Deep Dive Breakout 2

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Last year we looked at how to encourage employees to become top advocates for their industry. This year we will look at some of the more creative campaigns implemented to motivate employees to action. We’ll also discuss how your PAC fits into all of this.


Employees who you’re trying to engage often have a lot of things to do – and will feel like getting involved in a grassroots program shouldn’t have to be a priority for them. This session explores some tips and ideas for breaking through and motivating your teams to action.


How do you change the expectations of employees regarding corporate advocacy?

You need to have an office culture that expects employees to give. Some of this needs to come from your leadership. If your leadership is not engaged, you can still get things done – but it may have to be under the radar.

Building goals into board meetings can help.

How do you succeed when all you get told is no over and over again?

Accept the no, move on, and ask again.

It can take multiple touches to finally get to a yes, but it does help if you can get the CEO or senior leader’s blessing.


One panelist’s organization had multiple programs: PAC, Grassroots, and a Government Affairs Program (GAP). 

To bolster these efforts, they have also implemented a peer to peer engagement program. It leverages the eyes and ears on the ground to amplify the company’s efforts.


Another panelist shared perspective from the corporate side and the trade association side. On the corporate side, one of the challenges they faced was a mistrust of PAC and advocacy work overall. Employees had different political perspectives, but they reframed this concept.

So instead of saying they lean left or they lean right – they lean 100% of the company 100% of the time.

They had to build a significant amount of trust and prove that they were generating value and protecting the interests of the business.

One tactic that panelists used was lunch & learns (or “Pizza & Politics” sessions). Another panelist shared that they developed a 1-slide dashboard where they listed the top 4 talking points.


For some panelists, they found that they had to invest a lot of energy and effort into basic education efforts.

There are a lot of misconceptions, and a lot of misplaced anger because PACs give more to Rs than to Ds or vice versa. One panelist knows of an organization that has a PAC contribution option in their payroll deduction portal, and then also allows the contributor to indicate if they would like to designate funds ONLY to Ds or Rs.


One panelist saw success with an internal milestone (their organization’s 100th anniversary). Another saw success with PAC to PAC contributions and swaps.

They all voiced concerns with the current political discourse with candidates indicating they are not going to accept PAC contributions.

NABPAC is being proactive on this and is working to educate members and candidates to help shift the perspective (ex: a company may give a large lump sum contribution, but it comes from hundreds of employees giving $5.)


Many of them had issues with their executive and leadership teams engaging in PACs. One organization put together a memo for its PAC board chair which compares and contrasts their company’s contributions with their trade association’s PAC participation trends.

They indicated that peer to peer recruitment, even on the executive leadership level made a big difference.


What are some incentives, swag, or examples of gamification that you have found to work?

Really nice swag – like hats, Vineyard Vines ties, etc.  They also had their interns go out and take nice pictures of the swag in DC.

Another has a Plinko board that they bring to events and conferences, and say that you can only play if you sign up to be a PAC member, or if you are already a member of the PAC.

Employee events like a Cinco de Mayo party, with $200 Amazon Gift Card drawings and $5 Starbuck gift cards. They increased the contributors from 5 people to 28 people with this event alone.

Another organization does a non-profit contribution match for their PAC contributions. At the end of the year last year, they doubled the contribution.

They all agree that having strong visuals can make a difference. Aside from working with an agency, they recommended using tools like PiktoChart and Canva.

Videos and animated infographics were also very beneficial, PowerPoint, and Cision, too.