Tag Archive water


Tip of the Day 9 – Prioritize Local Impact

Tip of the Day for February 9, 2024, Prioritize Local Impact, emphasizes the strategic importance of connecting policy advocacy efforts to the local impacts and benefits. Lawmakers are often most responsive to issues that directly affect their constituents, making a localized approach both relevant and compelling. Here’s how government relations professionals can effectively prioritize and highlight local impact in their advocacy:


 Understand Local Concerns and Needs

  • Conduct Research: Start with thorough research to understand the specific needs, concerns, and priorities of local communities. This could involve demographic studies, economic data analysis, and surveys to gather insights into how policies might affect the local population.
  • Engage with Local Stakeholders: Build relationships with local businesses, community leaders, and interest groups to gain a deeper understanding of local issues. These stakeholders can provide valuable perspectives on the potential local impacts of proposed policies.


 Tailor Your Message

  • Customize Communications: Tailor your advocacy messages to reflect how policies will impact local communities. Use specific examples and data to illustrate potential outcomes, emphasizing both positive impacts (such as job creation or environmental improvements) and addressing concerns (such as economic disruptions).
  • Use Local Stories and Examples: Share real stories from local constituents about how policies have affected or could affect them. Personal stories are powerful tools for making abstract policies feel relevant and urgent to lawmakers.


 Highlight Local Benefits

  • Economic Impact: Quantify the economic benefits of policies, such as job creation, investment in local infrastructure, or boosts to local businesses. Economic data is a compelling argument for policymakers focused on promoting local prosperity.
  • Environmental and Health Outcomes: If applicable, highlight the environmental and health benefits of policies for local communities. This could include improved air and water quality, access to green spaces, or public health improvements.
  • Social and Cultural Impacts: Don’t overlook the social and cultural benefits of policies, such as community cohesion, preservation of local heritage, and support for local arts and education programs.


 Engage Local Media

  • Leverage Local News: Use local media outlets to amplify your message about the local impacts of policies. Opinion pieces, interviews, and news articles can reach a wide audience and put pressure on lawmakers to consider the local ramifications of their decisions.
  • Social Media Campaigns: Launch social media campaigns targeting local audiences to raise awareness and support for your advocacy efforts. Use hashtags, local influencers, and community groups to spread your message.


 Foster Direct Community Engagement

  • Host Local Events: Organize town halls, forums, and workshops in the community to discuss the local impacts of policies. These events provide a platform for direct dialogue between constituents, advocates, and lawmakers.
  • Encourage Constituent Advocacy: Mobilize local constituents to contact their representatives directly about the issue. Provide templates for letters, emails, and social media posts that highlight the local impact of policies.


 Provide Actionable Solutions

  • Offer Localized Solutions: When advocating for or against policies, propose solutions that are tailored to local needs and conditions. This shows lawmakers that you are not only identifying problems but also contributing to constructive, locally relevant solutions.


 Showcase Success Stories

  • Highlight Successes: Share examples of policies that have had positive local impacts in other areas. Demonstrating success stories can be persuasive in showing the potential benefits of similar policies for local communities.


By prioritizing and effectively communicating the local impact of policies, government relations professionals can make their advocacy more relevant and compelling to lawmakers. This approach not only helps in garnering support for policies but also strengthens the connection between lawmakers, their constituents, and the issues at stake, fostering a more engaged and informed community.


Day 4 Tip of the Day – Be a Resource

Be a Resource: Position yourself as a valuable resource by providing accurate information and expert insights to policymakers.

