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Go Beyond Justifying Your Existence: 3 Ways to Prove Government Affairs' Value

How government affairs teams can use data and technology to move beyond justifying their existence and demonstrate they not only deserve a seat at the decision-making table but also should be positioned near or at the top of it.

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Government affairs departments play a crucial role in organizations as policy can have a significant impact on their success. However, these teams often face the challenge of being perceived as a cost center rather than a revenue driver. There is a lack of understanding among finance and the C-suite regarding the impact of government affairs on business goals, leading to a constant need to prove their worth.

To demonstrate value, government affairs teams must leverage technology to provide hard metrics in professional and visually appealing reports that resonate with decision-makers. They can showcase their impact on organizational goals, align their campaigns with company objectives, and measure the material effects of their tasks, even if not directly tied to revenue.

Here are three ways government affairs teams can use data and technology to move beyond justifying their existence and demonstrate they not only deserve a seat at the decision-making table but also should be positioned near or at the top of it.

The Biggest Challenges Facing Government Affairs Pros and How to Solve Them

Leveraging technology can help you do more with less, save time, and build a successful government affairs strategy — here’s how.

How Government Relations Teams Can Show Their Value

Measure Economic Impact

Government affairs professionals have to pay close attention to the potential economic impacts of pending legislation and regulation on their organizations. Whether the potential consequences would lead to increased costs or to new growth opportunities, that insight should drive the vision, alignment, and execution of the government affairs team.

Quantifying this impact for the C-suite, executive director, or board of directors should be a priority for modern government affairs departments. To do this, government affairs professionals have to be able to link the actions of the department to legislative or regulatory outcomes.

So much work goes into bill tracking, lobbying, meetings, research, and networking — but it’s hard to prove the direct results and relationship between those actions and their impact.

Traditionally, the impact of that was difficult to show, when the focus was often on relationship building, spreadsheets, and email management. The good news is technology platforms such as FiscalNote make it much easier to show return on investment for government affairs departments.

For example, technology that allows teams to log actions and relate them directly to bills, regulations, legislators, and committees can enable professionals to keep track of what’s been done and what the specific outcomes are. Imagine pulling a professional-looking, visual report that gathers all of this information together in minutes, rather than cobbling together Excel spreadsheets and Google Docs.

FiscalNote's downloadable reports make it easy for users to seamlessly demonstrate the ROI of their government affairs work to organizational leaders. Managers can quickly view who on their team has accomplished what actions and identify trends across their work, including most engaged stakeholders and bills they’ve interacted with, to better understand and demonstrate where they are spending their time.

Expand & Visualize Stakeholder Networks

Government affairs professionals rely on their ability to build a network of stakeholders they can influence — to persuade to sponsor, support, or kill specific legislation or regulations, or to build a coalition. Stakeholder management is a labor-intensive activity, requiring sustained effort, with limitations in terms of time and scope.

Data and analytics offer government affairs teams the opportunity to scale their work, exponentially expand their networks, and visually report all that work and effort for their organization's leadership to see. 

Analytics about legislators, for example, can give government affairs professionals insight into everything from issue-specific voting records, to more subtle ideological preferences. Straightforward “data collection” leaves time to focus on building a more powerful campaign strategy with the right legislators.

FiscalNote's dynamic reporting tools allow government affairs teams to instantly create shareable, visual reports providing an at-a-glance view into relationships with key players from legislators to committees to organizational contacts, the policy they're seeking to influence, and the team’s latest activity to do so. Visualize engagements with key stakeholders, measure influence over priority bills and rules, and holistically understand the impact of key working relationships and actions in one report.

Grow the Bottom Line

Business development is not generally perceived to be a key activity for government affairs departments, but with the right technology and analytics, they have the opportunity to play a bigger role in the entire organization. Keeping track of appropriations bills at federal, state, and international levels that are likely to have an impact on the bottom line is the first step.

With cutting-edge search capabilities and automation tools, a government affairs department can identify potential growth opportunities by watching trends where legislation is moving, thereby transforming itself into an effective business development operation.

Savvy pros can take it one step further by using insights from legislator analytics to help inform an outreach strategy fueled by legislators who are likely to help or hinder their efforts. Once they've identified the opportunities appropriate for their organization, government affairs teams can become more effective at turning them into business — or handing them off to their business development colleagues.

Equip Your Government Relations team with FiscalNote

Showing the value of what your government relations team can do to stakeholders, the C-Suite, members, and your board is not always easy. But the good news is that FiscalNote can help you plan, execute, and measure your campaigns and show their value to your organization’s executive team.

FiscalNote is leading the way in helping organizations manage their issues, stakeholders, and teams in one place, driving more effective cross-departmental collaboration, coordination, and communications.

Ready to see for yourself?

See how our 360-degree approach to managing advocacy and policy issues can help you promote action, manage risk, as well as assess your impact and drive results.

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