Advocacy Help Desk

Shining a Spotlight on Mental Health

2020 was for many a difficult year. COVID-19 put a spotlight not only on physical well-being but on mental health as well. This week, we’re joined by Hannah Wesolowski, Director, Field Advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. An industry veteran, Hannah guides us through her team’s work over the past 12 months and how their “No Wrong Door” mantra fits into their all-encompassing advocacy strategy. More to the point, Hannah’s team regularly steps back from the limelight, preparing and providing content for their state affiliates, the public as well as elected officials to drive education and engagement on behalf of mental health. From pre-written social media posts to easily shared imagery to activating on GOTV and state-by-state bills, NAMI leaves no stone unturned as they push for greater understanding, destigmatization and more.

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Advocacy Help Desk

A Chaotic Start to 2021

This week we’re joined by return guest Kristin Brackemeyer, head of PAC and Government Relations and Nick DeSarno, co-host of AHD and head of Digital & Policy Communications both at the Public Affairs Council. Only weeks into a chaotic 2021, hot off the Advocacy Conference and only days away from the PAC Conference, we dive into a number of topics, from how various groups are addressing the events of Jan 6 to approaching political contributions and from promoting civics through their advocacy program to building capacity so they can engage on bills today and into the future. It’s a great episode from two professionals who handle the industry’s questions on a daily basis. Remember, it’s always about policy, not politics.

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Advocacy Help Desk

Advocating for Aisles 2 – 11: How a Rebranding Unified a Voice for an Industry

This week we’re joined by Katie McBreen, VP, Communications & Strategy for the Consumer Brands Association. In this episode, we dive into the branding of advocacy efforts and associations, the ability to create & convey an easily understandable message, and what that means for your effort as a whole. Finally, she walks us through what should be table-stakes for associations and how she messages out their new purpose, asks and results to legislators, members and the public at large.

If you’re working on your brand, your messaging or even how to best convey your results to legislators, this is an episode you won’t want to miss. It’s another week and another great episode with strategies you can start putting in place today.

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Platform Updates

A quick rundown of updates we've made recently

websitesRollout of Elementor, making it even easier to edit & deploy advocacy websites quickly & easily
end-of-yearNew EOY reports added to make it easy to capture the work you’ve done over the past year
pacOverhauled the look and feel of contributions, disbursements and batch explorer screens
prior approvalUpdated prior approval process & filtering those authorized by year

Advocacy Help Desk

External Forces Reshaping Advocacy in the New Congress

Nathan Gonzales, Editor and Publisher of Inside Elections, joins us this week as we dive into the results of Election 2020 and how they may bear out for advocacy professionals. In an in-depth discussion, we talk through everything from the makeup of the 117th Congress, to the outgoing President’s potential effect on legislation, new Members who may have an impact on the issues that may come up early in 2021, and everything in between.

It’s a great episode that sets the stage for how advocacy professionals should prepare for a new Congress. Walking the halls early in session isn’t an option, so how do you meet the new Members and forge relationships in the time of COVID? At the same time, how can advocacy professionals best approach the new Congress to have their issues heard and bills passed? There’s plenty here for everyone to learn more about the election, the 117th Congress, and how – as a PAC and advocacy professional – you can get ahead in 2021.

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Platform Updates

A quick rundown of updates we've made recently

mappingImproved geocoding provides an even more accurate matching for advocates
socialImproved display for social counts
searchCompletely overhauled Advanced Search – Now even easier to access & segment your stakeholders
pacImproved goal functionality, views on disbursements

Advocacy Help Desk

Think, Feel, Do: A Framework for Building Relationships & Driving Change

This week we’re joined by Christopher Masak, Senior Associate Director at Alzheimer’s Association as we dive into the basics of building relationships and driving engagement with both advocates & elected officials. From what to do and steps you should take when your legislation is under consideration to how to engage with new legislators, Chris takes us through how Alzheimer’s Association embraces change and works hard AFTER their bill passes, thanking advocates and officials alike before starting the hard work of ensuring implementation also goes their way. Add in a great discussion on how smaller associations can have a BIG impact and really drive home their messaging with the Think, Feel, Do framework, and it’s a great episode for advocacy groups of all sizes.

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Advocacy Help Desk

GOTV & Building Member Value in 2020 & Beyond

This week we’re joined by Dorian Wanzer, Advocacy Manager, Global Government Relations at International Paper to take an in-depth look at the organization’s GOTV program. From getting the CEO involved to staying out of partisan politics, we walk thru how important it is to get-out-the-vote, where to get started, best practices, pitfalls to avoid and more. With state and federal elections every year, GOTV isn’t just something to dabble in, it’s another opportunity to reach out to your membership, build member value, and drive engagement both this year and in the years to come.

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Advocacy Help Desk

Advocacy’s Digital (R)evolution

This week, we’re joined by Nick DeSarno from the Public Affairs Council. While his official title says digital & policy communications, those who know Nick know he has an insight into advocacy like very few others. This week we’re concentrating on Advocacy’s Digital Revolution. Over the past 4 months, groups have had to pivot away from their comfort zones. For many, that meant diving into virtual events, fly-ins, trainings, stakeholder management/CRM, podcasts, videos and more for the first time. So what’s been working? What’s fallen flat? And where should you get started? Listen in and get moving on advocacy’s digital revolution.

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Platform Updates

A quick rundown of updates we've made recently

pacFrontend display for contributors, goals, progress & more
reportsNew reports for PAC, Communications
pacImproved detail for caucuses, committees & custom groups
membershipOverhauled login mechanism, now even easier