Controversial or complex issue? A dearth of support? A well-organized opposition? Each of these barriers can be overcome with a calculated and deliberate issue management strategy. Hubbell Communication’s success with issue management comes from decades of firsthand experience and many organizations turn to us for help.
Here are four priorities for effective issue management:
- Recognize the context and environment. How did the issue come about? Is it a local issue or statewide problem? Who is affected and how? How will the decision be made and who will make it?
- Develop a strategy based on input from a variety of stakeholders. Who is at the table? Who isn’t at the table? Who needs to be? We know that having a diverse team brings numerous benefits to an organization. Successful issue management occurs when a diverse and politically powerful group of stakeholders pool their collective resources and influence in a strategic and coordinated manner.
- Stick to your messages. If your team is trying to advance and build support on a public policy issue, the most fundamental asset is a strategic and poll-tested set of messages that make a compelling case for your point of view.
- Adapt messages based on unexpected developments. Let’s face it, unexpected problems can arise at the most inopportune moments. Changes in the political environment can necessitate a shift in strategy and messaging and your team should be sufficiently nimble to adjust to this at a moment’s notice.
Effective issue management is all about constructing a compelling message, rounding up stakeholders and communicating in ways that decision-makers can hear you and respond in a way that helps you achieve your objectives.