Amyism #89 Resting the Roots


“Keeping your advocates active ‘all year’ isn’t a best practice. It’s a prescription for clinical issue fatigue and ultimately, advocate burnout.”


  Amyism #88 Grassroots Advocacy v. Grassroots Influence


“Grassroots advocacy is an activity, grassroots influence is a result. Give careful thought to which one you emphasize, recognize, and reward.”


  Amyism #87 Volume Metrics v. Value Metrics


“There is a bias in our profession for volume metrics over value metrics because they are elementary and easy to obtain. Value metrics measure the tactics that predict your legislative results, grassroots engagement and PAC fundraising success. Volume metrics just measure how much an activity is conducted, regardless if it leads to your intended result. If you don’t know the tactics that predict your paramount results, which should be changed minds and changed behavior, you can’t properly measure what matters.”


  Amyism #86 Consistency


“Despite declarations to the contrary, no dramatic PAC or advocacy program transformation happens with one tactic. When building an influential advocacy program or large PAC, there is no single event, no grand video, no solitary viral tweet, no ‘killer app,’ no single meeting that transforms your program. Rather, it occurs through consistent thinking, testing and honest evaluation. The consistency produces the momentum that leads to the transformation.”


  Amyism #85 Original PAC and Advocacy Messages


“It’s intellectually lazy to appropriate materials and messages from other advocacy and PAC campaigns. The sloth is compounded when the messages are deemed as ‘new’ or ‘disruptive.’ Superior political engagement professionals devote earnest thought and exertion into their engagement strategies and messages. Those who copy and paste their way to engagement via the thought leadership of others put their professional brand as an ‘expert’ clearly up for grabs.”


  Amyism #84 Developing Your Advocacy and PAC Leaders Evangelism Quotient


“Government Relations staff cannot, and should not, serve as an organizations’ primary advocacy and PAC evangelists. Every advocacy and PAC leader has a “why” regarding their engagement. It’s our job to find it, bring it to life, and teach them how to communicate it in a compelling way.”


  Amyism #83 Research Methodology and Grassroots/PAC Results


“Your research methodology matters. Asking someone why they do or don’t give to your PAC, or do or don’t participate in your grassroots advocacy is meaningless. There is a difference between what people think, what they tell you they think, and what they actually do. Knowing the difference impacts your ultimate results.”


  Amyism #82 Maximizing Social Media Influence


“Legislators who agree with your cause may cite your social media messages as an authentic influence on them, while those opposed cite the same messages as inauthentic ‘noise.’ Both characterizations cannot be true. To increase your social media authenticity and hence it’s influence, you must have real, credible advocates on the ground pressing your case.”


  Amyism #81 The Premise is Paramount


“Organizations love to talk about their strategy because it conveys that nothing they do is random. However, basing your PAC, advocacy or communications strategy on an untested, evidence-free premise is just that – a ‘random plan’ rather than a ‘strategic plan.’ The premise is the holy ground, because an untested premise leads to the wrong strategy, the wrong tactics, and ultimately, a failed outcome.”


  Amyism #80 The Purposeful PAC ®


“Every PAC should have a purpose beyond the transactions of collecting and distributing money. A Purposeful PAC ® drives emotion, emotion drives commitment, and commitment drives contributions. Is your PAC a Purposeful PAC ® or a transactional PAC?”


  Amyism #79 Metrics that Matter


“Shallow government relations metrics like email response rates, followers, PAC receipts and the number of lobbyist meetings prevents getting fired. Meaningful metrics that demonstrate your results, and the value of those results to your stakeholders, gets you promoted.”


  Amyism #78 The Fallacy of Benchmarking


“If you measure your government relations operations and outcomes against your industry or profession ‘average,’ you will remain average.”


  Amyism #77 Persuasion vs. Awareness


“We increasingly see many campaigns that are deemed successful due to ‘increased awareness.’ It stems from the idea that ‘every little bit helps.’ Every little bit helps, however, is a fall back position when the campaign doesn’t do anything else. We know from social psychology research that there are eight steps to persuasion. Awareness is step two of eight. There is much to persuasion beyond ‘awareness.’ “


-Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D


  Amyism #76 Grassroots Leadership


“The mediocre grassroots leader commands. The superior one demonstrates. The great one inspires.”


  Amyism #75 Empowering PAC Recruiters


“Your PAC recruiters are asking people for personal money, for a political cause, with no immediate return (if any) on their investment. That’s why they must become proficient persuaders and master motivators. You can’t achieve that with a slide deck of PAC fundraising do’s and don’ts.”


  Amyism #74 Grassroots and PAC Persuasion


“No one in a large organization believes everything they read and hear, no matter how many catchy slogans, hashtags and banners in the hall. They believe what they see and experience. The role of a similar exemplar is one of the strongest influences on whether they will join your cause.”


  Amyism #73 Influence Tactics


“A recognized, manipulative influence tactic is a failed influence tactic.”


— Kelton Rhoads, PhD


  Amyism #72 Persuasive Message Development


“The medium is not the message. The message is the message. The medium merely moderates the message.”


— Kelton Rhoads, PhD


  Amyism #71 Evangelism vs. Conversion


“While ‘evangelism marketing’ is all the rage, and evangelism about your cause is essential, smart grassroots leaders know the real victory is in finding and creating converts for their cause, because converts are the most persuasive evangelists.”


  Amyism #70 Volunteers


No matter what you want from your work – a vibrant grassroots program, a big PAC bank account, or victories in the legislature —- it all comes from other people.”


  Amyism #69 Grassroots Motivation


“Are you recognizing victories or behaviors? One key to motivation is creating an environment where the desired behavior, regardless of the result, is recognized.”


  Amyism #68 Grassroots Motivation


“Motivation is largely intrinsic. Your job is to create an atmosphere conducive to self-motivation. Blanket approaches don’t work.”


  Amyism #67 Successful vs. Unsuccessful Influence


“People are generally unable to distinguish a successful tactic in a failed campaign, or a failed tactic in a winning campaign. People over generalize, and assume any tactic used in a failed campaign is a bad one. Whereas a successful campaign blesses every tactic used.“


–Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.


  Amyism #66 PAC Objections


“Questions or challenges and even sometimes hostility about your PAC are signs of interest. Prepare for the objections. When you hear only the crickets, then you know you’re in trouble.”


  Amyism #65 Grassroots Tactics


“Your best grassroots advocates know the difference between just being kept busy and meaningful engagement. The only real way to retain people is with meaningful engagement.”


– Betsy Vetter


  Amyism #64 Competitive Advantage


“You will not win more issues, gain more grassroots participation, or raise more PAC money by doing things ‘reasonably well most of the time.’ You can’t dabble in excellence.”


  Amyism #63 PAC Objections


“There are no new PAC objections known to mankind. The crime is not in the objection, but in us not being prepared to welcome, validate, and have a dialogue about them. . . .and to forget that we are answering a person, not a question.”


  Amyism #62 Grassroots Tactics


“You can have the best advocacy plan for your grassroots volunteers, but if they aren’t persuaded that they need to get off their computers and in front of their legislators, it doesn’t matter. Do your volunteers know why face-to-face contact with opinion leaders and legislators is the platinum standard of persuasion?”


  Amyism #61 Advocacy vs. Persuasion


“Advocacy is not persuasion. One is the activity, the other is the result. Just like spending a lot of time in your doctor’s office doesn’t make you a neurosurgeon, advocating doesn’t make you persuasive.”


  Amyism #60 Grassroots Ethics


“When people in power call for ethical standards…odds are, those ethical standards are designed to keep them in power.”


–Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.