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Your Guide to Building a Successful Global Government Affairs Strategy

by Lydia Stowe, FiscalNote

Consider this your 101 on how to add global policy solutions to your strategy and create opportunities for your organization in an increasingly global environment.

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If your organization is feeling the pressure to address global challenges such as climate change, pandemics, international conflicts, and changing regulations, you’re not alone. But how can your team of mostly state and federal government affairs take on these challenges and be successful?

As organizations are asked to stay ahead of global policy, break into new international markets, and manage global teams, creating a government affairs strategy equipped with global policy solutions to tackle these challenges is increasingly crucial. Here are tips and best practices to get you started.

Staying Ahead of Your Top Global Issues with FiscalNote

How you can spot trends, manage global policy, keep your team on the same page, and uncover opportunities all in a single repository.

Why is it Important to Track Global Issues?

While global government affairs may not have been on many organizations’ radars in the past, events in the last several years have sent many teams scrambling to keep up and find a way to monitor global issues. The impacts of COVID-19, conflicts overseas impacting the supply chain, and climate change regulations affect even the smallest government affairs team.

And this trend shows no signs of abating: 25 percent of government affairs professionals expect global legislation and regulation to have a bigger impact on their organization over the next five years, a FiscalNote report found, even though currently, only 2 percent say their public policy issues are mainly based at a global level.

Despite the growing importance of global policy solutions, it’s certainly not easy to stay on top of emerging trends across multiple time zones, languages, and legislative bodies. Having the right tools in place, the ability to lean on powerful technology, and creating a strategic action plan can make it possible.

Tips for Leveraging Global Policy Solutions to Build Your Government Affairs Strategy

A global government affairs strategy is becoming a must for organizations that previously only focused on federal, state, or local issues. Here are some fundamentals to guide you as you design a global government affairs strategy for your organization.

1. Create a Centralized Hub

When you incorporate global policy solutions into your workflow, relying on multiple internal systems and resources won’t cut it. Internal and external communication across regions is crucial, and creating one centralized coordinating hub where everyone can receive updates will drive alignment and make sure all stakeholders are on the same page.

For teams operating in different countries and time zones, having access to a central repository of priority messaging, documents, files, and links is increasingly necessary to keep everyone informed on the latest developments.

“Across multiple continents, we were able to manage our advocacy efforts and policy coordination regarding regulatory market access, pricing, and intellectual property challenges specific to our commercialized assets,” says Adam Miller, head of policy and government affairs for international markets at Astellas, a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company that relies on FiscalNote as a digitized hub that is user-friendly and makes information accessible on the go. “It was critical to ensure we were able to manage these simultaneously with limited resources, and we achieved a successful outcome in each case.”

2. Enlist Help for Policy Curation & Analysis

Once you start tracking global issues, you may find that there are more issues than you can give your attention to. You need to cut out the noise to understand which policies are important, what they mean, and why they matter for your organization — so that you can take the best course of action.

Consider adding someone to your government affairs team who can work on these issues, or hire a part-time professional or intern. It is helpful to enlist employees abroad who have a cross-cultural awareness, understand the local culture, and provide “boots on the ground,” potentially picking up on issues you might miss with a team located only in the U.S.

Alternatively, using global policy solutions means you have policy and geopolitical experts proactively analyzing developments on your team’s behalf. This allows teams to receive a neatly packaged report with policy curation, summaries, and reporting services so they have timely, accurate, and actionable information.

Whether you hire someone to help with global tracking, use a policy analysis service, or give the responsibilities to people already on your government affairs team, it’s necessary to triage the vast array of global policies coming your way and hone in on the issues impacting your organization.

Across multiple continents, we were able to manage our advocacy efforts and policy coordination regarding regulatory market access, pricing, and intellectual property challenges specific to our commercialized assets.

Adam Miller, Head of Policy and Government Affairs, International Markets
Astellas US

3. Establish Strong Corporate Values & Trust

Strong corporate values and executive trust are crucial to global government affairs work, which needs to be viewed as a long-term strategic asset. If your organization doesn’t already have strong corporate values, creating them is essential for the success of your global affairs strategy.

“Every company has values and you have to implement your global affairs strategy based on that,” says Karim Antonio Lesina, executive vice president and chief external affairs officer at Millicom in a conversation with FiscalNote’s Executive Institute. “The stronger the values of a company are, the easier the job of a global affairs executive is. … Nobody can work without the total trust of the highest leadership … You need to be sure you have people that see longer term.”

Like any strategy, building your global government affairs strategy should start by analyzing corporate values and executive trust and how they are perceived by employees and the public. This honest analysis can help you determine where you’re doing well, what progress can be made, and get senior leadership on board with the active role they should take in global policy monitoring.

4. Prove Your ROI

To thrive as a global affairs leader, you must justify your value in the long term, including proving your ROI and focusing on your stakeholders and your company’s strengths.

“Your work is to protect the company and, potentially, to grow it,” Lesina says. “We all need to have a big economic background — we need to understand what our CFO is talking about … if you don’t know that, you’re never going to be able to convince your CEO and your CFO. … Justify the long-term value of what you’re doing.”

Showing the return on investment to your internal and external stakeholders is a challenge every government and public affairs department faces. It’s about tying your wins to your organization’s bottom line and displaying them with consequences and metrics. Whether that’s profits realized or saved, membership and engagement growth metrics, or funding secured, technology is at the forefront of helping build and show that correlation.

“ROI relates heavily to metrics measuring outcomes,” says John Pournoor, vice president of global government affairs at 3M.

Reporting on the issues impacting your organization around the world is crucial to your team’s success and is an excellent way to show your ROI. Reports can drive alignment across teams, prove your team’s value, and keep track of the work you’re doing. These reports can include visual policy maps that highlight risks and opportunities and leverage data and visualizations.

Rather than building reports by hand, which can be a painstaking task, using global policy solutions allows teams to identify, monitor, and report on key global legislative and regulatory developments and easily share insights with impacted stakeholders.

5. Leverage the Right Technology

Staying on top of global affairs, in addition to the policy issues your organization currently follows, can be impossible without the right technology in place. FiscalNote Global simplifies this process by enabling organizations to proactively monitor global legislation and regulations. To take action on the latest EU policy issues, EU Issue Tracker provides targeted alerts and forward-looking analysis from our experts in Brussels.

Tap into the largest set of legislative and regulatory data from over 20 countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific with FiscalNote. Discover policy documentation, contact information, and trends in national governments.

Furthermore, drawing on a global network of more than 1,500 industry and country experts, Oxford Analytica provides independent geopolitical analysis and advisory services helping organizations navigate complex markets and execute successful strategies, policies, operations, and investments. And with FrontierView, the premier market intelligence and advisory firm, gain expert insights on the business implications of the latest global developments.

Learn how FiscalNote’s family of solutions can help your team mitigate risks, identify opportunities, and spot trends arising from public policy worldwide.

Ready to see for yourself?

Let’s explore how modern global issues management can help you get more done.

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