To be effective in its' advocacy efforts, whether it is before Congress or the governor, associations need to be relevant to the conversation and have something meaningful to contribute.
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Associations need its' members to become more engaged on advocating for or against an issue. Without member support, the association's lobbyist has little standing to advance or oppose an issue.
Developers and public officials should take note, that public engagement in large-scale mixed-use projects or projects involving critical infrastructure is vital to the success of any project. Any project begins with a vision. If that vision is not shared or shaped without public insight, then the project may fail or end up looking a lot different than originally thought of. PR or Public Relationships can help any project succeed. It will bring less fear, build trust and may actually motivate people to help advance your project, the way you want it.
Accused of a sex crime? Deal with it yourself or loose out in the court of public opinion.
Today, brands inspire us more than our elected leaders or today's candidate. Dove, Under Armour, Nike and Adidas inspire me through the messages they convey -- In their ads and in their videos I find on YouTube.
Politicians must confront those that disagree with them, just as the protestors are confronting the candidates. They can leverage the protester's comments in their favor and use it to help rally a crowd that is there not to be won over, but there to rally behind the candidate. In fact, the protestor can be used to drive home a point.
It's time to take the politics out of the system and create a process to deal with the challenges Michigan faces. It is time we ask the politicians to lead by stepping aside and allow neutrals to step in to guide the stakeholders seeking resolution
In the end game, the success of a campaign is not based on cash alone, it is based on a victory and in coming in first. To win, We The Voter, still need to understand who the candidates are, what they stand for and what they will stand for once elected.
Moving your audience to action is about influencing how they think and feel and ultimately, what you want them to do. By understanding the desired outcomes at the start, you’ll be able to develop messages that drive your key audiences to action.
The longer the scandal, the harder it will be to repair your reputation.
Public affairs professionals with a solid reputation in the community and one who is familiar with the stakeholders and the issues important to them, can then help develop strategic and meaningful relationships, long before a high profile and often controversial project is announced. That professional can then create a community roadmap to help the project team navigate through the minefields of any project. They will help minimize risk and help anticipate barriers to seeing projects to their completion.
The community benefits when everyone is engaged. From the design stage to the public process in securing permits, in addition to raising capital and targeting potential retailers and other tenants, constant engagement is vital to the success of any high profile project.
Developing strategic relationships “early-on” helps minimize risk and helps anticipate barriers to seeing projects to their completion. Effective communications is vital to the public’s understanding of the project and the governments involved in helping the project move forward. Therefore, the company or consortium leading the project should be in control of the process and be proactive with their messaging and outreach.
It is the role of media, to investigate, to inform and to drive change in the public arena. Many reporters have a lot invested in developing these stories. Chances are, by the time they get to you, their stories have already been written and produced. They are simply looking for a quick visual and a soundbite.
Identifying, assessing, prioritizing and responding to the opportunities and risks that the public policy environment throws at an organization is vital to an organization’s success. An organization's response to the regulatory, legislative and political challenges may include seeking to influence that change through a strategic communications plan, the media and through strategic partnerships and engagement.
With the primary over, it is important to work pro-actively to build strategic yet meaningful relationships with key stakeholders and develop the strategies to influence public opinion and the opinions of government leaders during the next legislative session.
Elections are about change. And change is at the core an effective public affairs strategy. Public affairs professionals help companies and individuals guide the changing landscape of politics, personalities and policy. What will a new legislature or administration mean for your business? Or a new congress or even a new committee chair?
As we know focus on the general election, take advantage of the campaign to educate the candidates about your business. Invite them in to your factory for a tour, have them meet your members and work pro-actively to develop strategic and meaningful relationships.
*Photo courtesy of The Detroit Regional Chamebr
Attending trade shows and conferences can be a tedious process. For many people, it takes us away from our families, sometimes for a week or more. While our children may think we are traveling to exotic locations, these events translate into long hours walking and talking. While some use it to sell a product or service, these events should be more about developing strategic relationships.
In attending conferences:
- Know who you want to talk to
- Know what you want to say
- Be flexible and don't worry if you don't meet those that you had on your list.
- Follow up -- Write a personal note to every business card your receive, follow up with a phone call, recall your conversation and suggesting next steps
- Now make the hard sale
- Close the deal
Conferences provide an opportunity to expand your network face-to-face and before you start to sell something, it is important to have or to make a connection so then you can develop the trust and later the business.
After all, we all know why we attend these events, to learn about best practices, to spy on the competition and to get in front of the buyers. However, I personally get turned off from those trying to make the "hard sale." I get it you have something you think I can use or need but you should first take the time to see if it is even relevant to what I do or to whom I represent. But first take the time to know me and I will take the time to know you. If I can't use your product or service perhaps I know someone who does, but if you go straight to the sale. Let's be friends first and build the capital in developing relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Candidates in this election cycle can still take a few pages from the President's campaign playbook that helped him build a brand that connected with voters, such as:
- Develop a consistent message. One that strikes a chord with the public, such as, Change, Re-invent, or Believe.
- Have a rallying call – Your message should I part, engage the voter and give them something to use as they build support for you, such as: Yes We Can.
- Offer solutions. A campaign is a great opportunity to suggest solutions to improving the status quo and why you are the better candidate. Offering solutions instead of going negative will help you stand out from the other candidates.
- What do we stand for. At the end of the day, based on your messaging, behavior and performance, the voter should be able to identify you with your issues and know what you will focus on once elected.
While campaigns are a time for the voters to get to know the candidates, it is also the chance for the candidates to get to know the voters.
Sure they take their polls to see where the "pulse" is, but perhaps campaigns should be more of a listening tour, debates more like gripe sessions and elections about the people who listened best.
Effective listening provides a roadmap for creating key messages that form the basis of a solid agenda and a plan for deploying the necessary resources to create a solid plan for moving forward.
We need to listen harder...Who will be interested in talking with us?...What are they interested in talking about?...Where and on what terms would they like to comment and become engaged.
Then, once we listen, we can participate in the conversation, share ideas, collaborate and otherwise engage each other in creating a community once again.
I know that campaigns and elections are really about politics, personalities and egos, but it also should be about public engagement, open advocacy and honesty with ourselves as to the direction we must go to move our nation / state forward.
These are the principles for 'public engagement,' created by Endleman PR. Their philosophy of "advanced shared interests in a world of cross-influence."
Leadership is in part about "embracing chaos" for the "public good." Similarly, public opinion not only helps create chaos, it helps resolve it.
In this election, both Democrats and Republicans need to identify their key influencers, engage them and use their stories to influence untraditional voters that their party’s vision is the better one.