What is the definition of regulatory advocacy?
Regulatory advocacy is the process of calling on your organization’s advocates to comment on a regulation in order to influence the outcome of the regulatory process.
By running this type of advocacy campaign, your organization will call on advocates to leave a comment on how a proposed regulation impacts them, rather than a more common grassroots advocacy campaign where they are writing a letter or making a phone call to a legislator.
Regulations are not as familiar to many advocates as legislation, so regulatory advocacy campaigns can require a higher degree of education on how and why to participate. For example, when End Rape on Campus ran a regulatory advocacy campaign to fight a proposed rule change to Title IX, they embedded their advocacy campaign form into a website that explained in clear what the proposed change was and how it would impact students on college campuses. Then, they used a Mad-Libs style template to make it easier to write a personalized comment that also made sure to hit the key talking points needed.
How does regulatory advocacy relate to public affairs?
It’s challenging to have effective regulatory advocacy without a robust regulatory tracking system. The timing to participate in regulatory advocacy is limited — there is a very specific amount of time that agencies have for comment periods, and if you are late in tracking a regulation, your ability to run an effective campaign will be limited.
If you have a strong legislative tracking system, mimicking the same process for regulatory tracking shouldn’t be a major lift. Like legislative tracking, the first step is to set up relevant search terms. With a system like Quorum, you can use boolean search terms to narrow your results to only what is most relevant to your organization.
After setting up search criteria to filter your regulations, make sure your team has an internal review process for what happens when a new regulation is proposed that fits one of your keywords. The most successful organizations tag those regulations with an issue, stance, and priority so they know how to move forward.
If possible, consider doing your regulatory tracking and legislative tracking within the same system and using the same tagging structure. That way, when an executive at the organization asks what you are doing on a particular issue, you can give them the full picture from both a legislative and regulatory perspective.