February 4’s Tip of the Day, Be a Resource, underscores the strategic importance of positioning oneself as an indispensable source of information, expertise, and support for policymakers and stakeholders. This role goes beyond mere advocacy; it’s about fostering partnerships and trust through the consistent delivery of value. Here’s how government relations professionals can excel in being a resource:

  1. Demonstrate Expertise: Establish yourself as an expert in your field by consistently providing insightful, accurate, and actionable information. This could involve detailed policy analyses, sector-specific research, and case studies that illuminate the implications of various legislative actions.
  2. Offer Solutions: When engaging with policymakers, focus on offering solutions rather than just highlighting problems. Present well-researched proposals that address legislative or regulatory challenges, making it easier for policymakers to understand and act upon your suggestions.
  3. Create Informative Materials: Develop clear, concise, and informative materials such as briefs, fact sheets, and infographics that policymakers can use to quickly grasp complex issues. Tailor these materials to the interests and needs of different stakeholders.
  4. Organize Educational Sessions: Host workshops, seminars, and briefings for policymakers and their staff on key issues affecting your sector. These sessions should aim to educate without lobbying, providing a neutral ground for learning and discussion.
  5. Facilitate Access to Experts: Act as a conduit between policymakers and industry experts, academics, and practitioners. Arrange for these experts to provide testimony, participate in roundtable discussions, or consult on specific issues, thereby enhancing the breadth and depth of information available to decision-makers.
  6. Respond Promptly to Inquiries: Be responsive to requests for information or assistance from policymakers and their staff. A prompt, thorough, and thoughtful response reinforces your value as a resource and strengthens your relationships.
  7. Stay Ahead of Trends: Keep abreast of emerging trends, technologies, and policy innovations in your field and share these insights with policymakers. Being a source of forward-looking information can position you as a visionary leader.
  8. Support Bipartisan Efforts: When possible, support and contribute to bipartisan efforts that align with your goals. Being a resource to all sides enhances your credibility and ensures your contributions are valued across the political spectrum.
  9. Leverage Digital Platforms: Use digital platforms and social media to share valuable information and resources. This can include writing blog posts, sharing research findings, and commenting on policy discussions online, thereby broadening your reach.
  10. Conduct Impact Assessments: Offer to help policymakers understand the potential impacts of proposed legislation or regulations by providing or facilitating impact assessments. This can involve economic analyses, social impact studies, or environmental reviews.
  11. Be Proactive in Communication: Don’t wait for policymakers to come to you with questions. Proactively reach out with relevant information and updates that could aid their decision-making processes.
  12. Cultivate a Reputation for Integrity: Ensure that all the information and support you provide are accurate, reliable, and unbiased. A reputation for integrity is crucial for maintaining trust and credibility as a resource.
  13. Engage in Continuous Improvement: Regularly seek feedback from policymakers and their staff on the usefulness of the information and resources you provide. Use this feedback to improve and tailor your offerings.
  14. Support Non-Legislative Initiatives: Offer your expertise and resources to support community projects, educational initiatives, or other non-legislative efforts that align with your values and those of the policymakers you’re engaging with. This broader support can strengthen relationships and enhance your standing as a key resource.

By embodying these practices, government relations professionals not only enhance their effectiveness in advocacy but also build lasting, productive relationships with key stakeholders. Being a resource is about enriching the policy ecosystem with your contributions, thereby playing a pivotal role in shaping informed, effective legislation and regulation.


Tip of the Day #2

Tip of the Day for February 2, 2024

Build Relationships: Cultivate meaningful relationships with policymakers and their staff year-round, not just when you need support.

Building Relationships: The Cornerstone of Effective Government Relations

In government relations, success often hinges on the strength of your relationships with policymakers, their staff, and key stakeholders. These relationships form the foundation upon which trust is built and influence is exerted. Here’s how to cultivate and maintain these critical connections:

