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How to Demonstrate the ROI of Government Affairs

by Veronica Magan, FiscalNote

Four strategies to measure your outcomes and demonstrate your government affairs team’s ROI to your key stakeholders.

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Showing the return on investment to your 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 from legislation or regulations passed or stopped, membership and engagement growth metrics, or funding secured, technology is at the forefront of helping build and show that correlation.

As global footprints grow and lines of hierarchy get more complicated, a modern, integrated, global platform is key for cross-functional teams to stay aligned and prove their ROI.

“ROI relates heavily to metrics measuring outcomes,” says John Pournoor, global head of government affairs at 3M. Here are four ways you can classify those outcomes to successfully demonstrate your government affairs team’s ROI to your key stakeholders.

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1. Legislative and Regulatory

Managing your organization’s influence — or lack thereof — on new legislation and regulations enacted is the bread and butter of the government affairs professional. But the speed at which you need to move gets increasingly faster every year.

“There is a lot of new legislation and regulation coming. And I guess in the coming years it will be even more, which makes the field to play even more difficult,” says Marcel Halma, vice president of public affairs and government relations at Nouryon, a global chemicals company that built a unified workspace where various teams could collaborate and stay on top of the issues using FiscalNote.

With such an influx of information to keep track of, missing a bill can be extremely costly for your organization. “Your speed of data collection has to match at a minimum the speed with which the legislative or political process is moving,” says Pournoor. And the only way to effectively do this is through technology.

“Organizations need to apply modern technology, data, and analytics to challenges that will only increase in volume and complexity over time. Today's in house groups are forced to react rather than plan and strategize because they spend most of their time chasing information,” says Chelsea Raab, managing director of enterprise business development at FiscalNote.

Legislative tracking and policy monitoring software helps you cut through the noise and keep track of the legislation that matters most to you, allowing you to understand, measure, and analyze the monetary value of your actions, and even show the potential costs had you not won.

2. Market Access

Showing how your team’s work helped in removing barriers so your organization can access a specific target market is huge. Especially when it means new opportunities to provide its products/solutions and do business in that specific market. Advanced government affairs technology plays a huge role in helping professionals be able to effectively track and measure this type of influence.

“Automating legislative, regulatory, and media monitoring for ‘white spot’ [opportunity] markets enables engagement and coverage beyond traditional footprint,” says Raab. Combining policy monitoring with news and analysis as well as stakeholder management in one platform helps align and drive organizational objectives and proactively identify business opportunities.

How FiscalNote Leads the Way in Stakeholder Management

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3. Reputation and Branding with Government Officials

“We want to make sure we're seen the right way, with the kind of values as a company that we bring forward,” says Pournoor. “So, reputation and branding and how you amplify that has its metrics that we use.”

How governments perceive your organization and its products/services can go a long way in influencing outcomes and managing risk. Stakeholder management software allows you to measure and show the value of your relationships, which is another important factor to show ROI.

“FiscalNote helps build business and mitigate risk — including critical reputational risk — by connecting disconnected dots inside and outside a complex global organization,” says Raab. You can manage policy, social, and reputational risk by monitoring, identifying, and reporting on levels of risk exposure; planning and communicating risk prioritization and response; defining and communicating internal talking points digitally; and monitoring related policy and news developments. “Our platform helps provide much more real-time transparency and helps global companies avoid self-inflicted "risk of risk" — one hand actually knowing what the other is doing within an organization on similar or the same issues,” she adds.

4. Issues Management

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Tracking and measuring the frequency, quality, and level of engagement, as well as the level of thought leadership your organization brings to the issue, and the kind of amplification you get from the discussions and the engagements has become crucially important. Issues management systems help you pursue the opportunities, mitigate the risk arising from legislation and regulation, while tracking and reporting on all of your activities.

This can all be daunting and difficult, yes; but while these can be challenging to quantify, it will be time well spent. At the end of the day, you have to look at all of these as a whole to get a complete picture of where your team and your organization stands.

“That informs us and allows us to develop maybe new branches to our strategy, decide whether we have done what we can and that is the end of the story or decide what alternatives we need to go to,” Pournoor adds. “Measuring these types of things and being able to report is a critical part of showing how the ecosystem of how a business or an organization functions, interacts with society, with government, with its customers, with its suppliers.”

Show your Government Affairs Team ROI with FiscalNote

In this fast-paced world we live in, you can’t show tangible results — which are the only thing that matters in the end — without the right technology. FiscalNote has all the solutions you need to prove the value of your team, whether it’s policy monitoring, stakeholder management, advocacy, or collaboration tools. FiscalNote’s solutions give you the 360-degree approach you need to build and report on your government affairs strategy.

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