By Taralinda Willis
Successful government relations teams build a weekly routine around their weekly reports from Curate, the legislative tracking software they use to make sure that they never miss out on critical local government intelligence.
But depending on the type of organization, we have seen our customers find success with a variety of approaches to using our local issue tracking tool.
Typically, their strategies fall into one of three approaches to using our research tool: the centralized approach, the decentralized approach, and the hybrid.
With the centralized approach, one team member reviews the report each week and shares the highlights with their members or coworkers.
This approach is a favorite among statewide or regional business associations who need to inform their membership base about important local legislation in order to engage them in advocacy. Local lawmakers don’t always give a lot of credit to a statewide association appearing to complain about a proposed ordinance or fee, but they’re much more likely to listen to a local business owner talking about how the proposal would negatively or positively impact them and the jobs their business supports.
Our customers using a centralized approach often have a process where one staff member with experience in local policymaking reviews the Curate report and flags two or three issues that are worth further research. They look into those issues to see if they represent a worrisome trend or a worthwhile opportunity, and then they share the highlights with members for their general awareness or to inspire political involvement. They might add some commentary and context to the items to make sure that business owners who aren’t current on every detail about local politics can fully understand the issue and take action.
With the decentralized approach, an entire team gains access to the Curate report, and each team member reviews the section of the report that corresponds to their geographic region or topical focus. Users can filter Curate reports by county [or by keyword], making it easy for team members to share one account.
This approach works well for business development and sales personnel, particularly in the construction industry. They don’t need a government affairs specialist to help them make sense of the projects being discussed in local government, they just need to be the first contractor in town to know about them.
The hybrid approach gives everyone in the organization access to the weekly reports as well as the Curate research database so that they can research issues on their own, but ultimately relies on one government affairs director to make sure nothing slips between the cracks.
That centralized researcher is responsible for making sure that the Curate report is catching all of the most relevant topics for the organization, since issues shift over time. And as those issues shift, they educate the rest of their team on the background of the issue so each person will know what to look for in the reports.
Whether they use the centralized, decentralized, or a hybrid approach, our most successful customers build a weekly habit around their Curate report.
The average Curate customer tracks 94 counties in 2 states, and they spend about an hour per week reviewing their report—typically over a cup of coffee on a relaxing Friday morning.
Our customers tell us that their Curate report has created a structure around their local advocacy and business development efforts that previously felt like a game of Whack-A-Mole. And in our opinion, that’s a better outcome for both the humans and the moles.