Jonathan provides, obviously, a tweaking of the boolean or the search keywords can help make sure that we’re talking and aligning on the right type of data that we’re pulling. But I think it’s also just interesting to know from this type of analysis, how people in different constituencies or different states or different sectors are talking about ESG and what they consider to be ESG topics or topics that fall under one pillar versus another.

 

I think that’s on the next slide Jonathan, that we get more into the language of ESG, which has been a real big part of our work. Kivvit has actually developed a proprietary platform called M-ESG, if you say that together it’s the word message. But it’s really tracking the evolving language of the ESG space, the outputs from Quorum that you all might be familiar with are certainly available, are things like a word cloud or being able to rank the top keywords on the left side of the screen, just something to pull out that’s kind of obvious there. If you see the word risk, for example, we have noticed not only in terms of policymaker communication but, just broader conversation among stakeholders about ESG, this idea of risk really comes about. It’s being driven by the disclosure of climate risk really as the focal point of the ESG issue, but it means that in terms of message development for a client as we start to build a strategy, we have to be thinking about how we’re talking about risk you know the management of risk the disclosure of risk how we’re talking about risk, becomes the anchor to which a message framework can be built, and it’s inspired in part by data points like this that we see on the left-hand side.

 

When we look at the right-hand side of the screen, and this is going a little bit more to my comments earlier about the trend we’re trying to predict of ESG going mainstream and becoming more of a public issue versus a stakeholder or just purely a business investor issue, is how hashtags are used. Now we’re all familiar that hashtags are generally employed when you’re trying to do an advocacy campaign, and brand a call to action, or a certain type of issue around a hashtag. I think what we’re seeing when we look at ESG, especially compared to the activity of the conversation in the US versus Europe the US has not really caught up in terms of social media usage and conversation on the ESG topic it’s much more prevalent in the EU, where the SDFR  regulation has really advanced the conversation there from a public standpoint. So what we see here are obviously low counts of hashtag use outside of just ESG but again we’re trying to get ahead of the trend and try to predict, to the best we can, about where there might be issues that really pick up traction from a public standpoint. And when I see #sustainability, #climatechange, #forcedlabor, #humantrafficking, #supplychain it starts to delineate the different categories of activity and engagement around ESG that we can start to try to forecast “these are going to be potential uh you know touch points where public attention is going to happen first.” The policymakers may drive it through the use of existing hashtags, the public may glom onto it or start a hashtag of their own, but the ability to understand how policymakers engage with an evolving public narrative can be start to be seen through the use of hashtags. I would just say that, looking at the list here, the emphasis on sustainability, climate change, it’s not a surprise to us. But when you pair it with the point I mentioned earlier that when you see the increase, the dramatic record rise in news coverage of ESG this year, when we dive into the details of those articles, the most trending topics of that coverage, all have to do with sustainability. In 2020 there was probably more of a focus on the S and social but in 2021, we’re seeing the most trending topics and hashtag use by policymakers around the E, which is about environmental sustainability. So that’s an indicator that we use to build our forecast of where we see trends in ESG going and you know hopefully this illustrates exactly how we’re thinking about these data points when it shows up on our Quorum screen.

 

Now this is my favorite feature of where Quorum gives us an output and I know that’s the dorkiest thing to say but this is Wonk Week folks, this is where we could really, if you’re not me, let your hair down and kind of be true to yourself. The indicator here that we’re looking at are the different channels and mediums by which policymakers are communicating about ESG. I think it’s notable to see that press releases here are really the primary way that policymakers are talking about this issue. As I’ve been saying, and again this data point reinforces this trend we’re starting to predict, is that ESG in the public dialogue in the United States is not yet one of these mainstream topics that people are talking about on social media. It’s not something where constituents are tagging legislators and legislators are responding to advocacy groups and constituents specifically about ESG. We know that they’re talking about ESG issues – climate change, ethics, human rights, those issues get baked into ESG. But, again, what we’re focused on here is, through the ESG lens, when is ESG really going to break in and become the mainstream identifier of what we’re talking about outside the business community and the investor community where I think it’s really entrenched today. 

