4 Ways for Local Chambers to Engage in Advocacy

There are many ways to engage in the advocacy arena.

It's important that you make the distinction between legislative activity and political activity.

The following 4 things are key in having a full on government affairs program for your chamber.

The first two fall under the legislative activity category and the last two are clearly political activities.

1.    Lobbying
2.    Grassroots
3.    PAC's
4.    Endorsements


I've talked about this before HERE and in a nutshell this is where you and your members are having direct contact with your legislative leaders. Preferrably a one-on-one meeting with the member or his or her staff.


This is where you may engage your entire membership in a letter writing campaign or a phone call campaign.  Don’t forget the letter-to-the-editor grassroots tactic.  It can be very productive.


This is a separate entity and designated fund that your members can contribute personal money to, which in turn, allows you to can make direct contributions to candidates.


This is where you go on record and endorse a specific candidate for elected office.  While you may not make everybody happy when you make endorsements it's an effective tool in your government affairs toolbox.  It's important that you use a clear set of criteria to measure candidates so you can decide on endorsing pro-business candidates or incumbents in an open and transparent way.

Remember, the key to making the above four activities successful is having a strong government affairs committee that can vet the above and make recommendations to your full chamber board for consideration and action.

Good luck!

3 Tips for Creating an Online Content Plan

If you're like most chamber's you may have had a few sleepiness nights thinking about creating your chamber’s online content plan.

Not a problem!

I suggest if you focus on the following 3 tips you'll be well on your way to creating great content for your members and community.

1.    Strategy
2.    Discipline
3.    Adaptability


Ask.  Listen.  Plan.  Don't jump without asking your members what they want, listen to their comments and plan accordingly.


Stick to your strategy and don't get caught up in chasing the next big gadget or new platform.  Think members.  You don't want them having to learn a new way of communicating with you (platform) since most people don't like change.


It's imperative that you continue to review your strategy and be able to change as needed.  Let's face it, in the online space it seems like things are changing every other week or month.  Don't chase the beast!

Now once you've thought about the above 3 tips it's now time to spend the next 6-12 months in executing your plan and then take a step back and measure your efforts.

There are many measuring tools out there but many chambers are using Google Analytics and for good reason.

It's free and a very robust tool that will tell you much about your efforts over a period of time you choose to measure.  The new dashboard is very user friendly and you can find more info on the program at this BLOG.

The only mistake you can make in creating an online content plan is to do nothing.

Get started today in creating great content for your members!