Issue campaigns are excellent ways to educate and engage your members while also providing positive return on investment to members for your governmental and membership relations work. What we learned in our government affairs courses at Institute was how to use our member networks, which we work so hard to build, to positively influence policy that contributes to the economic growth in our regions and states. Campaigns that draw attention to important issues that impact business do just that – they not only are helpful to involve members, but can also be a revenue generator as well.
At the Texas Association of Business, we continue to successfully lead grassroots campaigns across Texas to focus on national issues, as well as state-oriented legislative priorities, many in partnership with local chambers. Campaigns (whether statewide or local) consist of executing an in-depth communications plan targeting (and segmenting) members. We do this by creating an online call-to-action toolkit, reaching out to media – including TV, radio and print (opinion editorials and influencing local editorial boards) – and hosting tele-town hall meetings. Additionally, we use consistent social media strategies, an aggressive events schedule, and of course one-on-one meetings with legislators led by chamber members and staff – the key is to engage your members in the process.
Even if your chamber does not take a formal position on a public policy issue, educating your members on both sides of the issue can prove to be beneficial as your chamber becomes a greater resource for members to turn to.