  1. Start Early – Don’t wait until you need something to reach out. Build relationships with elected officials and their staff before you have a specific ask. This proactive approach lays the groundwork for mutual respect and understanding.
  2. Offer Genuine Value – Position yourself and your organization as a valuable resource. This means providing insightful information, research, and expert analysis that can help policymakers make informed decisions.
  3. Be Consistent and Reliable – Consistency in communication and reliability in follow-through are key to building trust. Ensure that your interactions are not only regular but also meaningful.
  4. Understand Their Needs – Take the time to understand the priorities, interests, and challenges of the policymakers you’re engaging with. Tailoring your communication and assistance to their specific needs shows empathy and fosters stronger connections.
  5. Attend Events and Meetings – Being present at relevant events, committee meetings, and public hearings not only keeps you informed but also provides opportunities for face-to-face interactions, which are invaluable for relationship building.
  6. Use Personalized Communication – While emails and newsletters are important, personalized communication—whether through handwritten notes, direct phone calls, or tailored briefings—can make a significant impact.
  7. Leverage Social Media – Engage with policymakers and their offices on social media. Thoughtful comments on their posts or sharing relevant content can increase your visibility and interaction in a positive way. Avoid rude or snarky comments because you disagree with a statement.
  8. Be Respectful of Time – Understand the demands on a policymaker’s schedule. Make your interactions concise, focused, and as convenient for them as possible.
  9. Engage in Dialogue, Not Just Monologues – Encourage two-way communication. Ask for their perspectives and listen genuinely. Dialogue creates a platform for mutual exchange and learning.
  10. Volunteer Your Expertise – Offer to serve on panels, participate in forums, or contribute to working groups that align with your expertise and the policymaker’s interests. This not only showcases your knowledge but also your commitment to the public good.
  11. Acknowledge and Appreciate – Recognize the efforts of policymakers and their staff, especially when they support your causes. Public and private acknowledgments of their work can reinforce positive relationships.
  12. Navigate Turnover Effectively – Staff turnover in government offices is common. Make it a point to continuously engage with new staff members to maintain the relationship with the office, not just the individual.
  13. Build Broad Networks – Expand your network by connecting with other stakeholders, advocacy groups, and industry peers. Broad networks can provide new avenues for influence and collaboration.
  14. Practice Ethical Engagement – Always adhere to the highest ethical standards in your interactions. Transparency and integrity are crucial for long-term relationship building.
  15. Reflect and Adapt – Regularly reflect on your relationship-building efforts and adapt your strategies based on what has been most effective.

By prioritizing these relationship-building strategies, government relations professionals can establish a network of trust and cooperation that not only enhances their advocacy efforts but also contributes to more informed and effective policymaking.



Day 1 Tip of the Day: Understand the Process.

Yesterday on Twitter we started a series for February called “Tip of the Day”, which is a daily tip for anyone working in, or interested in #GovernmentRelations, #PublicAffairs, or #PublicPolicy. Below is a link to the tweet and we are adding an expanded description here on LinkedIn. We hope you enjoy the series, and as always, please feel free to contact us.

Day 1 Tip of the Day: Understand the Process.

Familiarize yourself with the legislative process to effectively influence policy outcomes.

Understanding the Legislative Process: A Deep Dive for Government Relations Professionals

To excel in government relations, one must comprehensively understand the legislative process. This knowledge is not just about the basics of how a bill becomes law; it involves a nuanced grasp of the procedural intricacies, timing, and strategic entry points for influence. Here are some key components and tips for mastering this aspect:

1. Learn the Stages
Familiarize yourself with each stage of the legislative process, from drafting and introduction to committee review, floor debate, voting, and the governor’s or president’s final approval or veto. Recognize that at each stage, there are opportunities to influence outcomes.

2. Know the Committees
Committees are where much of the legislative work happens. Identify which committees are most relevant to your interests and understand their members, staff, priorities, and processes.

3. Understand the Calendar
Legislative bodies operate according to a set schedule; some states are only in session for a few weeks each year, others for several months. Knowing this calendar helps in planning when to initiate action, whether it’s introducing legislation, lobbying for or against a bill, or rallying public support.

4. Recognize the Role of Staff
Legislative staff play a crucial role in shaping policy and advising lawmakers. Building relationships with them can be as important as connecting with the legislators.

5. Monitor Amendments and Substitutes
Legislation often undergoes significant changes during the process. Stay vigilant about amendments or substitute bills that can alter a bill’s intent or impact.

