The most recent Advocacy Leaders Network event, Come Fly-In with Me: Best Practices for Capitol Hill Lobby Days was a great success! Advocacy professionals gathered at the Beekeeper Group offices to hear advice from our presenters with the aim of learning the tips and tricks for planning and implementing a stress-free organizational Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.
He also added that, according to House schedulers, “Afternoons on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to request constituent meetings with Congress.”
Brad’s presentation was followed by a panel of speakers from prominent corporations and associations who also imparted their seasoned wisdom to the audience. Here are some of the top takeaways:
Be strategic about what time of year you do your Lobby Day. Pick the best time of year for YOUR issue so that Members are more likely to focus on it.
Help staff prepare (and get the Member prepared) by sending your leave-behinds a few days ahead of time.
Segment your participants by sending people from different sectors of your industry to talk about different issues.
Bring your facts to life by telling stories, along with sharing data.
Using technology is great way to liven up your Lobby Day – from apps, to videos, to even a basic Twitter feed.
Post-meeting follow ups are a critical part of the Lobby Day process. Something as small as sending short thank you notes impart a great impact on a Member and their staff. (Expert hint: Send the thank-you over the weekend, when they get less email and are less busy, so they’re more likely to notice and enjoy it!)
Join us in September for the third event in the 2013 ALN series, Boosting Key Contact Programs: Turing Players into Coaches. Information about the event is available here.
Brad Fitch will deliver the keynote presentation at the “Come-Fly In with Me” event, and his presentation will cover CMF’s latest survey research on how to most effectively schedule advocacy fly-in meetings. His keynote will be followed by a panel of the advocacy experts featured above, who will provide insights from their experiences managing highly effective lobby days.
It’s that time of year again – when techsperts and social mediaphiles converge on Austin, Texas for South by Southwest® (a.k.a. #SXSW13). Most of us here at Beekeeper Group fall into one of these categories. That’s why we’ve sifted through the hundreds of events and put together this handy list of 10 advocacy-centric sessions you should check out at SXSW.
The list is in chronological order. It’s a free-for-all, so get to the sessions you want to attend early. Download the mobile apps for SXSW and for the Austin Food Trucks – they’re both lifesavers. #ProTip: When in doubt, hang out on the rooftop at Iron Cactus.
10 Advocacy Sessions You Should Check Out at SXSW®
Al Gore on the Future – Saturday, March 9, 3:30PM “[A] frank and clear-eyed assessment of the emerging forces that are reshaping our world and will continue to do so in the decades to come.”
Who Run the (Internet) World: Women – Sunday, March 10, 11:00AM “How do you talk to an audience that primarily wants to talk to each other? Why is the greater Internet dismissive of the power of girls and women?”
The Real Responsive Process? – Sunday, March 10, 12:30PM “Four industry leaders will delve into how they handle the responsive process or how they don’t.”
Big Data Democracy: The Rise of Analytics – Sunday, March 10, 3:30PM “[T]op political and technological minds will discuss how mining and analyzing “big data” helps predict – extremely accurately – the behaviors of constituents and the electorate.”
The New Serendipity? – Sunday, March 10, 5:00PM As we live lives that are more accelerated and connected, with access to tools that help us rapidly express and investigate our ideas are we creating greater conditions for serendipity?
Seven Ways to Fail Magnificently – Monday, March 11, 3:45PM Ted Murphy, Founder & CEO of IZEA, Ted will share 6 ideas that fell flat (while wasting money and time) and one that paid off.
Measuring Social Change & Media: Beyond BS – Monday, March 11 11:00AM “This workshop will dramatically demonstrate how the practice of measurement, social media, social change, and networks has evolved over the past 5 years.”
Tweet us your highlights or post them in the comments if you happen to attend any of these. We’d love to hear from you while you’re there!
Congressional Research Service veteran Judy Schneider started the event with a keynote address. Judy captivated the audience with her tenacious wit as she shared over 30 years of wisdom and advice.
The event continued with a Q&A session with a panel of current and former Chiefs of Staff that previously helped establish offices for new Members of Congress. Panelists compared their own experiences while offering tips to attendees on best practices for ensuring your organization is seen and heard by a new Member.
“Become a resource for your Member. If they do not know much about your issue, helping educate them is a great way to develop what the Member will view as a valued relationship.” – Karen Czarnecki, former Chief of Staff to Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA).
“No two Congressional offices operate the same. Be patient with offices as they establish their various internal processes.” – Glenn Wavrunek, current Chief of Staff to Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI).
Legislators, regulators, Hill staff, auto manufacturers and journalists will converge in D.C. this week for the 2013 Washington Auto Show. As the Hive’s resident auto gal, I’ll be attending and covering the activities surrounding this year’s Public Policy days. Read my auto show preview here.
