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Winning with Business. Shelley Symonds & Shari Simon [email protected] 510.219.0721. If you want to win, and win fast…. We need business to win Business support will get you legislative support, public support and press support Get them on your side

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Winning with Business

Shelley Symonds & Shari Simon

[email protected]


If you want to win and win fast l.jpg
If you want to win, and win fast…

  • We need business to win

    • Business support will get you legislative support, public support and press support

    • Get them on your side

  • It’s easier than you think

  • It only takes a few, good business people

  • Symonds & Simon

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    Three step process

    • Ready

      • Find your coalition’s business leader(s)

      • Use them in creating the legislation

      • Create initial business messages

    • Aim

      • Find your business spokespeople

      • Finalize your messages and materials

    • Fire

      • Shape public opinion

      • Proactively set the terms of debate

      • Iterate, iterate, iterate

    Symonds & Simon

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    Why would business support a social program?

    • When it helps them

      • Increase revenue

      • Decrease costs

    Symonds & Simon

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    Symonds & Simon

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    • Find your business leader(s)

      • Executive level

      • Private sector track record

      • Good professional connections

      • Time to devote to this

    • Use same process to recruit them that they will use to recruit business spokespeople

      • Use your rolodexes

      • Use business associations

    Symonds & Simon

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    Make it work for business, too

    • Make the legislation palatable to business

      • When drafting the legislation

        • Use business leaders to vet the legislation

          • Economically friendly legislation

          • Test: identify problem areas and positive areas

          • Create negotiating strategy

        • Associate with successful, well-perceived programs from businesses’ point of view

    Symonds & Simon

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    Make it attractive to business

    • When creating initial messaging

      • Business friendly language/messaging

      • Inclusive language for all important constituents

    • Make it make business sense

    • Make rational cost/benefit arguments

      • Emotional appeals will not work with business

      • Demonstrate return on investment (ROI)

        • Third party, credible sources

      • Track results

        • Build into the plan future studies to track actual experience

        • Goal is federal legislation – actual stats and facts are critical

    Symonds & Simon

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    Symonds & Simon

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    Who is “Business”?

    • Many different segments

      • Small businesses

        • Surprisingly receptive

      • Medium businesses

        • Start at the top

      • Large corporations

        • Longest sales cycle is with large businesses

        • May be easier to work through organizations

    Symonds & Simon

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    • Set the discussion – fact based

      • University of Chicago study, 2000 Department of Labor Survey on FMLA, EDD study, California Labor Survey (political support across parties)

    • Create materials for a common voice

    • Be consistent

      • Train team members to use the common voice

    • Language that worked

      • State Disability Insurance, Family Temporary Disability Insurance

    • Language that didn’t work

      • Workmen’s Comp, Paid Family Leave

    Symonds & Simon

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    Business messages that work

    • Make a business argument

      • Increase profits or revenue

      • Decrease costs

    • Business vs. personal

      • Use third party, impartial sources

    • Increased employee retention

      • Of “good” employees

      • Did not impact ability to remove “bad” employees

    • Time vs. money

      • Time is mandated leave

      • Money is disability insurance

    • Legislation 100% employee funded

      • Does not create any new employee rights to leave (time off)

    Symonds & Simon

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    Business spokesperson profile

    • Executive level

    • Men and women

    • Well-prepared and coached

      • Accessible - ready to turn on a dime

      • Brief them as you would for any marketing campaign

        • Three points

        • Facts

        • Obvious conclusion

        • Stay on message

    • Personally credible and forceful

    Symonds & Simon

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    Symonds & Simon

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    How to reach businesses

    • Use business associations

      • The usual suspects

        • NAWBO, NOW, BPW, Catalyst Women, Am. Assoc. of University Women, Cosmetic Executive Women

      • Not just “women’s” associations

        • Manufacturers, restaurants, hotels, merchants organizations, industry organizations (ASBA, Social Ventures Network), professional organizations (NCHRA)

      • See who is quoted in the press

    • Use everyone’s personal rolodexes

      • Authors of legislation

      • Great for small/medium business contacts

    • Tell a friend is very powerful

    Symonds & Simon

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    Electronic outreach

    • Business runs electronically

    • Use list serves

      • Create your own or use existing ones

    • Have an informational website with actionable pop-ups

      • Business website

      • Concise and compelling messaging

      • Make it quick and easy to take action

      • Sample letters, emails, send-a-fax, tell-a-friend

        • For politicians

        • For press

        • For businesses

        • For personal contacts

    Symonds & Simon

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    Opposition – Unexpected

    • Women in business

      • Adverse reaction possible

      • Business women may view it as inhibiting career paths and/or compensation

        • Makes them less desirable as hires

        • Puts them on slow-track

        • Gives employer reason for lower pay

      • Counters:

        • Christopher Ruhm study and Gruber study

    Symonds & Simon

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    Opposition - Expected

    • Expect opposition from national or statewide organizations

      • Chamber of Commerce – well-organized

      • Business organizations – NFIB, Bay Area Council

      • What they will say

        • Grants rights to “paid leave” for less than 50-employee companies

        • Job killer

        • Enormous cost of program, budget deficit

        • Employers will bear additional costs

          • Temp or contract workers

          • Training and administration, lost productivity

          • Eventually will have to pay for legislation – new taxes

          • Abuse of system

          • Circumvents existing law – ERISA, FMLA

    • How to combat it

      • Neutralize their power with business support

      • Get the facts out there first

        • Use your business spokespeople

        • Not all members of these organizations agree with their positions

      • Companies with a track record

      • Use global experience

    Symonds & Simon

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    What we learned:

    Legislation was palatable to business

    Message well received

    Crafting effective message required due diligence

    Business is not monolithic

    It only takes a few, compelling spokespeople to make a difference

    What we recommend:

    Start early

    Involve business in the coalition immediately

    Proactive rather than reactive – set the agenda!

    Make a consistent business argument

    Use business organizations

    Leverage the volume to set the discussion

    Use everyone’s personal rolodexes

    Have clear and concise calls to action

    Use electronic outreach

    Find a compelling business spokesperson

    Then find two more

    Lessons learned

    Symonds & Simon

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    Symonds & Simon