How many times a day are you asked to show how the PAC adds value to your company or association? For many of us, this can be a difficult proposition, not because we lack the data points, but because there is so much information that it’s hard to convey in a concise manner. Every PAC email needs to carry a message, but how can we include all the information that each stakeholder is looking for?
While one email may not do the trick, you can carry this message in a PAC newsletter. Whether you opt to produce a newsletter on a monthly or quarterly basis, a PAC newsletter offers you the “real estate” to provide better context to the PAC’s mission, its achievements and its value to PAC members. The goals of your newsletter are to engage your PAC members, demonstrate how PAC contributions are advancing your organizational mission, ensure your PAC brand is top of mind with your eligibles and inspire PAC eligibles to donate.
Try to incorporate three concepts when putting together your newsletter: Inform, Humanize and Inspire. By embracing these principles, you will be turning your PAC eligibles into knowledgeable stakeholders.
Turn your PAC newsletters into your soap box: this is an opportunity to show how much the PAC has done. Too often, PACs are judged only by the money raised and the contributions given. While that is a fundamental metric, what is at the core of PACs is how they help create and manage relationships. So let’s create new metrics to show off how that work is accomplished:
- How many meetings with candidates were conducted? How many Hill visits were scheduled?
- How many political meetings (fundraisers and meet & greets) were attended?
- How many political events did the PAC host? Or how many industry events were attended? Sharing numbers like these — in infographics, charts and text — can help illustrate how the PAC adds value to your organization’s political outreach.
When asked, “What is a PAC?,” all too often organizations answer in political speak; for example, “it’s a Washington, DC thing,” “it’s about pooling our contributions,” or “it’s to support our lobbying.” But PACs are made up of people and they work with people. By showing this side of the PAC, you take the PAC out of the realm of political constructs and make it real for your readers. Perhaps you can highlight a PAC ambassador with a photo and quote, or post answers to questions from PAC members. To show what the PAC actually does, consider a candidate spotlight about a policymaker the PAC supports and who has visited one of your facilities. By showing faces or sharing your members’ own words, you can help humanize and personalize the PAC and your PAC community.
Just as it is important to show what the PAC has accomplished, for many stakeholders, it’s very important to show your eligibles where the PAC is headed. By including your PAC members in what the future holds, you are making them a part of the mission and inspiring them to join your journey. What new issues will the industry face and how will your PAC lead? What elections will directly impact the company/association or industry and how will your PAC help shape the future? What is happening in Congress or in state capitals that will demand the PAC’s and the organization’s attention?
Members want to feel that they are being engaged directly. A newsletter is a vehicle that can help your PAC pull back the curtain on the important work it does every day. It can illustrate its impact on political conversation and show the faces of engagement: the faces of the PAC and the people that the PAC supports. A PAC newsletter can encourage participation by showcasing how the PAC’s efforts can directly contribute to success for the industry, company and individual by providing an inside look.
Whether it is distributed as an email or in print format, the best of PAC newsletters are well branded, bold in their mission, consistent in their delivery and a showcase for your PAC members, your accomplishments and your plans.