Consulting and Research

We believe in helping clients achieve long-term improvement in their government relations program. This is why many of our interventions are research-based. We do not employ a “silver bullet” or off-the-shelf methodology, as it’s  clear that these approaches don’t create long-term results. There are simply too many moving parts to a persuasive grassroots program or PAC to prescribe a new website or stand alone workshop as the answer to long-term internal and external influence challenges. Our research services are far from a “data dump;” we provide concise, clear recommendations on how to apply the evidence-based findings to take your grassroots, PAC, or lobbying messages to the next level of influence.

We collaborate with clients to jointly diagnose and then prescribe appropriate interventions, training delivery options, and transfer of skills to the client. Our approaches revolve around establishing sustainable PAC, grassroots, and lobbying improvements that serve the organization for the long-term, rather than ad hoc grassroots, PAC and lobbying campaigns.

Our client results indicate that improved grassroots and PAC performance comes from investment in the application of scientific influence principles, standardized administration and management procedures, organizational support structures, and staff who lead and inspire their team.

All methodologies are based on our clients’ highest priority outcomes, so there truly is no “one size fits all” approach. However, the products and services listed below represent our most popular interventions. You can also read about our client results.


The TSG Approach

We know that advocacy and PAC results are a team effort. You’ll never hear us say that “We raised thousands of dollars for a PAC” or “We won the issue” because we believe in client collaboration as we jointly diagnose and prescribe evidence-based interventions.

Because our approach to each client challenge is highly customized, you may not be aware of various services we provide. Let us help you uncover not only your challenges, but your advocacy, PAC and influence potential.


Evidence-Based Approaches to Raise Your Advocacy,
PAC and Lobbying IQ (Influence Quotient)

We have utilized research and data-driven methodologies to PAC, grassroots and public affairs challenges long before the current popularity of data driven advocacy, because we know that it gives you an influence advantage in the competition for hearts and minds.

Velocity Research and Data Analytics Our award-winning research methods give precise insights on the best messages, messengers, and mediums for your particular influence challenge, making your outreach less of a guessing game and more evidence-based. Simple methods of research are available via your social media and web analytics that are built into the platform you are using. Everyone is using those methods, so you don’t have an advantage. The competitive advantage comes from investing in more timely research, with deeper analysis. Typical client research results uncover an average of eight independent variables that predict what leads your population to contribute to your PAC, engage in grassroots, raise more PAC funds, become a more engaged association member, or a more productive staff member. Our PAC clients report that implementation of our research findings leads to not only improved fundraising results, but to fundraising velocity. The research analysis and our recommendations gives you a communications strategy, because you know the messages, messengers and mediums that predict engagement.

Narrative Development, Testing and Delivery CoachingWe use social science methods to develop and enhance narratives that get traction with your target audiences. Our highly acclaimed story coaching, whether delivered privately, in a classroom or virtual setting, gives confidence and clarity to your stakeholders responsible for sharing your story — whether they are government relations staff, organization executives, or advocacy/PAC volunteers.

“I volunteer as a PAC Champion, and share my PAC story with peers to help fundraise for the IP PAC. I felt like I was hitting a wall with my story, so I reached out to Amy and she practically made herself available immediately to listen and provide great direction and feedback. She was able to give purpose to my story and most importantly, made me feel confident that the story is meaningful. What a great resource!”

Andrew Argoblast
International Paper

Issue Frame Creation and TestingMany “good ideas” don’t get traction because they are not persuasively framed; the frame anchors the perception and thus the acceptance of an idea. Applying scientific influence principles and / or your custom research findings, we create, modify and package ideas so that they are as attractive as possible to your internal or external audiences.

Scientific PAC Ambassador Analysis, Evaluation and Recruitment Tools Using our Velocity Research methodology, we analyze your PAC Ambassador / Champion fundraising results and behaviors to create a customized set of best practices for your peer-to-peer or staff fundraising efforts.


Scientific Influence Quotient (IQ) Audits

We have combined our knowledge of the science of influence and our extensive understanding of the challenges facing today’s government relations professionals to create our unique Influence Quotient Audits. An IQ Audit is a “checkup” of your internal or external writers for the organization or individuals.

Credibility Quotient (CQ) Audit A high CQ is essential in our world of hyper-abundant content and noise. Our CQ Audit is based on over 30 years of peer-reviewed social science research that contain the core of modern influence research. We will review your communications materials for over 15 important credibility components, also taking into consideration the hostility and skepticism of your audience. You will receive a CQ score, report and/or presentation with the findings and our recommendations for improving the credibility of organizational spokespersons and any communications you wish to audit.

