I2M State Team Town Hall Sound Bites

Greetings Innovators,

We just concluded our inaugural I2M State Team Town Halls this week in Colorado, Texas and North Carolina.

Between the three groups, we covered over 25 grassroots and PAC topics, so we definitely burned some brain cells.  As usual, I can’t wrap up the meetings without mentioning my favorite sound bites:

  • Grassroots Key Contacts: “Star employee” doesn’t equal star advocate.”  Jane McAtee, Southwest Airlines.
  • The Hall of Shame: “I use the ‘Hall of Shame’ method to drive grassroots recruitment. You have to publicize who is and isn’t meeting their recruitment goals.”  Chris Kemm, Colorado and Wyoming Credit Union Association , & Co-Chair, I2M 2010.
  • Name Drop:  “I always tell my volunteers to ‘name drop.’ It’s important that their legislators know their advocacy title and responsibilities. It gives them more confidence and credibility.” Betsy Vetter, American Heart Association, & Co-Chair, I2M 2010.
  • Give to Get: “Be helpful to non-GR colleagues and they will help you. Be prompt in your responses and you’ll get cooperation when you need it.” Ann Clayton, ConocoPhillips
  • Grassroots Harmony: “The best grassroots events create camaraderie  among the volunteers. We always need to think of how we as staff can create that atmosphere.” Anne Easter, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Smarter, Not Bigger Grassroots:  “While it can be a challenge, it’s a worthy goal to get everyone working ‘smarter not bigger’ when it comes to grassroots development, and making it a value statement for your department.” Carrie Murchison, eBay, Inc.

And my take on the state of grassroots ethics: With the proliferation of  astroturf of lobbying, including congressional investigations about grassroots authenticity, we all have to be concerned about grassroots ethics.  Job number one is to “get your own house in order first.”

Thanks to all who participated, you always provide new energy and zeal for our efforts!