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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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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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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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’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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Personalizing Advocacy to Move the Dial

This episode we’re joined by David Lusk, Founder of Key Advocacy, as he walks us through how successful organizations are surveying, cultivating and empowering advocates to “Extend the Enterprise.” We know there’s no one-size-fits-all message for your advocates, so why are so many groups employing that same failed strategy when talking to legislators. Successful groups are evaluating the decision-maker & picking the right messengers with the right message to get the commitment (vote/sponsorship/etc) they need. If you’re not segmenting the offices you’re talking to and personalizing the message that resonates with that legislator, there’s so much more you could be doing. Listen in as we break things down and give you the tools you need to get started today.

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Accelerating Digital Transformation

Jordan Craig of the American Forest & Paper Association joins us on the Advocacy Help Desk this week as we talk about making the most of everyone’s time during quarantine. We focus on balance and building – from repurposing videos captured pre-quarantine, to being succinct with messaging and even texting Hill staff – Jordan walks us through how some of his tried & true digital advocacy tactics have evolved over the last few months. It’s a deep dive episode as we talk through how AF&PA has adjusted their overall messaging, embraced new quick-hit items and found success on both the state & federal level.

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Best PAC-tices: Dispelling the Myths

Political Action Committees. Known better as PACs, there’s a lot of (mis)information floating around. Exactly what is a PAC? Who can they give to & how much? Why are they being disparaged day after day? Taped pre-quarantine, on this episode of AHD we’re joined by Kristin Brackemyre of the Public Affairs Council and Jennifer Brooks from Northrop Grumman. Listen in as these two experts in the PAC world help us dispel the myths of PACs while talking best practices & tips for both PAC & advocacy professionals this election season.

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Transforming Your Advocacy Approach

Audience driven. Multi-channel. Back-to-basics. This week, we’re joined by two experts in the field, Erica Farage, Vice President of Political Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy for the International Franchise Association and Caitlin Donahue, Senior Vice President & Director of Digital for Curley Company. We dive into how associations are changing their approach, keeping it simple & building on easy wins to grow their efforts, drive advocacy success and build value with their membership. Stop planning for next year, start thinking about how to transform your communications, strategy, execution, engagement, lobbying and more over the next 2 – 4 weeks. It may mean breaking out of “that’s the way we’ve always done it” type habits, but it’s sure to pay off in the long run.

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Special: Pivoting During Quarantine

As quarantine wears on, associations need to be wary of advocate fatigue. Specifically “going back to the well” without providing context is an easy way to lose even the most ardent advocates. This week, AHD is lucky enough to be joined by Reshma Mehta, Director of Grassroots Advocacy with AARP. We’ll dive in to how one of the nation’s largest organizations is pivoting during this unprecedented time and putting everything on the table. Old is new and nothing should be off the table as you look to engage your stakeholders in the coming days and weeks.

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