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2010 Capital Staffers Index
A Trans-Atlantic Analysis of Digital Media’s Impact on Shaping Policy




                                                       2010 Capital Staffers Index | 1
1875 Eye Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006 | 202.371.0200 | www.edelman.com

                                            For more information on the 2010 Capital Staffers Index, please contact
                                     Jere Sullivan jere.sullivan@edelman.com or Sparky Zivin sparky.zivin@strategyone.net
2 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
The Lobby Keeps Getting Bigger


                                        Jere Sullivan
                                        Chairman, Global Public Affairs
                                        Edelman



                                                       Public affairs in many ways can be described as      As in the past, we are seeing the role of technology
                                                       the art of persuasive conversation. That quality     driving the public affairs methodologies that are
                                                       has been constant since its origins in the lobby     being embraced to shape the discussion on the
                                                       of the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., when       critical issues of our times—the economy, the
                                                       interest groups and constituents would camp          environment, who we elect and how we govern.
                                                       out in hopes of getting a few minutes with then-     This is not a new phenomenon, as we have
                                                       President Ulysses S. Grant, to state their case on   seen how other technologies, such as radio and
                                                       a host of issues and hopefully apply some gentle     television, have expanded the reach of political,
                                                       persuasion. And, although public affairs has         societal and industry leaders and viewpoints.
                    Perhaps the biggest                matured, the same premise holds true today:          But the Internet—and, more recently, mobile
                      difference is these              we are still trying to have a conversation to        technology—also significantly enhances the
                    new platforms serve                advance an opinion with political leaders, NGOs,     speed at which we all communicate. And perhaps
                                                       businesses and stakeholders from all walks of        the biggest difference is these new platforms
                         as conduits to a              life. The big difference now is that the modes by    serve as conduits to a two-way conversation.
                  two-way conversation.                which we have those conversations are changing.      In some ways we have gone full circle, returning
                                                                                                            public affairs to its original days when personal
                                                                                                            conversations were at the heart of the practice.
“When constituents contact your Member, how effective are the following modes of contact?”
                                                                                                            The 2010 Capital Staffers Index takes a closer
                                                                                                            look at how members of parliaments and the
                                                                                  U.S.
                                                                                                            U.S. Congress and their constituents alike are
                                                                                                            embracing social media, from blogs to texting
                                                                                  U.K.                      to Facebook and Twitter. We have found they are
                  39%
                                  38%                             European Parliament                       in many ways reintroducing and personalizing
                                                                                                            the conversation that had slipped away from
                                                                                France                      us over the past few decades.
                          30%                                                 Germany                       As we look back along the public affairs timeline,
  27%                                                                                                       cynics have commented at every stage, “This is
                                                        25%
          24%                                                                                               just a fad and will pass.” While traditional public
                                                                                                            affairs is clearly as important as it ever was, there
                                                                                                            is no denying that social media is now a part of
                                                                        15%                                 the public affairs repertoire. And while the means
                                                                14%
                                                                                         12%                for continuing the discussions are sure to morph
                                                                                                            with the advent of new technologies, the same
                                                                                                            basic premise will remain constant. We all want
                                                                                 4%                         to engage in a conversation, but the lobby in
                                                                                                            which we do so is getting much larger and more
                                                                                                            crowded every day.
      Mobile interaction through                           Comments posted on YouTube
     applications or text messages




                                                                                                                                   2010 Capital Staffers Index | 1
Three Trends Emerge from 2010 Survey:
                                           Emergence, Parity and Localization

                                           Sparky Zivin
                                           Vice President
                                           StrategyOne



