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How Government & Public Affairs Professionals Can Stay Engaged and Productive During the COVID-19 Crisis

by Content Team, FiscalNote

With the constant stream of often conflicting news and updates related to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for government and public affairs professionals to remain as the source of trusted information & policy data for their organizations.

Although many teams are now working remotely, and in-person meetings on the Hill and in many state government offices have been put on hold, the expectations your leadership team has for your team have not gone away; in fact, in this time of heightened uncertainty, the pressure is on even more to prove your value as the key to your organization’s risk management strategy, whether you’re in the office or working from home.  

We’ve put together a list of best practices you can use not only to keep your team organized and motivated during this difficult time but also to help you elevate your reputation inside your organization as an innovator and leader during times of risk and crisis in Washington D.C. and across the globe. 

Tip #1: Keep Detailed Notes and Records While Working From Home

Now is the time to keep even more detailed notes and records of the work you’re doing so that you are able to present your efforts to your boss and their leadership team. 

Syncs, catch-ups, and other collaboration mechanisms that might normally happen organically during a meeting or immediately thereafter, may not happen in a remote environment. Instead, take and share meeting notes after you meet with stakeholders and document decisions and processes in a central place to give everyone on your team visibility.

Many technology platforms allow you to keep your notes, actions, and team discussions all in one place. However, for government and public affairs professionals who also need to keep track of new legislations and regulations developing across the country and world, it’s critical to streamline those systems of record in order to manage it all. This is especially true during a crisis when information is changing so rapidly.

The FiscalNote platform serves as a single system of record for your team. Government relations teams who use FiscalNote can track engagements with important stakeholders, meeting notes, talking points, and the legislative and regulatory updates all in one place.

No matter your system, now more than ever, you must invest in the creation of process documentation as you adjust to the new normal. 

Tip #2: Over-Communicate with Your Team and Leadership

Being in an office allows for non-stop communication and opportunities for face time with the people that are driving your organization. With teams slowly but surely moving to be entirely remote-based with the spread of COVID-19, the opportunity to communicate with your teams becomes much more difficult as people are away from their computers more often and with no central office for you to pop into.

In order to make up for this lack of opportunity to meet with your team and important decision-makers, it’s important that you over-communicate and get your team in the habit of sharing their work and outcomes. 

While email may be your first instinct for these types of updates, they are easily missed. Technology tools can make a huge difference here between effective updates and adding to the noise. FiscalNote allows teams to communicate all in one place so that teams don’t have to switch between different tools like Google Sheets or Excel and Microsoft Outlook. 

Simply @tag your colleague on a bill page with the legislation you’re focusing on, or a legislator profile with the Member of Congress you’re working with, and your colleague will know exactly what information you’re working from and what actions you’re taking so you don’t duplicate efforts.

Tip #3: Re-Prioritize Your Workload in Real-Time

Let’s face reality: no one knows how long this pandemic will last, or how long things will be this tumultuous and stressful, so it’s important that your team be able to pivot and shift focus at a moment’s notice.

More frequent team meetings and central lists of top priorities for the day are one way to ensure everyone knows what the day’s focus is. But with conflicting schedules and quickly changing news, these traditional methods aren’t always enough. 

Instead, teams should begin to place their work in a technology solution that allows them to work in real-time, in one digital location, so all team members are working from the same source of truth.

FiscalNote has created digital workspaces called Issue Pages inside the platform for you and your team to store all the data, files, links, documents, and stakeholders involved in monitoring and tracking the legislative and regulatory public policy issues your team is working on. 

The primary benefit of shifting your workflow to an online workspace is the ability to edit, update, and reprioritize your top issues in real-time without having to wait for anyone else on your team to give you direction or assistance. No matter where you’re working from, with Issue Pages, you can have the latest updates from team members around the globe and the peace of mind that you’re not missing anything.

Final Thoughts:

Although it’s an uncertain time right now, there’s no reason your work needs to come to a grinding halt. 

Request a personalized demo to be the driving force in your organization and set the new standard for leadership, 21st-century risk management, and communication. 

Visit the Coronavirus Resource Center for more on how you can manage your organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including news, policy updates, and more.

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