 

So what reinforces that point, is not only that this is something that is being covered by media and that’s being driven through press releases with the hope that media gets to see that type of communication, but in the lack of traction and focus in terms of tweets, Facebook posts, youtube videos, we’ll typically be looking at an issue to understand is it something that’s really viral, that’s really in sort of the zeitgeist of conversation. And that will be reflected when you see the social channels really be the main sources of communication on-topic but the fact that this is still a very primarily press release driven issue, it’s going to be more confined at this point to media coverage and, press secretaries and press assistants,  pressing send than someone getting on a platform on social media and going on a tweetstorm or having an extensive conversation about that. And that’s where we are right now in terms of this trend, but again, we’re giving you the framework and the types of data points that we pay attention to, so as those evolve we can update and inform our forecasts as the landscape shifts.

 

Where does it all come together? I think we’ve walked you through our thinking, like the live demonstration of when Jonathan and I look at different data points from Quorum and match it with the suite of tools that we use to help contextualize this information but it all boils down to a few key questions that we ask ourselves as we move into strategy development- which is really the core bread and butter of what Kivvit does, strategy development, strategy conceptualization andcampaign execution. It all starts with this question of who has power? Who are you trying to persuade? Is it voters? Is it decision makers? Is it one governor or is it a committee? The identification of who is most vocal on an issue can start to present that pathway for you in terms of illuminating the jurisdictions that matter, in terms of who the allies or opponents are going to be, and then it begins to really create that engagement matrix of who do I need to amplify or mitigate to be able to move an issue? And by identifying who has power, it brings the next question of what moves them? We showed you some information earlier in terms of what third parties are engaged by policymakers right these are potential opportunities for coalition building. We also saw how policymakers are communicating and how to reach them. So these are the types of data points that start to fill in these questions of who has power, what moves them, and ultimately informs what campaign is needed. On the next slide just to walk you again through some of the thinking, just based on information that we’ve seen here today, knowing that ESG as a conversation topic among policymakers today is being driven by media, you can start to think about media relations and op-eds as something that’s going to be kind of core to the strategy. It’s where the activity around ESG is taking place today but at the same time we also talked extensively about how the social media conversation, the more public viral zeitgeist of conversation engagement outside of just investors, business, leaders, and policymakers, has yet to really take shape on an ESG basis. So in our view, we would look at that, likely, as an open lane, where if we are working with a client or an entity to want to be active in the social media space, has an opportunity to really be out front on the issue. Media is sort of like the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour, but there you are on a nice open road on social media, being able to get your message across. 

 

This is how we start to think as we put together a strategy, and certainly from the positioning of a coalition, we’ve already talked about the third parties and how that fits into the strategy as well.

 

Jonathan: Then when you start to think about taking these campaign tactics and prioritizing them accordingly because nobody has unlimited resources. Resources are finite but you need to be able to prioritize accordingly and drive your campaign to create the right strategic outcomes in the right places. This is where we think about it from a geopolitical perspective again of just campaign execution. What we’re able to do is use the data points that Quorum provides to us with the analysis that we just showed you and combine that with a lot of the other information, tools, and services that we have access to build a model. What we’re looking at here is an example of how you can take these data points, you can overlay them across the country and start to understand how to prioritize your campaign resources or tactics or stakeholder engagement or strategy and execute in different states in a priority order.

 

So if we know that ESG is a popular conversation and there’s a lot of policymaking being debated in California, that’s perhaps an indicator of where we need to start and think about how that impacts the other states that may or may not be paying attention there as well. This is all to say, you can think through the broad policy landscape, you can use Quorum data points to inform that, create a process to layer in other data, or just think critically about what it is that you’re looking at and think through kind of what are the right campaign tactics to apply, what is the right strategy to put into place, and then how do you prioritize that accordingly to create the most impact. 

 

Zach: That, I believe, is the content of what we wanted to share but I know this is interactive so if there are questions from the group or from Theresa and Patrick we’re happy to oblige.