In a year awash in dynamic changes across the            of digital communication channels in enabling      (four times the usage compared with three years
public affairs space, it is perhaps not surprising       successful two-way communication between           ago), text messaging (nearly double the usage),
that in the 2010 Capital Staffers Index, we              Members and their constituents. For example,       blogging (nearly three times the usage) and
measured some fairly dramatic changes in the             compared with the 2009 baseline data:              Twitter (more than five times the usage). And
way parliamentary staffers engage in dialogue                                                               this growth is predicted to continue as staffers
                                                         •   Reaching Members through their blogs/
with constituents and special interest groups.                                                              look to the coming years.
                                                             websites: up 41 points
This survey contains the views of between 50
                                                         •   Reaching Members through social networks:      Parity. Driving these substantial increases in
and 67 senior staffers working for Members
                                                             up 15 points                                   the effectiveness of digital media is a move
of the European Parliament, French Assembly,
                                                         •   Reaching constituents through microblogging:   toward parity across staffer audiences. While
German Bundestag, U.K. Parliament and U.S.
                                                             up 11 points                                   we saw high effectiveness ratings in the U.S.
Congress, and tracks many baseline metrics
                                                         •   Reaching Members through microblogging:        and U.K. in the 2009 data, the results of this
first established in our 2009 benchmark study.
                                                             up 8 points                                    year’s survey show that staffers in the European
Of particular note are three recurring themes                                                               Union Parliament, French Assembly and German
signaled in the data:                                    Furthermore, when staffers look back at tech-      Bundestag are rapidly catching up and are close
                                                         nologies in use three years ago and compare        in parity with U.S. and U.K. staffers.
Emergence. This year’s Index measured a                  them with today’s utilization, we see explosive
significant rise in the perceived effectiveness          growth in technologies such as Facebook            Additionally, we are starting to see the perceived
                                                                                                            effectiveness of digital communications reaching
                                                                                                            parity with more traditional outreach and
                                                                                                            communications channels.
                                                                                                            Lastly, we see interesting trends in the ways
“Thinking about several different technologies, please indicate whether or not your Member was using
them to communicate with constituents on key issues three years ago, is using them now, and will be using   staffers are seeking out policy information online,
them three years from now.”                                                                                 both from more traditional online news sources
                                                                                                            and social media channels. For example, prior
                     Text             Blogs          Facebook       Instant         Twitter                 to 10 a.m., staffers rely primarily on traditional
                   messaging                                       messaging                                online information sources. However, from
                                                                                                            11 a.m. on, social media usage outpaces online
                                                                                                            traditional media and spikes at various times
   Used this 3       35%              16%             15%            14%             7%                     throughout the day.
    years ago
                                                                                                            Localization. The old saying goes that “all politics
                                                                                                            is local,” and the results from the 2010 Capital
     Using this      55%             46%              62%            28%            38%                     Staffers Index certainly bear this out. Whether
         today                                                                                              it is advocating a cause through local voices, or
                                                                                                            demonstrating how an issue is directly contributing
                                                                                                            to employment and community benefits in
Will use in the                                                                                             Members’ home regions, staffers clearly feel
 next 3 years
                     55%             50%              52%            38%            45%                     that adding local context to an advocacy effort
                                                                                                            is key to ensuring successful outcomes.




2 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
The Takeaway: Digital is Now Mainstream


                                         Michael Burrell
                                         Chairman, European Public Affairs
                                         Edelman London