6. Utilize Legislative Alerts and Tracking Services
Leverage technology to keep track of legislation and regulatory changes. Many services offer real-time alerts on legislative activity, which can be critical for timely action.

7. Engage in the Rulemaking Process
Beyond legislation, understand the rulemaking process by which laws are implemented and enforced. This often involves public comment periods, offering another avenue for influence.

8. Practice Scenario Planning
Anticipate various outcomes and plan your strategy accordingly. Preparing for different scenarios enables you to respond more effectively as the legislative process unfolds.

9. Educate and Advocate
Use your understanding of the process not only to advocate for your interests but also to educate others within your organization or coalition. Knowledge empowerment can amplify your collective advocacy efforts.

10. Stay Ethical and Compliant
Always adhere to ethical guidelines and compliance requirements throughout the legislative process. Your credibility and effectiveness depend on maintaining high standards of integrity.

By mastering the legislative process, government relations professionals can strategically navigate the complexities of policymaking. This deep understanding enables proactive planning, timely engagement, and effective advocacy that can significantly impact legislative outcomes.


Drought and the 2023 Farm Bill

The 2023 Farm Bill is one of the last multi-year comprehensive pieces of legislation. It sets policies and funding priorities for agriculture, conservation, nutrition, and rural development programs in the United States for the following five years after passage.

One of the major issues that will need to be addressed by this year’s Farm Bill is drought and water usage. Drought has been the quiet, steady threat to agriculture and causes significant damage to crops, pasture lands, and livestock (not to mention its impact on water for human consumption, sanitation, and fire). In the United States, particularly the Western states, drought is a frequent and unfortunately long-term occurrence and has devastating economic consequences for farmers and rural communities.

The 2023 Farm Bill can have a significant impact on drought in multiple ways. First, it should establish a National Drought Strategy like the effort in the Congress in 2004 and 2005, with the National Drought Preparedness Act introduced by the late Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida.

Second, it should ensure mandated funding to drought mitigation and response efforts. The bill should include funding for programs that provide multiyear financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who are affected by drought. This funding can help farmers maintain their operations and recover from the financial losses caused by effects of a prolonged drought. Additionally, the bill should include funding for research and development of drought-resistant crops and water strategies related to water collection and storage, which can help to reduce the impacts of drought in the future.

Third, provide mandatory funding for conservation and sustainable agriculture practices that mitigate drought. The bill includes funding for programs that promote conservation practices, such as cover crops, no-till farming, and soil and water conservation. These practices can help to reduce the impacts of drought by improving soil health and water-holding capacity. By promoting smart, drought resistant agriculture practices, the bill can help to ensure that farmers and ranchers are better equipped to withstand the short- and long-term impacts of drought.

As part of a proposed National Drought Strategy, the 2023 Farm Bill should also include provisions related to water management. The bill may provide funding for programs that help farmers to better manage their water resources, including irrigation systems, water conservation measures, water capture and storage technology and water storage infrastructure. By improving water management practices, the bill can help farmers to reduce the impacts of drought and ensure that they have access to adequate water supplies during times of drought.

To ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill has the maximum impact on drought, it is important for stakeholders to be organized and actively engaged in the creation of the bill and in its implementation. This includes farmers and ranchers, conservation organizations, water management agencies, and rural development organizations. By working together, these stakeholders can help to ensure that the drought provisions of the 2023 Farm Bill are created, appropriated, and implemented effectively that benefits farmers, rural communities, and the environment.

Like all Farm Bills, the 2023 Farm Bill will affect every citizen in this nation.  Ensuring we address the issue of drought, coupled with the climate crisis the world is experiencing, will be critical to ensure our nation’s farmers, producers, and processors, along with everyone in the supply chain, stay competitive and profitable; and our Nation can continue to enjoy the bounties of our Nations’ agriculture.  Now is the time to organize, engage and get to the business of legislating.