 

Theresa: Thank you so much we do have some questions coming in. First question from the audience: what about data and metrics kind of on the other side of your campaign? So you’ve run your campaign, what are the metrics that you look at for success? Are there any of the same ones you look to see if you move the needle? Anything like that?

 

Zach: yeah well I think execution of a campaign there’s a whole myriad of different ways to measure it.There’s everything from social media management, to digital advertising performance, to open rates of emails and clicks, and website behavior, those are all important. You’re going to want to have a landing page for your campaign, most likely a social media handle, and there’s a whole series of metrics that just come off of that engagement. But I think it related to where what we’ve just discussed comes into the execution phase, we want to know we moved the needle because if we want to create conversation and activity around a particular issue, we can use the same types of frameworks we just looked at to see to what extent the policymakers that we’re engaging are participating in the conversation. Whether we’ve elevated the issue among policymakers overall, and then the language and nomenclature of how different policymakers or stakeholders are talking about an issue. Are they picking up on our messaging right? Are we being reactive to understanding that risk is what we need to frame our argument about? Or, is there something else we want to introduce that we want to see in that word cloud really appear as a big keyword or be a hashtag that we’re introducing that really gets picked up? 

 

I’d say around ESG right now, the opportunity is there, I think that’s something you’ve heard me and Jonathan be stressing as we’ve been talking about it’s certainly where a lot of companies are circling and focused on the space but, to really be a leader on ESG, is something where you can look back at the data points we’ve just identified and start to really see where you’ve introduced different aspects of strategy that have now appeared when we do the same analysis you know six months from now.

 

Theresa: Yeah definitely that smart kind of seeing are they using the words are they using the ideas that you presented another question on the social media side so obviously it’s been a noisy year, there’s lots going on with Covid, lots going on with the infrastructure bills, the many many policies happening. What have you seen breakthrough to get members’ attention on social media? So when the legislators are your target audience what gets their attention when there’s so much noise?

 

Zach: yeah it’s a great question and I think, ESG just to take a step back, it’s not necessarily ESG, is we have sort of the playbook or the best practice I think that’s sort of the open opportunity that we’ve been reinforcing but it’s direct engagement right? Direct engagement where a constituent, or a story of a constituent, or just a real average person is something that can really humanize an issue. That is a consistent thread we see in campaigns on social media and news headlines, that when you can really boil down the issue to a story rather than like a particular event, that is sort of corporate-facing versus person-facing that tends to get not only the pickup among policymakers, but because there’s a larger constituency elevating the issue because the people are kind of bonding together, that’s really what social media kind of is designed for and what we’ve seen resonate. Jonathan, I don’t know if you have any other perspective that you’d want to add but I think sort of the humanizing and personal stories is something that across sectors we’ve seen uh really pick up and resonate.

 

Jonathan: Yeah and I think it kind of points back to the geopolitical a bit, where you want to identify the area, the where. And the constituents within that legislator’s district, those are critical voices as Zach was saying, so that’s kind of where we can start to think through how can we prioritize by geography to reach the most compelling voices that are going to have an impact with those legislators.

 

Theresa: So another question about how you kind of blend this very quantitative analysis that you are pulling from Quorum from other tools and introduce some of those qualitative data points that you might have from past experiences from personal relationships, how do you incorporate those into your approach to making decisions about how to move forward?