                                                       The key message for public affairs professionals           Fascinating too is the detailed evidence on
                                                       in Europe from the 2010 Capital Staffers Index is          when parliamentary staffers are most likely to
                                                       that digital communications are an increasingly            be using social media (lunchtime and evenings),
                                                       effective way of getting your message across to            suggesting that lobbyists should pay attention
                                                       legislative assistants—and through them, to the            to when they seek to deploy these tools to
                                                       parliamentarians themselves.                               maximise effectiveness.
                                                       Most lobbyists understand the vital role that              While the overall trends are similar in Berlin,
                                                       parliamentary staffers play in the European                Brussels, London and Paris, dig deeper and
                                                       Parliament, the House of Commons, the                      you find some interesting differences—the
                                                       Bundestag and the Assemblée Nationale. What                European Parliament and Bundestag staffers
                        While the overall              this survey underlines is the significant gains            are using digital communications more than
                     trends are similar in             that digital communications continue to make as            their equivalents in the House of Commons
                                                       a channel to reach both them and their bosses.             and the Assemblée Nationale, and mobile
               Berlin, Brussels, London
                                                                                                                  telephones are being used as a channel more
                  and Paris, dig deeper                Look at the 41-point increase in the use of
                                                                                                                  in Continental Europe than in the U.S. or U.K.
                                                       legislators’ websites and blogs, the 15-point
                      and you find some                rise in their use of social networks and a more            There is continuing good news in the survey
                interesting differences.               modest increase in engagement through Twitter.             for the online outlets of the BBC and Le Monde,
                                                                                                                  named by 28% of British and French staffers as
                                                                                                                  the information sources that they trust most for
                                                                                                                  policy analysis. By contrast, relative newcomer
                                                                                                                  EurActiv leads the pack in Brussels,
“When meeting with representatives of companies based outside
                                                                                                                  name-checked by 13%.
your own country, which of the following is the best approach?”                                    U.S.
                                                                                                                  Finally, one of the quirkiest sets of results came
Having a/an ___ spokesperson demonstrate the company’s                                             U.K.
positive economic impact in your country:                                                                         in answer to the question: “When meeting with
                                                                                  European Parliament             representatives of companies based outside your
 90%                               92%
                                                                                                                  own country, which of the following is the best
                                                                                             Germany
                                                                                                                  approach?” For nine out of 10 American and
                                                                                        This question not asked   British staffers, having an American or British
                                                                                         among France staffers
                                                                                                                  spokesperson demonstrate the company’s
                                                                                                                  positive economic impact was seen as the best
                                         34%                                                                      approach, while the nationality of the spokesperson
                                                                                                    30%     30%
                                                                                                                  was less critical in both Germany and France.
                                                                                                                  So a treasure trove of data—with one overriding
                                                                       12%                                        message for public affairs professionals: while
              10%
                      6%     6%                                                                                   traditional public affairs techniques remain
         4%                                      4%
                                                         2%       2%                   2%     2%                  important, digital advocacy has become
                                                                             0%
                                                                                                                  a mainstream public affairs tool worldwide.
         American                    British                     French                        German
       spokesperson               spokesperson                spokesperson                  spokesperson



                                                                                                                                        2010 Capital Staffers Index | 3
New Class of MPs More at Ease
                                           with Digital Communications

                                           Chris Rumfitt
                                           Joint Managing Director, Public Affairs
                                           Edelman London



                                                         The explosion in the use of digital and social       Of course, against this backdrop, the irony is
                                                         media amongst parliamentary staff and Members        that more “traditional” visits and formal letters
                                                         of the U.K. Parliament must be viewed within         are still seen by parliamentary staff as “most
                                                         the context of the General Election in May 2010,     effective.” But is this because they are also the
                                                         which saw the largest intake of new MPs since        most easy to control? And the reality is that for
                                                         1945 and a significant drop in the average age.      every MP who launches a Facebook campaign
                                                         For candidates who had campaigned online, it         within moments of a government announcement,
                                                         was natural to transfer and evolve their existing    there are some who still don’t even have a
                                                         platforms on Twitter and Facebook, for example, as   website or use a parliamentary e-mail address.
                                                         part of their ongoing interface with constituents
                                                                                                              The 2010 Capital Staffers Index data from
                                                         once they were elected.
                                                                                                              respondents in the U.K. shows that parliamentary
                                                         In essence, over the last year we have seen the      staff’s online activity tends to spike at lunchtime
                                                         rise of the e-MP, a shift in how MPs communicate     and in the evening, which suggests that they
                                                         with constituents that has been mirrored by an       may still see using social media as additional
                                                         expectation from constituents that they can fire     to their day jobs rather than integral to them.
                                                         off an e-mail or track their representative’s        But this is changing. And what does it say that
                                                         movements at will. Ultimately these headline         more of them trust the policy analysis they get
                    Over the last year we                figures suggest that MPs are closing the distance    from Conservative Home than that posted by
                have seen the rise of the                between them and their voters, demonstrating         the Financial Times?
                  e-MP, a shift change in                they want to be part of the conversation and
                                                         “embracing the chaos” of what’s happening
                 how MPs communicate                     in cyberspace, rather than issuing top-down,
                       with constituents.                one-way public pronouncements.