The Conduit Government Relations team has significant experience dealing with water issues and the Farm Bill:

Alex Rodriguez, Conduit’s CEO and head of our Water Practice, has significant experience working on California’s drought, dealing with the State Water Project, the Colorado River, and ag-to-urban water transfers, as well Environmental Justice impacts related to drought.

Scott Carter, Conduit’s President and Chief Strategy Officer, is a former head of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Office of Government Affairs and has worked on the past three Farm Bills, 2010 Healthy Hungry Free Kids Act, and helped draft H.R.1386 – National Drought Preparedness Act of 2005 that was unfortunately not enacted by Congress.


For a no-cost, no obligation consultation please send an email or call:
Alex Rodriguez                                               Scott Carter
alex@ConduitGR.com                                   scarter@ConduitGR.com
T: 805.331.7764                                              T: 571.359.1042


Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility

As consumers, investors, and other stakeholders become more conscious of social and environmental issues, businesses are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Public affairs professionals, firms, and consultants play a crucial role in helping companies navigate complex issues related to their social and environmental impact, and in building strong relationships with stakeholders. In this post, we will explore the importance of public affairs in CSR and how it can support a company’s reputation and contribute to positive change.

One of the key responsibilities of public affairs professionals is to manage the relationships between a company and its stakeholders. This includes communicating the company’s values and policies, as well as engaging with stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations. Public affairs professionals also help companies identify and address social and environmental issues that may be of concern to stakeholders, such as climate change, inequality, and human rights. By proactively addressing these issues, companies can demonstrate their commitment to CSR and build trust with stakeholders.

But the benefits of public affairs in CSR go beyond just managing relationships. Public affairs professionals can also help companies develop and implement CSR strategies that make a positive impact in the world. This can involve identifying opportunities for the company to give back, such as through charitable giving, employee volunteering, or supporting sustainable initiatives. Public affairs professionals can also help companies communicate their CSR efforts to stakeholders through press releases, social media campaigns, and events, further demonstrating the value of their efforts and engaging stakeholders in their work.

In today’s business environment, the importance of public affairs in CSR cannot be overstated. A survey by Cone Communications found that 87% of consumers would purchase a product from a company because of its commitment to CSR, while 73% said they would refuse to purchase a product from a company that did not align with their values. Companies that are perceived as socially responsible are also more likely to attract top talent and retain employees, as employees increasingly prioritize purpose and values in their career choices.

But it’s not just about reputation – public affairs professionals can also help companies make a tangible positive difference in the world through their CSR efforts. By identifying and addressing social and environmental issues, companies can contribute to positive change in their communities and beyond. For example, a company that implements sustainable sourcing practices can reduce its environmental impact, while a company that supports educational initiatives can help to address social inequality.

There are potential risks and ethical concerns associated with CSR. Companies may be perceived as engaging in “greenwashing” – making false or misleading claims about their environmental impact or making monetary contributions to friendly environmental groups for cover – to improve their reputation without making meaningful change. Public affairs professionals can help companies avoid this pitfall by ensuring that their CSR efforts are genuine and transparent, and by engaging stakeholders in a meaningful way.

The importance of public affairs in corporate social responsibility cannot be overstated. From managing relationships with stakeholders to developing and implementing CSR strategies, public affairs professionals play a crucial role in helping companies build trust and reputation, attract, and retain top talent, and make a positive difference in the world. However, it is important for companies to be transparent and genuine in their CSR efforts to avoid the risks and ethical concerns associated with this complex and multifaceted field.


Federal government announces new push to take less water from shrinking Colorado River

The federal government is looking to take a real leadership role in addressing the #Colorado River crisis, and #California will finally have to make some very difficult decisions. Southern California relies on two over-stressed systems for its domestic and ag water: the Colorado River and the State Water Project. The Colorado River has been in #drought for 20-plus years, and the State Water Project has been delivering 5-15% of allocations. Hopefully the feds get a handle on this situation soon, rather than later.

Here is a great article by the LA Times on a new push to take less water from the Colorado River.