Last week, Direct Impact, BCW, and Prime Policy Group hosted an hour-long discussion panel on creating public affairs programs that move the needle in an increasingly divided—and stagnated—Washington.
Why It Matters:
From the largest corporations to the leanest industry associations, limited resources, siloed staff and unique constraints make it difficult to create dynamic strategies that ensure local and national operations sing from the same songbook.
What We Learned:
Make It Personal. Make It Brief.
Former Congressman Tom Reed, Vice Chairman, Prime Policy Group, shared the view from Capitol Hill noting that Members’ time is broken into five-or ten-minute increments, and can quickly lose focus thinking about what’s next in their day. “You’ve got to make that connection,” he said. “You’ve got two minutes to go in there and make your pitch, so talk about your presence in the district.”
Corporate Level Messaging Needs to Be Localized
Julie Mosley, CEO of J Strategies and formerly Regional Director for Senator Chuck Schumer underscored how a local grassroots partner provides the nuanced messaging that will elevate advocacy and mitigate crises in a way that hyper polished enterprise level materials meant for broad consumption cannot. “We know what messaging will work with the audiences we’re targeting and how to tweak it,” she said.
Local Media Goes Further
Dag Vega, Executive Vice President and Managing Director for BCW, joined Tom Reed in underscoring how critical local media presence is inbuilding consensus across America. “Local TV does a good job of slicing and dicing [earned media] into their digital and social platforms, so when we do national campaigns, a major part of our strategy is, ‘how do we penetrate certain markets when it comes to our paid and earned media?’”
Outside the Box ≠ Outside the District
Stephanie Kundert, Senior Vice President at Direct Impact reminded attendees to approach a district’s unique challenges as a chance to be creative, rather than discouraged. Calling on a time when advocating for defense priorities in her home state of Wisconsin—which she readily admits isn’t known for its military bases—Stephanie discussed working with a client to pivot from their expected messaging to channel local veterans’ concerns on defense broadly. “They’ll come to us and say, ‘Here’s our target,’ and we’ll say, ‘Have you thought about this target audience instead?’”
Bringing It Home:
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to public affairs. Direct Impact, BCW, and Prime Policy Group work together to pair hyper local relationships with connections and knowhow across the Beltway to create unique solutions that support organizations of any size.
As she kicks off the second leg of her record-shattering Eras Tour in Japan after making history at the Grammy Awards, we can’t help but recognize and reflect on the extraordinary impact Taylor Swift has not only had on her legions of loyal fans (like us!), but on the local communities that have hosted her historic Eras Tour performances.“Swiftonomics” aren’t only about Swift’s global influence but about the incredible impact she has had on the communities where we live and work. Swift has certainly left a “Blank Space” for local grassroots advocacy that we will attempt to fill in through outlining five key things that likely don’t come to mind while scavenging for the best Eras Tour seats or selecting which album to listen to next:
Earlier this fall, Direct Impact gave a warm welcome to Mary Flury, the newest member of our team! She joins DI as a Senior Vice President and Finance Director, bringing nearly two decades of experience in finance and accounting.We recently sat down with Mary to learn a little more about her and her unique role on the financial side of the business.
This fall, Direct Impact enthusiastically welcomed Julie Rollend to the team as a Senior Vice President. She brings two decades of experience in public relations and corporate communications with a background in consumer, lifestyle, hospitality, and technology. She spent much of her career in the travel and tourism sector where she recently led local campaigns across the United States and Canada for Marriott International.
Have a local issue you need to address? Looking to engage the right audience in key communities?Want to reach consumers and policymakers at a hyper-local level? Direct Impact can help.