Debates surrounding improving our nation’s infrastructure have been at the forefront of news cycles since the beginning of summer. With over $1 trillion dollars in investment opportunities on the table, there has been significant opportunity to advance policy priorities and influence the future — if organizations act strategically.
The potential passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will mark an important milestone for our country, and this once-in-a-generation bipartisan funding package will modernize our digital infrastructure, transform our economy, and advance our society for years to come. This bill enhances our nation’s response to climate change and empowers companies to lead bold initiatives in healthcare, cybersecurity and technology. How have you seized this opportunity to advance your company’s policy priorities and engage with policymakers during this historic process?
Public relations efforts within advocacy campaigns are a vital tool in advancing public policy and play an important role in swaying opinions and motivating action around policy. Here are three quick ways a PR agency can help advance your advocacy efforts:
Craft Tailored Messages
Policy advocacy starts with crafting the right message — one that speaks to press and to policymakers, helps them understand the issue, and makes it clear why this issue should matter to them and to their stakeholders. The right message can also motivate key policymakers to act, either through legislative proposals or by becoming legislative champions with their fellow colleagues. It will take time to develop effective messages, and this is where PR pros can help.
A strategic PR team can draw on conversations with the media, legislators and major industry leaders to identify the points that will resonate with your target audiences. An established team will also speed up the process considerably by bringing their years of experience within the technology, cybersecurity and healthcare sectors, as well as long-term relationships with reporters. At RH Strategic, we leverage this wealth of knowledge to provide clients insight into the messages that resonate in the marketplace.
Raise Awareness and Educate Target Audiences
Sometimes, the first step in swaying opinion or motivating action around an issue is crafting a message that resonates. Other times, the first step is creating awareness around an issue and educating people on how it impacts them. Leveraging media engagement and other communication tools effectively can take time and patience, but these efforts break down barriers and promote change, and the results are well worth the investment.
Consider the fact that, five years ago, cybersecurity was hardly front-of-mind for policymakers and the media alike. Nowadays, cybersecurity is front and center of policy conversations, with almost $1 billion allocated towards increased cybersecurity investments in Congress’s bipartisan infrastructure package – and that funding is seen as some of the least controversial aspects of the legislation. So, how did we get here? Good PR.
Well thought-out campaigns designed by PR pros leveraged cybersecurity stakeholders, influencers and media contacts to change the conversation about cybersecurity. Thanks to these efforts, cybersecurity is no longer seen as primarily an IT issue but rather as a national security concern. Such mindset shifts are difficult to set in motion, but they usually start with education and awareness campaigns driven by PR pros with strong relationships with the media. By developing personalized media and PR campaigns, you can drive a desired message and help shape the national conversation.
Build a Thought Leadership Platform
The magic of strategic PR plans plays out when you notice a shift in relationships with both media and policy stakeholders alike. Your brand and advocates evolve from just another voice in a crowded field to a position of thought leadership. Media outlets and policymakers come to you for advice, perspectives and opinions on evolving policies. You become a trusted, go-to source in your field of expertise and can actively turn ideas into reality, thus driving policy decisions forward.
Before you set out to shape public policy, ask yourself where your relationship stands with both media and legislators alike. Are you struggling to gain traction with the press or are you a well-known, trusted source of information? Do you have regular conversations with policymakers or are you still running into roadblocks due to unfamiliarity with your company? Working with an established PR firm will help break through these barriers and more effectively advance your policy priorities.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.