The DC ecosystem is a crowded place, which is why finding ways to make your voice heard is so important. At Brumidi Group, we firmly believe that the power of breaking through the noise is through duplicative voices advocating for your issue. This means that finding a range of stakeholders to support your message is vital so that Capitol Hill and the Administration are hearing from diverse voices on the topics that you care most about.
Here's how we recommend getting this done:
Build trust as a brand and subject matter expert. To bring others on board, external groups have to see your organization as a unique and authentic voice on an issue. Explaining the need for a new policy and why others should care is the first step to bringing new stakeholders on board. Position your organization as a thought leader by providing unique perspectives on emerging issues that impact your industry or focus area. The upfront time spent educating stakeholders and connecting the policy issue to their needs will be well worth the effort over time.
Coalitions are key. Finding (or forming) coalitions that align with your values and where you can lend your voice is a great way to build support for key issues. Ideally, a coalition will be interested in advocating for your priorities, which is an excellent way to reach new audiences and expand advocacy bandwidth. Generally, committee staff are more willing to move forward on coalition priorities knowing that a broad group of organizations signed off on these priorities and will support the issue throughout the legislative process. Therefore, adding your priority to a coalition wish list can be a much easier way to move a policy forward than going it alone.
Diversify your stakeholders. To the extent that different sectors can be talking about an issue, the better off the policy idea has of advancing. It demonstrates that this policy idea can benefit multiple industries; that NGOs, companies, and professional societies can come together in support; and that it’s an opportunity to connect congressional champions on issues where they might not have worked together before.
Repetition signals consensus. The more frequently an office hears about an issue, the more likely they are to take note that it’s important to stakeholders. Developing a clear message that can be easily communicated by your organization and partners is essential to effective advocacy.