• Mark Nicastre

Wrapping up the Pennsylvania Budget: The Steps to Take After an Advocacy Success

If you scored a policy victory in this year's budget, it's important to notify your supporters and stakeholders and thank the decision-makers who made it happen. Too often, groups go silent after an advocacy victory. The advocacy process is complicated, and it is essential to celebrate the victories. Here are five steps to take after an advocacy success.


1. Notify and Thank the Internal Team


After an advocacy victory, it is important to notify your internal supporters, staff, and others who made it happen and celebrate the outcome. This outreach will help your team realize the meaning and impact behind their work. It will energize them to contribute to the team in the future and show the direct result of their efforts.


2. Thank Your Supporters and Stakeholders


Throughout your campaign, you've been in touch with key stakeholders and supporters, both internal and external. They’ve worked on your behalf, and they are key to your success. You must thank your supporters and stakeholders if you scored a policy victory in this year's budget. This outreach will let them know their work made a difference, tell them that your organization is appreciative, and encourage them to spread the news.


3. Thank Decision Makers


It's important to thank the decision-makers who made the victory possible, including lawmakers and administrators who either voted in favor of your policy or supported it throughout the process. This outreach is a great way to maintain the momentum for future advocacy campaigns. It will also help you to maintain relationships with decision-makers and remind them of your advocacy successes. Public thank yous are also essential to show lawmakers' constituents that they got something done for their community.


4. Notify the Media and Others Using Your Paid, Earned, Shared, or Owned Channels


The next step is to reach out to the media and those who are part of your shared or owned channels and make sure they know of your victory. Put together a press release, graphics, videos, and posts, and use the opportunity to talk with the media and share on your channels. If you ran digital ads calling on lawmakers to support your policy, run some digital ads thanking them.


It would be best if you had planned all of the notifications ahead of time and you should execute them in a pretty quick timeline.


5. Starting Planning for Next Year


After your victories, it's time to start planning for next year. Start working on your after-action review. What went right and wrong, and how do you make your case the next time you need a policy victory in Harrisburg. What paid, earned, shared, and owned media worked, and what can you improve through better messaging or targeting? Who were your most important advocates, and where do you need to build some more relationships?