Building an Advocacy Campaign to Withstand Any Political Storm
August 11, 2015
By: William M. Bertles III, Senior Vice President and Partner
Building an effective advocacy program is similar to building a house. You begin with constructing a solid foundation, then reinforcing its framework with durable and reliable materials, and fortifying it over time. For sustained advocacy, this structure is rather similar.
Advocacy programs should be foundationally based on a target audience, effectively weaving strategic communications elements such as grassroots outreach, political strategy, media relations, creative messaging, etc. into a strong campaign program that can mobilize your advocates and withstand any political storm. Particularly for the manufacturing industry, long-term, sustainable advocacy campaigns have proven to be invaluable to weathering legislative and regulatory challenges that arise on Capitol Hill. DDC does it best (#ddcdoesitbest) by building and managing winning campaigns utilizing four strategic elements to create an advocacy powerhouse:
- Find and expand your audiences base—Reaching your audiences is the very basic of any advocate campaign. Without effectively finding who to target with your campaign message, your outreach efforts may not reach the right individuals at the right time. Embracing grassroots outreach should go hand-in-hand with grasstops targeting of key influentials because an integrated campaign will ensure consistent messaging and issue education across your audiences.
- Attract your audience and educate them on the issues affecting your industry—Not only should your campaign find and target the right audiences, but you must attract them to your cause. For manufacturers, the legislative and regulatory challenges brought on from Capitol Hill or State and local governments are not isolated to legislators’ offices and your messaging should reflect that. A strong campaign will educate and utilize industry members, employees, and everyday people to serve as spokespersons for your issues.
- Utilize innovative tools to educate and support your advocates—DDC knows that resources such as online web design, creative messaging, digital development, media outreach, and social media, etc. are at the forefront of modern advocacy campaigns. Embracing these innovative tools and resources will elevate your campaign to reach far greater audiences more efficiently. With these tools, your advocates will be able to better communicate with grasstops leaders on your behalf.
- Rally your advocates when you need them most—The value of initiating a strategic grassroots and grasstops campaign is long-term relationship-building between you and your supporters. When challenges arise on Capitol Hill or in State and local legislatures, you can tap in to your advocate base and mobilize them at the right time. They will already be educated on your issues and given the tools necessary to take action when needed most.
DDC specializes in this full-spectrum campaign solution that produces quality results. We work with organizations to achieve wins for your industry through our uniquely tailored capabilities enhanced with cutting-edge technology and creative solutions—all under one roof.
Proven Results for Manufacturers
DDC worked with a member of the manufacturing industry on its public outreach campaign against a harmful federal regulation that would have effectively reduced national GDP, cut over 1 million American jobs, and made most states non-compliant with the new terms.
In critical states, DDC initiated a robust campaign utilizing grasstops elements with earned media capabilities to support coalition efforts. We successfully localized the issue and represented the communities within individual states—leading to issue recognition on a national scale. DDC’s approach created surround-sound volume with successful targeted outreach efforts that produced significant results:
- ‘On the record’ comments from numerous bi-partisan governors in support of the issue
- National media coverage including television, print, and radio
- Social media chatter including grasstops Twitter Q&A panel contribution
- Participation of influential local officials on issue panels and testimony before Congressional Committees
- Comments submitted to the legislative docket from thought leaders, community business leaders, and local influential leaders
DDC provides strategic expertise and campaign management—powered by our leading technology and digital applications—to shape public opinion, sway decision-makers, and affect outcomes where you need it most.