5 Ways to Make Advocacy Part of Your Organizational DNA

The year’s first quarter offers organizations an opportunity to rethink current strategies and operational procedures. Manufacturers often set aside time now to ensure their companies’ current programs, projects and goals align with their overall mission, strategic plan and vision. Staff members are asked to establish organizational, team and personal goals relating to everything from productivity and operations to safety and work culture. But have you considered asking your team to establish political advocacy goals? Political advocacy goals are designed to track and monitor activities that can advance and protect your company’s bottom line. For manufacturers, political advocacy goals measure how your team advocates policies that directly impact your company’s specific needs—and those of our industry as a whole.

Here are five political advocacy goals to consider in 2015:

  1. Organize and participate in Manufacturing Day at your facility. This year, Manufacturing Day is Friday, October 2. It is the perfect opportunity to improve public perception of manufacturing, recruit new workers to your company and expose students to potential manufacturing careers. To learn more about Manufacturing Day or to sign up to host an event, visit MFGDay.com.
  2. Meet with two elected officials at their local offices in 2015. Take the opportunity to explain your company’s position on a legislative issue. This might entail talking with local officials about zoning and taxes or meeting with your members of Congress to discuss trade, labor or environmental issues. By requesting a meeting, you set the stage for a conversation that best fits your company’s needs. Use the resources on the NAM website for data and talking points concerning issue areas that directly impact manufacturing.
  3. Give a tour of your facility to an elected official. Show your elected officials what your operation entails, what your company makes and how much your employees produce daily. Facility tours are a great way for lawmakers to meet you and your employees, hear manufacturing success stories and see firsthand how their decisions impact your business. If you are willing to host a tour, check out our plant tour guide.
  4. Connect to the NAM’s digital advocacy efforts. We are part of a growing and changing manufacturing economy, and we need your help to maintain positive momentum. Visit the Manufacturing Works advocacy center online to send a message to policymakers on important legislative issues, or download the MFGWorks app in the Apple iTunes Store. The app allows you to receive important alerts directly on your iPad or iPhone and take action with just one touch. (The Android version will be available soon.)
  5. Travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with your members of Congress. The NAM’s Manufacturing Summit is the perfect time to connect with Washington lawmakers in a meaningful way and discuss a host of issues that impact your company, your workers and your bottom line. The NAM will schedule your congressional meetings, and you can participate in interactive general sessions with dynamic speakers on manufacturing topics.

Incorporating political advocacy goals can enhance your company’s visibility and contribute to your bottom line in a tangible, measurable way. Developing positive relationships with elected officials who shape policies that influence manufacturing is a proven strategy. Consider adding political advocacy goals to your organization’s strategic plan in 2015.

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Member Focus.

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