We examine your communications for over 60 peer-reviewed influence techniques (context, altercasting, inoculation, consensus, scarcity and metaphors, to name just a few of the 60), as well as correctly employed tactics, influence errors, and potential influence tactics that are underutilized.

This can include your legislative testimony, advocacy or PAC websites, podcasts, group presentations, PAC or charity fundraising drives, social media posts, and even your association membership campaign communications.

Authenticity Quotient (AQ)Are you and your organizational communications “for real?” How do you know? All audiences crave authenticity, and the Millennial and Gen Z audiences demand it. We have isolated the 12 scientific elements of authenticity and by reviewing the communications of your choice, can assess your current Authenticity Quotient. You will receive an Authenticity Quotient score, and we’ll teach you and your team how to become more authentic spokespersons as well as increase the authenticity of your organizational communications.


“Well, Amy and her team are the first people I think of when I get a new idea to see if they
have already done it. She produced a workshop for her loyal fans and many new ones in
D.C. where Dr. Rhoads spoke on the science of authenticity, which may have been one of
the most ground-breaking and timeliest ever, considering forces in society in 21st century

Alan B. Smith
Senior Senior Fellow / Midwest Liaison
R Street Institute


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.”


          • Government Relations (PAC, lobbying, advocacy) metrics design and monitoring
          • Strategic planning facilitation for government relations staff and volunteer leaders
          • Competitive influence landscape analysis
          • Government relations customer service satisfaction research & analysis
          • Volunteer and stakeholder motivation and persuasion training
          • Motivational team leadership skill development


Customized staff, advocate and PAC leader training workshops (virtual or in-person):

From Activity to Achievement: Next Level Government Relations Metrics that Matter

It’s What You Say and How You Say It: Persuasive Presentation Skills for Government Affairs Staff and Volunteers Telling a Better Story: How to Use the Persuasive Power of Narrative for PAC & Advocacy Allegiance

Get Real: How to Harness the Science of Authentic Personal and Organizational Communications

The Underdog Edge: What It Is, How To Get It, and Why You Need It For Persuasion Success

‘Til Death Do Us Part: How to Build Relationships with Your Legislators

How to Be A Motivating Grassroots and PAC Team Leader

The Purposeful PAC: Using the Science of Influence for Positive PAC Involvement

The Grassroots Influence Pulse (GRIP®): The Trends and Tactics That Predict Legislative Results
(proprietary TSG research findings)

How to Communicate and Build Trust with Hostile Audiences.      and Live to Tell About It

Message Framing: Capturing the Pre-Persuasion Battleground The Seven Deadly Sins of Influence Campaigns

Why Winners Win: How Fortune’s “Power 25” Find, Keep and Motivate Quality Grassroots Volunteers
(proprietary TSG research results)

Persuasion Tactics that Change Legislators’ Minds
(proprietary TSG research results)

Avoiding the Unintended Consequences of Influence Campaigns

From Online Chatters to Doing What Matters: How to Get Your Stakeholders Off Their Computers and On the Streets


Improving Advocacy and PAC Infrastructure, Influence and Communications

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.”
          • Advocacy and PAC website editorial calendar and content creation
          • Advocacy strategic plan facilitation and development
          • PAC and advocacy campaign communications
          • Executive PAC and advocacy communications
          • Social media content creation
          • Key contact program design and launch communications
          • Grassroots advocacy training for staff, key contacts, executives and board members
          • Government relations staff and volunteer strategic planning facilitation and reports
          • Motivational grassroots keynote speeches
          • Grassroots incentive program design
          • Grassroots Influence Quotient (IQ) Audit
          • Advocacy staff strategic planning manual development
          • Grassroots program management
          • Advocacy website design
          • Creation of grassroots collateral materials
          • Key contact program establishment
          • Coaching for government relations staff
          • Grassroots program audit
          • Grassroots program establishment – Internal and external communications, editorial calendars and content on demand


Creating & Maintaining a Purposeful PAC ®

Amyism #84
Developing Your Advocacy and PAC Leaders Evangelism Quotient
“Government Relations staff cannot, and should not, serve as 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 in a compelling way.”
          • Peer to peer fundraiser performance analysis & improvement
          • Velocity PAC research and data analytics
          • PAC communications influence quotient audit
          • PAC strategic plan facilitation and development
          • PAC campaign strategy and plan development
          • PAC peer to peer and staff fundraising training – communications and narrative development
          • PAC fundraising communications and collateral
          • PAC contributor communications and editorial calendars
          • Executive PAC communications
          • Establishment of PAC metrics

Coaching for Government Relations Staff

          • Personal credibility enhancement
          • Persuasive presentation skills
          • Thought leadership
          • Team leadership and conflict management strategies
          • Elevating communications and influence