 

Zach: It’s a wonderful question and I think it’s funny that I, as the Chief Innovation Officer of a company who work with Jonathan on data insights and analytics team will say this but, the technology is not the hard part the technology is available. There are mountains of data. The hard part is building the methodology of how to do what you just asked, Theresa. It comes, I think most importantly, from building a culture. Obviously, you need the right expertise and sort of strategic resources within your firm. People who have life experience working on Capitol Hill, in different agencies, or in different sectors and you could seek that out obviously not just within your own firm but through relationships. But making sure that you’re bringing data points to them that they can look at and help you contextualize, and this is not like a secret behind the curtain thing that I’m telling you, but the data has to tell a story you can’t get someone with a strategic mind for all the experience they have in you know a particular area to look at a spreadsheet and just be like “oh voila here’s the insight that you were missing” by just being a quant. The qualitative has to be presented to those internal either colleagues or just stakeholders in a way that really builds a narrative that tells the story of what we’re seeing in the data hopefully what we’ve walked you through today around ESG gives you a preview of how that’s done but it gets sort of the conversation going and when I say conversation, it’s true that. It’s not there’s no AI to it, it’s just you know, we’re talking it through and really having a strategic conversation. But in order to facilitate that as much as that’s like a process, as much as like the quant, it has to be presented in the right way. I go back to building a data-driven culture the thing I am most proud of at Kivvit is that we built a data-driven culture where people on the strategic side of our business who are working with clients every day who may have backgrounds in media relations or digital advertising or just creative strategy and writing copy for ads they appreciate where the data comes, from they see it how it can enhance and accelerate their work, they don’t view it as a threat they view it as complementary and they feel empowered to push back when something doesn’t make sense. That’s part of a culture you have to build and that’s the hard building blocks to facilitate I think what was just asked.

 

Theresa: And kind of follow follow-up that this is obviously a snapshot in time on ESG, it gives us the historical data, say it was a client you were working with on this issue, as a hypothetical, how often are you checking back in on these metrics to see has it transitioned from press releases to Twitter, has it spiked? Is it experiences that lead you to go back to the data, or data that lead the way? What’s your order of operations there?

 

Zach: yeah and i think it’s obviously going to be case by case which is not the answer you want. You know you’re going to have your alert set up right step three of our process and I think what Quorum does a great job at as relates to understanding when you know a message goes out from a policymaker somewhere in the United States. It’s paying attention to that and if it registers is enough impact just in terms of you’re seeing the pickup or someone notable you know you could start to re-evaluate but you know typically i would say you’re not going to rechecking Quorum every day, you’re going to be seeing that ESG needle move, and that’s where I think, as much as we really use Quorum, as you can see, and value what it does, it’s one component of a large suite of tools and analytics that we’re considering. We’re watching the public narrative, we’re watching what’s trending in news coverage, we’re understanding the behavior and the interaction of news consumers broadly with what’s resonating with them. When we start to paint that picture with these different components, it informs us more about, is it the policymaker arena that we need to focus on or somewhere else? But when we see those lights going off that’s sort of where we’ll say “okay we need to go back refresh what we have.”

 

Theresa: Yeah and obviously ESG, while not the biggest issue, while a growing issue, there are a lot of policies out there that folks on this call work on that are pretty niched, how do you go about this process on a more niche issue that doesn’t maybe have the scale to fill up all of these graphs kind of when something is either new that doesn’t hasn’t quite broken through yet or it’s in the weeds of some specific policy?

 

Zach: You want to take that Jonathan?

 

Jonathan:Yeah so I think that the fact that it’s new is the opportunity, That’s your opportunity to fill up the graphs and charts with the data and information that you want to drive. And so from that perspective, while you’re not able to view what’s out there directly relevant to your issue, I mean there are other proxy issues out there that can provide some sort of indicator as to how an elected official might approach an issue based upon previous experience with something similar. That’s something that we’ve done often where we take a look at these proxy issues that we think could be helpful indicators as to how they would feel about whatever this niche issue is, so you could really do the policy landscape approach and think through several issues that kind of get you in the ballpark and then start to think through what are the actual kind of insightful pieces that you can draw from to inform your own strategy about something that’s new and niche.

