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Playing the Political Long Game

Get into politics or out of business. In a digital age where connecting with others has never been easier or more important, politics is not simply about steaks and handshakes anymore. By no means do I intend to undermine the importance of the traditional lobbyist, whose role in building and maintaining personal relationships every day cannot be overstated. But there is more to a successful public affairs effort these days. What lobbyists and elected officials need today, more than ever before, is air cover – grassroots support for their position and a team that captures, educates, engages, and nurtures the effort along.

Politics is a long game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you must budget, staff, recruit, and educate your team and your advocates appropriately. Set your expectations realistically and understand that these relationships and policy changes may take a long time. Each legislative session is an opportunity to gain ground, and each new relationship with a lawmaker (and their staff) is a chance to find a champion for your issue. Start now and don’t stop until you get there – remember you’re playing chess, not checkers.

In this month’s episode of Make the Connection, we’re covering all your questions on building and executing public affairs strategies. How do you create a message that encourages others to care about your issue? What are the steps your public affairs team should be taking to lay the groundwork to share that message? Why is now the time to start preparing for the 2021 legislative session?

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