Case Study: Center for Global Policy Solutions

How do you coordinate 20 legislators in states across the country in an op-ed campaign that gives each legislator their own individual voice, but pushes the same important message – when you don’t have a communications director on-staff?

Goals:

  • Write and develop four template op-eds that can be customized by each legislator
  • Interview each legislator, working with them and their staff to create the final op-ed
  • Place the legislator op-eds in their papers-of-record in each of their separate states

Plan:

  • Research the campaign topic anecdotally and statistically to create four different frameworks relevant to the four regions the legislators hail from
  • Research each legislator, his/her position on the issue, and conduct initial outreach followed by phone interviews with each interested legislator to get their perspective on the issue and to capture their voice
  • Engage in an iterative writing and editing process with the legislators and their offices to finalize the op-eds
  • Ask each legislator for their top 3 preferred placement outlets

How do you harness the strength of numbers when they’re scattered cross the globe?

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and the Center for Global Policy Solutions had a challenge.  As part of their thought leadership in the childhood obesity, policy, and health spaces, they needed to organize up to 20 state legislators from around the country in an editorial writing campaign.  But with no communications director on-staff, and the clock ticking on their grant funding, they wanted some outside help to get the job done.  Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings called in SJS Consultants to develop and execute a campaign to get the job done.

Job number one for SJSC was familiarizing itself with the issue and the authors.  SJSC was well-versed in the childhood obesity space thanks to its communications strategy work with Save The Children’s Campaign for Healthy Kids.  After brushing up on the latest news and policy changes, we reviewed the list of legislators the Center wanted to work with for the campaign.  Where did the legislators stand on the issue?  Had they voted on any relevant or adjacent legislation recently?  Had they made any statements or done any interviews?  Were they a part of or running any programs?

Following the initial research of the authors, SJSC did their introductory outreach to introduce themselves, the reason for their communication, and what would be next.  Of the 26 legislators contacted, 20 expressed an interest in participating and interview calls were scheduled with them as op-ed frames were simultaneously being drafted.

The op-ed frames would need to be robust enough to present each legislator as a credible subject-matter expert but fluid enough to be customized to the individual authors’ experiences and tailored to their voices.  They were fleshed out with statistics from federal agencies and local sources from each participating legislators’ home state were also queued up for inclusion.

And SJSC writers are experts at ghostwriting.  Having written for Members of Congress, celebrities, and every manner of thought leader in between, our writers know how to glean not just content but voice and personality from interviews as well.

Over a three-month period, the SJSC team would work closely with the legislators and their staffs to help them pen op-eds that were authentic and representative of the challenges their constituents faced.  In the end, SJSC placed 90 percent of the op-eds penned and a number of the legislators used the op-eds as a part of their platforms moving forward.

How’s that for providing food for thought?

SJS Consultants is committed to Giving Voice To Your Vision™.  What’s yours?