 

Zach: Yeah and with ESG, as we’ve been saying all along, we’re taking a little bit of like a strict lens about ESG versus you know the issues like climate change, social justice, that are very much out there that you can find you know those issues so if you want to predict where this or the intersection of ESG is with the public on a particular issue that’s your road map. But I think it works just as much, and Jonathan and I do an extensive amount of work around infrastructure and if someone’s trying to build a data center somewhere you know there may not be a local legislator who’s commented on their stance on data centers before, but maybe there was a large construction project that could be like a mixed-use housing commercial thing, it could be a new road and you could see how they react to something else that involves landmarks, and that’s a great indicator of behavior. A lot of why we rely on social media and things that policymaker are generating rather than just reading about in the news from a reactive standpoint, is that we’re allowing behavior to send the signal right we’re allowing them to tell us what direction they’re viewing something or how they feel or what they engage on. And those past precedents really provide the roadmap to the best of our abilities and then constant monitoring as you actually start to introduce becomes important but as Jonathan said and I want to reinforce the opportunity that it’s new but in order to keep that opportunity as an opportunity and not turn into a risk you need proactive engagement. So the diagnostic that we’ve talked about is almost even more important I’d say Jonathan if not certainly equally important to making sure that you are doing a proactive plan so that as information starts to seep out about this new thing that there’s not misunderstanding miscommunication misperception that kind of spirals out and now you’re hiring Kivvit not to build your strategy but to contain a crisis

 

Theresa: Yeah, I think that the issue of proxy issues is really interesting like what’s in the general like the same area that you can infer from and pull into a new topic is really interesting. I’m wondering what your approach would be if you do this diagnostic and there’s tons of dialogue, but there hasn’t been a lot of action where it’s drumming up all over social media but bills aren’t necessarily moving, how would you push to translate that dialogue into action?

 

Zach: Who has power? What moves them? And what’s the campaign that’s needed? I think that the framework that we’ve identified at the end is what we try to take that information and start to synthesize into the strategic campaign plan. It’s not moving because someone with power is not seeing it is not moved by this as a priority so what needs to change for them to start to see that differently and that’s where you can evaluate, is it the validators, is it the messaging, is it the tactics, is it the amplification of activity that’s not breaking through to them? And it’s going to go back to that set of questions in my mind. Jonathan if you have anything else to add?

 

Jonathan: No I think that that makes a lot of sense and I think though too, if there’s just continuous volume, it’s just an opportunity to constantly be learning more.

 

Theresa:We’ve got one last question before we wrap up here, you all have been using Quorum for a couple of years now, I’m wondering what if you can speak to, what’s a data point that you look at now, that maybe two, three years ago wasn’t part of your equation – whether it’s social data, something new, and what’s something that you see potentially including in the future as trends and behaviors by policymakers, by advocates change?

 

Zach: Well, I’ll give you my wish list item for the future. I know that a lot of people get to use quorum for sending emails and I imagine that you might be in a position to look across the board at what the trends are, what resonates and what breaks through, and what gets opened. I think we’re always looking for context before we have to spend money on advertising or advocacy of what’s going to resonate. We’re using the existing data points today. We’ve made the case already about how different behavioral signals from different channels, associated media, or even if it’s just a press release which I think you guys do a great job of capturing, give us that forecasting ability but certainly when someone’s out there, advertising or someone’s out there doing an advocacy campaign, and this is where the hashtag starts to come into play, the more visibility into how advocacy works or doesn’t independent as a component of the larger conversation, that’s always the meaningful road map to know where someone else has tried something before and what do I need to do to do it better? Strictly around the advocacy campaign and other entities trying to push their agenda.

 

Jonathan: Yeah I think from my perspective I continue to get excited about the developments that are made around  maps and to me the maps equate geopolitical and something I focus on that I’ve been talking about a lot today but the ability to kind of see it in map form and then also kind of overlay some additional data points it’s important and it’s helpful from a strategic perspective of the value that you can get out of it

 

Theresa: Awesome now before we jump off where can folks find you and learn more about Kivvit and see the work that you all are doing?

 

Zach:Kivvit.com. I am on Twitter I’m not a big tweeter but I watch a lot as you can imagine from different angles and it’s @zacksilber and Jonathan you have a handle too I believe.

 

Jonathan: Yes, @jscharff1 is my Twitter handle.

Theresa: Awesome thanks so much