First up will be the National Journal Live Policy Summit on January 30, entitled Affordable Mobility: A Roadmap to Energy Efficiency, moderated by Amy Harder and Fawn Johnson. Panelists will include:
Mitch Bainwol – President and CEO, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Robert Bienenfeld of Honda – Senior Manager, Environment & Energy Strategy
Gina McCarthy of the EPA – Asst. Administrator, the Office of Air and Radiation
Tom Stricker of Toyota – Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs
Whether you live in Washington, work with the government, or simply read the news, you understand that Congress can be difficult to navigate. Communicating and building relationships with policymakers and their staff can seem overwhelming. If you’re an advocacy leader, how do you ensure that you are making the most out of your grassroots efforts?
In 2011, Beekeeper Group joined forces with the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) to find a way to convey this message to advocacy and government relations professionals. CMF is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving Congressional operations and citizen engagement. The Advocacy Leaders Network series is part of CMF’s Partnership for a More Perfect Union, which seeks to enhance communications, understanding, and the relationship between citizens and Congress.
Advocacy Leaders Network is designed to enhance grassroots and government relations professionals’ understanding of decision-making and operational practices in Congress. Through interactive workshops involving expert panelists, presentations, case studies and roundtable discussions, attendees gain knowledge of strategies and practices that will enrich communications and relationships between citizens and Congress.
Our inaugural series of four half-day workshops was a rousing success, with each event reaching full capacity. Speakers included media and technology specialists, academics, lobbyists, nonprofit advocacy professionals, senior government relations experts, and policymakers.
New Advocacy Leaders Network Series Announced for 2013
Now, the Congressional Management Foundation and Beekeeper Group are excited to announce a second series to be launched on Friday, February 22. Topics and dates are as follows:
Last Wednesday night at the Hive, the bees were buzzing and the honey was flowing! Master mixologists Jamie McBain and Steve Oshana faced off to create the signature Beekeeper Group cocktail in honor of our Hive-warming. And the winner is… the Sidecar’s Stinger! An adventure for the taste buds, this drink is made up of blended scotch, vanilla infused maple, and honey liquor- and finished off with a cherry.
Thank you Steve, and his worthy opponent Jamie, for creating a medley of cocktails that were an absolute bee-light to sample. Finally, thank you to our guests- your spirit and enthusiasm really made the party. Catch your photos with our bee mascot on our Facebook page and please feel free to tag yourselves!
Can’t get enough Beekeeper Group? Check us out on Facebook and Twitter and get buzzing!
Earlier this week, the authors of HUMANIZE, Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter, took the stage here at Beekeeper Group to share highlights from their book, plus some new survey research they gathered to go along with it. In the book, Maddie and Jamie take the principles underlying social media’s rapid growth and success, and apply those to the way we lead and manage organizations. Telling a room full of people that the old “command and control” methods we’ve used in the workplace for the last century won’t work anymore isn’t easy, but it’s definitely necessary.
Here’s why! The research overwhelmingly shows that embracing the principles of social media, while requiring a significant culture shift, is something people are increasingly expecting. According to the 2012 Social Leadership Survey:
• 84% agree that leadership involvement in social media gives their company a competitive edge.
• 84% agree that communicating core values in social media is integral to leadership
• 45% were concerned about their leadership’s lack of involvement in social media.
• Even in companies where the leadership was involved in social media, 29% were concerned it wasn’t enough.
Of course, we had to have some experts weigh in on their findings. Leaders from TD Bank, American Immigration Lawyer Association, American Chemical Society, and American Society for Association Executives all shared their expertise at driving social within their respective organizations. And here are just a few my favorite insights from them:
The W3 Awards, which honor “creative excellence on the web” for videos, websites and marketing programs, recently recognized Beekeeper Group for our work with two outstanding organizations. The advocacy testimonial video we produced for the American Heart Association, “You’re the Cure: 30 Years of Building Healthier Lives through Advocacy,” won in the category of Web Videos – Activism. We also received an award for our work on the website Yes on Y in the category of General Websites – Politics.
We were also recently honored with a Telly Award for our work on the National Academy of Public Administration’s “Our Fiscal Future” animation. The video won in the category of Political Online Video. Click here to watch that video.
Beekeeper Group enjoys teaming up with clients to create high-quality digital projects, and it is even more rewarding when organizations like W3 and Telly recognize our work.
Yes on Y: W3 Award Winner, General Websites – Politics.
Yes on Y: W3 Award Winner, General Websites – Politics.
Our Fiscal Future: Telly Award Winner, Political Online Video.