With hundreds of new lawmakers being sworn in across the country at federal and state levels, all with their own agendas to push, digital advocacy and its implementation will be at its peak importance in the coming months.
In 2020, organizations had to move their operations to a virtual environment while, at the same time, advocating for vital emergency funding for their members and clients. Nine months later, as we come into 2021, remote work and new workflows for digital advocacy have become the norm.
But 2020 was also a presidential and Congressional election year. That means 2021 would naturally be the most frenzied part of a four-year advocacy cycle, with a lot of in-person relationship building, followed by lobbying and advocacy hard work, all of which must now be conducted entirely virtually for the first time ever.
With a new administration and a new Congress taking office, you know there will be a slew of bills and regulations to keep up with. You’ll need to build and strengthen relationships with your key stakeholders and quickly energize and mobilize your supporters to move the needle on your issues. But how do you do this when you haven’t had the chance to conduct in-person meetings for almost a year?
Luckily, digital tools such as FiscalNote and VoterVoice are readily available to get your advocacy strategy up and running in no time.
Ready: Keep Track of the Flurry of New Bills and Regulations
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The first 100 days of any new federal administration or state legislature are jammed packed with all sorts of activity and it can be overwhelming trying to keep up and cut through the noise to focus on what really matters to your organization. A newly sponsored bill, regulation, local ordinance, or breaking headline could affect you at any time, anywhere you operate. You need all of the data in one place.
An issues management platform, such as FiscalNote, allows your team to seamlessly work remotely while staying on top of key policy and stakeholders, whether you manage issues at the U.S. state or federal level or around the world. Dedicated issue workspaces help record all the relevant information in one place — from talking points and news links to custom alerts on relevant legislation and regulation and tracking all the team’s actions and interactions with regulators, government officials, and other key stakeholders.
Besides not being able to afford to miss a newly introduced bill, regulation or amendments to both, you also can’t miss a headline relevant to your issues or stakeholders. A news and analysis platform, such as CQ Roll Call, can help you cut through the noise to only get the critical policy news, objective facts, and coverage on policy as well as the people and politics of Congress, and how all these forces combined affect your organization and interests.
From here, you can build a strong advocacy strategy that is always up to date and current with any last-minute policy changes.
Track, manage, and engage your key stakeholders
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Set: Know Your New Stakeholders and Build Relationships
Once you’re confident you’re staying on top of your issues at the local, state, and federal levels, you now have to make sure you’re building relationships with the right people and decision-makers across the board. A first-rate Congressional directory, such as FiscalNote’s Knowlegis, has the most up-to-date contact information for all the staffers and legislators you need in your corner to move your issues forward. Slice and dice your email lists based on congressional profiles, issue area, party, role, staff, chamber, delegation, or voting record, and send your outreach confident you’re getting the best deliverability rate on the market to Capitol Hill.
Using a stakeholder management solution like FiscalNote, you’ll be able to map those key stakeholders at the federal, state, and local level to your priority issues, define their influence on a specific matter, and better understand how they align with your organization.
You might not be able to personally show up for in-person meetings or fly-ins with legislators this year, but you can still plan and execute successful meetings and virtual lobby days if you have the right toolset.
Go: Inform and Mobilize Your Advocates
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Now, you’re ready to pass on all that important information about the issues that threaten your members and supporters and energize them to take action. That means connecting your advocates with lawmakers and influencers via email, tweets, text, phone calls, push notifications — whatever suits your organization’s demographic and action plan best.
To do this you’ll need a digital advocacy platform that lets you automatically match your advocates’ and potential advocates’ (members, donors, clients, supporters) addresses to the correct legislator. You also need to make things as easy as possible for your supporters to take action and for yourself to measure the success of your campaign via a dashboard so you can change tactics as need be.
VoterVoice also allows you to quickly and easily set up an action center online that matches the look and feel of your organization, informs and engages them, and keeps them coming back. Here, you can house all relevant information for your supporters and have pre-filled forms so they can take action with one click on your campaigns.
Your fly-in for the first year in the new government cycle will arguably be the most important. It can help establish you as the thought leader for your industry in the minds of new staffers and members and help you build long-lasting relationships. You’ll also need to make sure your key supporters can show up for you remotely this year by delivering a perfect virtual Hill day. With VoterVoice, you can manage event agendas, provide and receive talking points and notes, collect feedback, and launch a campaign off the momentum.
Prepare for Digital Advocacy Success with FiscalNote
As social distancing and self-isolation will continue for the foreseeable future, digital advocacy is not an option but rather a necessity in 2021. FiscalNote’s tools allow you to cut through the noise, stay informed with what matters to your organization, organize campaigns, engage supporters and lawmakers, and measure your impact.
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