Deep Dive Breakout 1

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Organizations reveal their inner workings to discuss how policy and communications teams can best work together to advance a shared agenda. Pepper them with questions and see what recommendations they can offer to help your internal teams play nice.

Notes from session:

Create a collaborative environment.

  • Prioritize communications between the teams to really work on building these relationships
  • Crossover and integration of teams with both reporting to the same supervisor
  • Work together to determine goals so that you can begin to use the same language and reporting structure
  • Tie department objectives together so that wins are communal
  • Regular meetings between teams relieves a lot of pressure by getting ahead of issues before they have a chance to take root
  • Read everything that your organization produces – you have to know all the issues that your organization is a part of
  • Be an informed resource in order to have meaningful conversations and show your value
  • Share policy message schedule on at least a monthly basis so the communications team can work with your schedule, not against it.
  • Creating a succinct message for all audience so everyone is on the same page
  • Determine the order of what channel messages will go out on- you never know when a tweet will generate a press release or vice versa
  • Identify roles on a project using RACI strategy (Responsible Accountable Consult Inform)

Frequent points of contention.

  • Determining message language, phrasing, and positioning
  • Agreeing on copy and metrics when creating deliverables
  • Understanding who the audience is and how to talk to them (policy wonk vs. regular person)
  • Fire drills when policy teams do not give sufficient notice of their priorities and calendars

Where collaboration can help advance the agenda.

  • Communications teams can make complicated policy issues more interesting and applicable to specific audience segments
  • Urgent issues can help everything fall into place with people adhering to their roles and building on one another
  • Policy perspective typically looks at issues and ramifications while communications is more focused on all stakeholders and the full landscape
  • If teams can agree on a timeline, priorities, and roles… then everything can come together
  • The communications team’s story bank can be used by policy teams to tell a story to lawmakers