Reporting sounds simple, but in reality one of the most challenging tasks for public affairs teams is approaching how to quantify your work:
- What percentage of the bills you supported passed?
- What percentage of your stakeholders did you build into champions?
- What percentage of your grassroots supporters took action on your key campaign?
It can be equally challenging to understand the policy landscape:
- What trends have emerged this year?
- Which lawmakers should we prioritize relationships with?
- Are certain strategies effective in some arenas but not others?
How to Approach Reporting Conversations
Reporting is useful to help you interpret the policy landscape, understand your impact, and develop your strategy. But it isn’t just useful for the public affairs team—your organization’s board and/or C-suite also want to understand the impact of your efforts.
Members of your board or C-suite are used to receiving reporting presentations from teams across the organization like sales, development, finance, and other teams. Consider speaking in terms that they are used to and that will help them understand your work: concepts like the ROI of your efforts, quantifying your inputs and outputs, and what the impacts to the organization will be (focusing on potential financial impact).
Download this presentation template to help you convert the numbers you’re tracking into visual expressions of those key metrics.
End-of-year reporting takes into account everything that happened in the year and everything your team did in response (or proactively). EOY reporting gives you an opportunity to zoom out and spot trends in the policy landscape and in the ROI of your own efforts, then build a strategy based on that data.
Public affairs teams use ROI reporting to understand the return on their investment of time and effort in the policy and advocacy sphere. ROI reporting might focus on policies passed or blocked, relationships strengthened, or other ways to quantify your impact.
Tracking policy, dialogue, and your own meetings in one place allows you to understand your impact and build a strategic plan for the future. If you’re not already recording your meetings and their outcomes, tracking lawmaker dialogue, and mapping your key relationships, start now to make it easier to report on your impact moving forward.