Lobbyists work inside a state capitol, city hall or county commission communicating with elected officials and their staff. We work outside. As issue advocates, our job is to create an external environment – supportive media coverage, digital activity, grassroots activism – so that a lobbyist or advocate can deliver the votes and be successful.
Our issue advocacy services begin with our gaining a thorough understanding of our client’s public policy issue, their objectives and the surrounding politics. From there, we develop an outreach plan specifically targeted toward influencing the decision-makers who will ultimately vote yes or no on that issue. We may field a targeted poll to help us message the issue and better understand constituent sentiment. We research targeted elected officials to understand their history on the issue and to whom they listen. We identify and train credible stakeholders and then deploy them in a number of ways including participation in editorial board meetings, media interviews, delivering public testimony and visiting legislators.
Our Issue Advocacy Toolbox:
- Media relations: The media business isn’t only about identifying a compelling story and angle. It’s also about personal connections and relationships. We help make those connections and correspond with news anchors, editors and reporters to ensure your story is heard.
- Digital communications: Information moves faster than it ever has before which makes digital a vital component of most communications strategies. When designing a digital strategy, we carefully evaluate the audiences and messages to identify the right digital platforms to deliver information to our targets with pinpoint accuracy and in a way that can be easily tracked, measured and adjusted for maximum effect.
- Ally identification and recruitment: Accomplishing a public policy outcome often requires identifying others who share your point of view and recruiting them to advocate in your (and their) self-interest. Finding the overlap between your interests and those of other influentials requires an ability to become fluent with complex topics quickly as well as a thorough understanding of the various individuals and groups who might have a reason to advocate on your behalf.
- Grassroots activation: Moving the needle politically often requires building an army of third parties that can support your point of view. Doing this well requires an ability to become fluent with complex topics quickly as well as a thorough understanding of the various influential individuals and groups that might have a reason to advocate on your behalf. We use our expertise in these areas to build armies for our clients’ points of view.
- Content/Collateral development: There is an increasing amount of competition for peoples’ eyes, ears and minds. To ensure our clients’ information punches through the clutter, we use our expertise to break down complex information into digestible and relevant bites of information to appeal to each target audience. We work to make your content “sticky” and memorable through the use of infographics, videos and other creative approaches.
Looking for expertise in issue advocacy? Read up on our tips and tricks on our blog: Staging the external environment using the M-A-D test.
To learn more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503-796-3013.