Juliet Guerra is Senior Director, Public Affairs at The Herald Group, a PR and communications firm specializing in public affairs. She has a decade of experience in corporate communications, public relations, and grassroots campaigns.
Last month, I had the privilege to speak on a panel hosted by Crowdskout and the Government Affairs Industry Network on how to build an authentic coalition around a cause to move issues at the state level. Not only is this an important area in light of the current gridlock in Washington, but one that is more prevalent as constituents no longer respond to mass digital communications, instead seeking tailored, localized communications.
As no two districts, states or media markets are the same, advocacy initiatives require a tailored approach using communications channels and messaging that account for target audience preferences. For example, advocacy communications that speak to Ohioans using the same terms they themselves use and show the impact of federal legislation on the state make a more compelling case to build grassroots support than a standard-issue national call-to-action.
Leveraging the voices of credible grasstops influencers can further elevate a state strategy to rally support. These genuine on-the-ground voices carry incredible influence and can underscore the importance of an issue to a large constituency. Working in collaboration with an organization’s state-based arm or partnering with a firm specializing in grasstops engagement strategies, like The Herald Group, is vital to identifying and mobilizing captivating voices at the local level.
There is no single roadmap to successful coalition building at the state level, but employing a tailored and localized approach at the outset drives advocacy efforts.