In our recent 2021 State of Public Affairs Survey, we asked you what caused the most anxiety in your day-to-day job and overwhelmingly you said time constraints. It doesn’t help that you have to spend a large amount of your time briefing and creating reports about the meetings you’ve held with key stakeholders and the developments on your organization’s issues. Forty percent of you have to create reports or briefs every month, with a further 35 percent expected to produce reports weekly.
It’s a challenge every government and public affairs department faces: showing the value of all those meetings and conversations with policymakers and committee members. As the fast-paced world of government affairs takes it down a notch during the summer months, this is the perfect time to regroup and refine your strategy for the fall season.
Here are four tactics for perfecting your stakeholder management strategy this summer in a way that moves your objectives forward and gets you noticed this fall and beyond.
How FiscalNote Leads the Way in Stakeholder Management
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1. Build an Overview of Your Relationships
To approach policymakers and key organizational contacts and develop productive relationships with them, you must make sure you understand their goals and the outcomes they expect. Aligning your issue and framing your communications with those goals will help them understand how your piece fits into their puzzle.
To do this, it’s important to have a clear overview of your stakeholders’ background, voting history, what committees and subcommittees they’re a member of, what key topics they’re focusing on, and even what they’re tweeting about. A stakeholder management tool is vital to cataloging your organization's relationships, managing ongoing engagements, staying aligned, and having fruitful conversations with your stakeholders that move your issues forward.
2. Know Your Data
“I think good lawmakers are very mindful and receptive to conversations with people who have a genuine, well-thought solution to their issues,” says Chris Spence, managing director of federal government relations at TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. “Really seeking to understand, listen, and identify those points of alignment, and then building on them is pretty crucial.”
Stakeholder management is all about developing influence and trust. Taking the time to prepare ahead of any meetings or communication with policymakers means you and your team must be aligned not only on your organization’s issues and talking points but also on the stakeholder’s position and voting history on a particular issue.
This means you need a central source of information where all communication with a specific lawmaker or organizational contact is stored and can be easily accessed to prepare for the next exchange.
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3. Align Your Goals Externally and Internally
“As government relations professionals, our job is to build relationships in Washington, D.C. with regulators, with lawmakers, with Hill staff,” Spence says. “That's also our job internally, to build relationships with the business so that they know they can call us, they know we're around, they know what we're doing.”
Look to position yourself and your work as vital to advancing your stakeholders’ goals. Using an issues and stakeholder management solution will allow you to easily keep track and show the impact of your work in the framework of your key policymakers and your organization’s goals.
4. Report on Your Stakeholder Activity
Understanding who your stakeholders are, aligning your goals to theirs, and getting everyone on the same page boils down to building a good, comprehensive stakeholder report. A stakeholder management tool can help you create customizable reports on the key stakeholders you’re working with, including U.S. state and federal policymakers, committees, executives, and more.
Stakeholder reports help you simplify and visualize your understanding of key stakeholders by including bios, notes, engagements, activity, and more. Reporting will also help you drive internal alignment and share the most up-to-date information with your team and broader organization on where stakeholders align to your issues. And, reporting can also help you show the ROI of your work by evaluating where stakeholders stood at the beginning versus at the end of an initiative.
How to best use stakeholder reporting
- Internal alignment & awareness: Share these executive-facing reports with your C-suite to brief them on key stakeholder relationships ahead of meetings.
- Prep for fly-in days or Hill meetings: Use as prep materials ahead of fly-in days and/or Hill meetings.
- Committee engagement tracking: Holistically track the latest engagements with committees and better understand who you’ve met with and who still needs to be engaged.
- For Public Sector: Leverage stakeholder reports to brief senior agency leadership before meetings on the Hill by including executive summaries outlining your stakeholder briefs, visual lists of recent engagements and conversations, and most recent Tweets.
Elevate Your Stakeholder Strategy with FiscalNote
FiscalNote is the most comprehensive solution on the market for you to track, manage, and engage your key contacts. Our new stakeholder reporting feature helps you build custom stakeholder reports that demonstrate your team’s value inside and outside your organization. With this release, you can create professional PDF reports on the key stakeholders you’re working with, including U.S. state and federal policymakers, committees, executives, and more. You can even customize the report by picking and choosing the information you wish to include, such as:
- Executive summary
- Biography and general contact information
- Teamwide engagements and notes
- Sponsored bills
- Committees and subcommittees
- Staff and contacts
- Most recent tweets
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