Public and Government affairs teams are focused on aligning key corporate issues and policy initiatives with local, state and federal government organizations. Today, these teams are leveraging the massive potential of media and social intelligence data to understand public opinion, gauge support on key issues from regulators and legislators, and detect if their company falls in dangerous crosshairs. As a result, this crucial role has now become a data-driven exercise, requiring constant monitoring of data from news and social sources.

This government and political activity typically takes place across a range of fragmented channels. From broadcast and mainstream news to social media, online news, blog posts, LexisNexis, trade associations and numerous issue based subscriptions, public affairs professionals are tasked on a daily basis with consolidating and correlating this data into trends and positions of key constituents who impact policies.

To manage data-overload and make smarter policy and communications decisions, leading public affairs professionals are turning to media and social intelligence. Last week, some of the top leaders in government affairs and corporate communications gathered in the nation’s capital for Zignal’s Media Intelligence Roundtable — a best-practices session on how media and social intelligence can be leveraged to bolster government and public affairs teams.

The discussions were led by Jeff Eller from The Jeff Eller Group, Archie Smart from MSLGroup, Todd Malan from Rio Tinto and Gordon Johndroe from Boeing. These industry leaders have leveraged media and social intelligence to understand the current state-of-play of political and legislative issues, build political intelligence, provide analysis and recommendations to management and generate the right response, messages and campaigns to drive value to the business. Throughout their discussions, four key government affairs use cases emerged for media and social intelligence:

Surface issues and conversations the moment they happen

Social media is unique in providing near instantaneous dissemination of news on a particular piece of legislation or other political activity, and its corresponding public sentiment. If you can accurately monitor and track political activity in real-time, you arm yourself with the most timely data possible to make more informed decisions and take the right action.

Reporting news and key insights to management

For media intelligence to become truly relevant, it must make its way into the hands of executive teams so prioritization on action can occur. Government relations teams are tasked with communicating media and political developments expeditiously to executive leadership, and the faster and easier it is to absorb and make actionable, the better.

Be proactive and create targeted campaigns

Once you understand what’s happening in the legislative and regulatory environment, you can then develop a proactive issue-by-issue plan that aligns with your company’s interests. A proactive plan might include a series of public statements that convey your company’s position, outreach to a particular regional or political group, or ongoing nurture activity with the public, news outlets or social media influencers.

Nurture relationships with influencers and policymakers

Government relations teams are always creating and maintaining relationships with policymakers, and the more you know about how each influencer feels about the issues, the better positioned you’ll be to make a more meaningful connection.

Though the always-on news cycle poses a new challenge for public affairs professionals, it also represents an opportunity to streamline political data faster than ever before. Enterprises can constantly stay informed on key issues and conversations as they happen and then leverage this information to create campaigns targeted at the constituents that matter.

If you would like to learn more about how public affairs professionals can benefit from media and social intelligence, visit our Public and Government Affairs Solutions Page.