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Getting serious about metrics: Be Incredible. Focus on Quality not just Easy.

Getting serious about metrics: Be Incredible. Focus on Quality not just Easy.

By Chip Felkel

Recently I was sitting in a theater with my family watching the new release, “The Incredibles 2”. A line from the movie’s villain, Evelyn Deavor, is this, “Ease. They will trade quality for ease every time.” Of course, this villain (note: the bad guy here) is correct in her assessment about society generally and while she wasn’t referring to public affairs and advocacy, she certainly could be. But the truth is, good, successful, impactful advocacy can be much easier than we seem to think. Yes, it takes some work. It’s not as simple as hitting send, and it takes some common sense and a willingness to stop taking victory laps for activities that do very little but create lots and lots of noise.

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CMF Research Webinar: Are Grassroots Emails to Congress Effective Anymore?

Join CMF and RAP Index in a discussion about making the transition from “reach metrics” to relationship-based or impact metrics. This presentation will encompass more than a decade of research CMF has conducted on communicating with Congress.

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Metrics that Matter: Measuring Quality Grassroots Engagement

By Amy Showalter

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, when concurring with the majority opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio tried to define what constitutes obscenity: “. . . . I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it . . . “

I often think of that statement when defining quality grassroots engagement, as almost every advocacy professional knows it when they see it. It’s a high bar, because the cacophony of voter sentiment is abundant and intense. And virtually every grassroots professional I have advised or observed admits that quality is what matters most for their grassroots development, and they want more involvement from quality advocates.

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Money: How to run with the big dogs when there is no budget for big lobby

By Andy Krakowski

“We could spend tens of thousands of dollars going into key districts, or we could focus on a few key contacts in that district that we already know have connections with legislators and will give us a better impact.”

- Director of Grassroots at a national trade association

If you think the key to winning a legislative campaign is to outspend your opposition, you are likely in for a rude awakening. In 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, over $3.15 billion dollars was spent on lobbying in DC alone and your organization would have needed to spend about $11.5 million just to crack the top 20 lobbying groups.

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ROI: What should you be earning on your investment in advocacy?

By Chip Felkel

The short answer: Political Capital.

With three decades of public affairs work with a wide range of clients and projects, I’ve seen what organizations must have to get a solid ROI out of their respective advocacy programs. It’s much more than the money they have and spend. The truth is, a lot of well-funded organizations have under performing advocacy efforts because they spend far too much on activities that produce very little long-term value. These “programs” provide cover in reporting to the board or management but some seem more focused on making sure the staff is busy (or can claim to be) instead of executing on things that will be externally effective…

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