Do Generation Based Grassroots Communication Tactics Matter?

One of the questions that I invariably hear at each and every gathering of government relations professionals is, “How do I reach Generation X? How about Generation Y? How about the Millenials? How about the Boomers?” And on it goes.

Dr. Rhoads and I have always responded that while each generation likes to think that the evolutionary process has made their brains different than those 20 years older than them, evolutionary psychology shows that human psychology has not changed since it’s ...

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From Concern to Cooperation: How to Use Grassroots and Lobbying to Build Your PAC

While some look for a “silver bullet” to raise PAC funds, we sometimes forget that it’s many things, rather than one thing, that changes a PAC’s bank account. A constant dilemma among PAC professionals is how to advance the PAC when the organizational culture has been averse to it at worst, and at best, ambivalent.

I heard some good news from Micah Intermill, Director of Advocacy for the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Micah, along with his colleagues Maribeth Bersani, ...

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What Does it Take to Get Legislative Staff to Remember Your Information? How to Prevent “Senior Moments” Among Legislative Staff

Those of you who have hired us for our grassroots advocacy workshops know about the prevalence and power of heuristic persuasion techniques, as well as how to combat heuristic decision making on the part of legislators and their staff. Kristina Miler (not Miller) of the University of Illinois is one of the first researchers to examine how “political and legislative elites” use heuristics to recall information presented by constituents. All grassroots professionals and lobbyists should be aware of Miler’s findings.

Heuristics ...

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11 Strategy Questions You Have to Answer Before You Build Your Grassroots and PAC Capacity

I am seeing a lot of turn-key tools for grassroots professionals who need to give their grassroots volunteers something to do. I agree that volunteers need to have clear direction on the best activities to build awareness of your issue and your organization before elected officials and opinion leaders. However, doing that in absence of a strategy simply takes us farther along the “activity without results” road.

People tend to make strategy harder than it needs to be. Nevertheless, the reality ...

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Why Things Fail

I’m very proud of our track record with our long-term consulting clients. We find that 85% of them get more financial and human resources and internal organizational stature as a result of our collaborations. In addition, they experience increases in their grassroots volunteer influence and PAC receipts. They know how to execute.

But join me on the dark side for a moment. Lots of organizations that attempt change are unsuccessful. They don’t execute well. Here are the ...

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Is Your Organization’s Diversity Program Hurting Your PAC Recruitment?

Before you send me flaming e-mails, read on.

I had one of my many “learning moments” recently when working with one of my corporate PAC clients. We were talking prior to the workshop about all the new corporate diversity programs. There was no judgment as to whether they were good or bad; it was just an oral compilation of the various initiatives.

I know that one of the keys to get employees or association members to contribute to a political action committee ...

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How to Spend Money on Surveys that Don’t Get Results Part 2

Here’s how to really determine if ads are effective: advertise some products, and don’t advertise others. Then see which sells. All those “advertisements that don’t work” will sell the product. Those that are unadvertised will sit on the shelf. When you ask people why they bought the advertised product, they will mention positive product attributes, but seldom advertising.

No matter if you are selling a message, a request for action, or a PAC contribution, the lesson for government relations professionals is ...

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How to Spend Money on Surveys that Don’t Get Results Part 1

No, that’s not a typo. Although many organizations have the best intentions when it comes to conducting influence campaign research, I’ve seen some rival the “burn rate” of a circa 2000 internet start-up company without persuading their audiences. That results in wasted resources and a credibility hit for the government relations professionals at the scene of the crime.

On a somewhat related note, it reminds me of a comment (and I’m not making this up) at a recent conference where someone ...

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The Bailout and Persuasion Tactics. . . .or, “If I’ve Learned One Thing, It’s Never One Thing” Part 2

Key Influentials and Mind-Changers

It gets even more interesting when you look at the lawmakers who did change their minds and their reasons why.

Our survey showed that undecided lawmakers are more likely to change their minds if they hear from people they trust. We call those people “key influentials;” personal friends, local elected officials and opinion leaders in the legislator’s district.

At least 10 of the lawmakers who changed their mind and voted “yes” on the second vote said they were influenced ...

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The Bailout and Persuasion Tactics. . . .or, “If I’ve Learned One Thing, It’s Never One Thing” Part 1

I read with interest some blog postings and news accounts of the votes by the U.S. House of Representatives on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan. Some were straight news accounts, other heralded that the vote results were directly correlated to citizen grassroots input and nothing else. As one who promotes the grassroots persuasion “lifestyle,” you’d think I’d be doing a victory dance at these “insights.” Au contraire, it reminded me how attributing influence success to one tactic is ...

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