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Why Brussels-Based Organizations Need to Strategize Their Long-Term Outreach Now
Effectively promote your organization's ideas and influence the next policy agenda during the upcoming European elections. Prepare your ideas today and win the next five years.
With the European elections coming up and the next European legislature, your organisation has a tribune to promote its ideas and influence the next policy agenda.
But you need to act now. If you fail to influence the next Commission before the elections and the nomination of the next Commission, you will only watch policy unfold from the sidelines… for the next five years. But here’s how you can get started.
The sooner you start acting, the better your results.
Define your narrative
You have a few weeks left in 2023 to perfect your pitch.
Before you start with anything, you need to get your message in order. What is your organisation trying to achieve? What is your raison d’être? What problems do you solve? and what is your solution?
This essential exercise is key to influencing policymakers. How can you convince them if you don’t have a compelling narrative?
I wrote earlier about how to define your vision. The key is to define a positive outcome that your organisation and your industry propose. But you can also identify a negative one which, thanks to your proposal, will be avoided.
Collect your evidence
Use the remainder of 2023 to collect evidence supporting your claim.
Let’s imagine your organisation has a solution to reduce air pollution. Are there examples of such a solution already in place? Can you find the figures? Did a scientific publication write about it?
Try to find as much data as you can. This way, you’ll be ready to present concrete evidence when policymakers will ask you about your solution.
But don’t hide contrary evidence. If data goes against your solution, include it and explain what happened and why your solution is still relevant. This will give so much power to your claim.
Prepare your supportive documents
Gather your narrative and evidence into a portfolio.
Don’t do it on your own. Ask a designer and/or copywriter for help. These documents (presentation, webpages, policy recommendations, etc.) must be compelling and eye-catching while remaining factual, professional, and to the point.
Once you have your ideas on paper (and online), the real influence work can start.
Influence the influencers
Hopefully, your portfolio should be ready by the start of 2024. Now’s the time to spread your ideas.
But by then, we still won’t know what the next executive will look like. So instead of advocating in the void, you can start influencing the influencers.
Who are the influencers? They are all the people that your target audience listens to. Journalists, experts, thought leaders, political leaders, activists, NGOs, Trade associations, etc. I wrote a piece on how to map them. Check it out.
Meet with them early on a get your message across.
Get help boosting your influence
Now, I know it’s not easy to do it on its own, especially if you have a small team.
That’s why I’m building an outreach and influence consulting service for Brussels-based organisations.
Interested? Join the Waiting List and get notified when I’m opening new spots for clients.
And if you want to dig deeper, here are eight rules to become a great lobbyist.