Tag Archives: business

Support the Right Gubernatorial Candidate by Talking to Stateside Associates

As the Chief Executive Officer for a state, a governor wields a great deal of power. From selecting cabinet members to advocating particular stances for education, business, social programs and the environment, the governor can make a big impact on how state resources are used. If your organization could be a beneficiary of those resources, you would be wise to speak with Stateside Associates to understand how to position your organization with the governor. If your state is holding an election this November for the governor’s office, it would help you to know the positions of the candidates and how they could impact your interests.

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Stateside Associates is following the elections very closely since more than 2/3 of the states have the governor position in play. Eighty percent of those governors are seeking another term so these politicians are known quantities. That said, it is in your interest to talk to the people at Stateside to understand the stances of their opponents and to learn how those stances will affect your organization. You may decide that it is worthwhile to financially or otherwise support the incumbent or the opponent.

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In some races, such as that in Arkansas, prominent politicians are publicly supporting certain candidates. For example, Bill Clinton has appeared at a fundraiser to help candidate Mike Ross. Because of his lineage in the Carter family, candidate Jason Carter has the tacit endorsement of former president Jimmy Carter.

Also at stake this November are the offices of 31 attorneys general. The outcome of those elections will determine the degree of enforcement of a number of laws that could be relevant for businesses. Everything from discrimination to environmental law to pricing and monopolization rulings will be impacted.

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Talk to the experts at Stateside Associates to find out how you can support the politicians that will be of the greatest benefit to your organization and its constituents.

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Stateside Associates Helps You Evaluate the Performance of a Lobbyist

As an executive in a trade association or in a company, you know the importance of staying in touch with and influencing state government policy for your stakeholders. The decisions of state lawmakers can have a huge impact on your firm’s profits, costs and efficiencies. In fact, your government relations department is probably spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort already. You may have hired lobbyists or consultants to help you educate and advocate for the interests of your company and stakeholders; this would be a fiduciary obligation to your shareholders. That said, how do you know if these lobbyists and consultants are doing a good job? What kind of evaluation process do you have in place to make sure that your money is spent in the best manner?

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The 2013 State Government Relations Benchmarking Report found that more than half of corporations and nearly three-quarters of associations do not have a formal evaluation process for their contract lobbyists and consultants. Such a void is astounding considering that corporations spend over 25% of operating income on these contractors.

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If your organization is lacking an evaluation process, it would behoove you to contact Stateside Associates. Stateside is a consulting firm specializing in state and local government affairs, but its experienced and expert staff members will bring best practices to help your organization evaluate contractor performance. Stateside Associates staff will help you develop and execute an audit of your contractor’s activities. They will explain that success must be measured by more than whether a targeted bill passed or was quashed.

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While outcome in the legislature is one reason to hire a contractor, it is not the only reason. Process is important, too. In what activities did the contractor engage to achieve the outcome? Did it put your organization in jeopardy for future influence?

Ask the experts at Stateside Associates about their work in consultant and lobbyist evaluation.

The Digital Business Card – Using Social Media as Your Introduction

The ubiquity of social media has made traditional professional introductions almost archaic. Although most social networks were implemented for personal social purposes, it is expected and even mandatory that we communicate with our associates via Facebook and Twitter; not just LinkedIn. Unfortunately, not every organization has the wherewithal to utilize social media in an effective manner, and failure to employ a diverse array of communications tools can have devastating effects on the ability to establish a noteworthy online presence. For governmental entities in particular, this oversight could effectively end careers.

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It isn’t uncommon that organizations are often slow to embrace technological innovations. “Workers were intimidated by email when it first hit the office scene,” says Stateside Associates Social Media Manager Graham Grossman. “How would companies use it? How would professionals adapt to using the new medium? In hindsight, how could we ever have competed in the marketplace without it?”

Using social media resources to strengthen or even initiate public relations campaigns must not be undertaken lightly; an organization’s online presence must be managed with the same level of sophistication and dedication as any large-scale initiative. Nothing is more precious to any organization than its public perception, and social media gives public and private sector enterprises the opportunity to broadcast messages instantly and efficiently.

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How can an organization hone its social media skills? By using a dedicated social media specialist as a resource, for one. While it may seem simple enough to post updates to Twitter, Facebook et al, there must be value attached to those posts. Many a public figure has diminished his or her online significance by burying essential communications in a sea of worthless updates.

Next, get the entire organization involved. Linking every team member to the organization’s social network is essential in expanding communications through every possible channel. Additionally, a robust organizational presence helps to establish the image of company unity.

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“The way we talk about and use social media is much the same as the way we once thought of business cards as granting us access,” says Grossman.“We as government relations pros should understand it and use it to our benefit.”