Summary of United Kingdom Staffer data (% Total Effective)


  Member                        Constituent                                          Constituent                 Member

   Effectiveness of Outbound                                                          Effectiveness of Inbound
                                                2009         2010   Change                                                         2009      2010     Change
   Digital Communications                                                             Digital Communications
   Websites                                     87%          76%     –11              E-mails                                      94%       86%         –8
   Blogging                                      n/a         40%     n/a              Member’s blog/website                         18%      70%        +52
   Online videos                                27%          32%     +5               Member’s Facebook page                        15%      26%        +11
   Podcasting                                    n/a         32%     n/a              Mobile interaction                            9%       22%        +13
   Text messaging                               35%          30%     –5               Twitter                                       n/a      24%         n/a
   Online advertising                           38%          28%     –10              Comments posted on YouTube                    n/a      14%         n/a
   Microblogging                                18%          26%     +8



4 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
MEPs Looking for More Direct
                                        Interaction with Constituents

                                        Martin Porter                               Laurent Chokouale
                                        General Manager                             General Manager
                                        Edelman Brussels/The Centre                 Edelman Brussels/The Centre



                                                         If one wanted to summarise the findings of the       Does that mean MEPs and their staff are
                                                         2010 Capital Staffers Index for the European         moving back towards communications 1.0? Not
                                                         Parliament, one would have to say, “Much has         at all! A large number of staff have started using
                                                         changed, yet everything’s the same.” Whilst there    a variety of standard social media applications
            The most active MEPs—                        is a clear trend towards more active, targeted       such as Facebook (increased 24% in 2010 over
                                                         and sophisticated use of social media, there is      2009), blogs (increased 30%) and microblogging,
               and their staffers—see                    also the fairly unexpected result that traditional   both to get information and to communicate on
       [social media] as a way to by-                    constituent-to-Member communication—be that          behalf of their Members. Yet when it comes to
          pass traditional information                   in-person visits, written letters or phone calls—    direct personal contact, e-mails and other forms
                                                         has, in comparison with 2009, become significantly   of traditional communication still remain the
         channels and to establish a                     more important; other parliaments showed a           most effective way to approach an MEP and
                more direct dialogue.                    rather declining or stagnating trend.                get his or her ear.
                                                                                                              Politicians Online!—a 2010 paper of the European
                                                                                                              Policy Institutes Network that looked at MEPs’
Summary of European Parliament Staffer data (% Total Effective)
                                                                                                              personal websites—adds some interesting details
                                                                                                              to the Index. MEPs appear to have invested
  Member                        Constituent                                                                   significantly in the development of highly interactive
                                                                                                              online platforms. They provide a constant and
   Effectiveness of Outbound                                                                                  “qualitatively high” flow of information and involve
                                                          2009        2010       Change
   Digital Communications
                                                                                                              voters and supporters by means of interactive
   Websites                                               75%         78%           +3                        e-forums or regular chat rooms. The most active
   Blogging                                               45%         51%           +6                        MEPs—and their staffers—see this as a way to
   Online videos                                          62%         45%          –17                        bypass traditional information channels and to
                                                                                                              establish a more direct dialogue with audiences
   Podcasting                                              n/a        42%           n/a
                                                                                                              who are familiar with the Web.
   Text messaging                                          n/a        36%           n/a
   Online advertising                                     38%         34%           –4
                                                                                                              And there was one significant finding with
                                                                                                              indications also for the use of social media:
   Microblogging                                          27%         33%           +6
                                                                                                              the Members’ Web presence seemed to have a
  Constituent                   Member                                                                        strong relationship with their country’s electoral
                                                                                                              system—the more candidate-centred the system,
   Effectiveness of Inbound                                                                                   the more active the politician’s Web presence.
                                                          2009        2010       Change
   Digital Communications                                                                                     Furthermore, the characteristics of the MEP’s
   E-mails                                                82%         96%          +14                        privileged electorate certainly has an impact. The
   Member’s blog/website                                  30%         60%          +30
                                                                                                              more Internet-savvy the potential voters, the more
                                                                                                              important is an active and modern Web presence.
   Member’s Facebook page                                 22%         46%          +24
   Mobile interaction                                      n/a        39%           n/a                       In essence, Web 2.0 does not save oneself the
                                                                                                              burden of knowing an MEP’s communication
   Twitter                                                 7%         16%           +9
                                                                                                              preferences. But it opens a number of additional
   Comments posted on YouTube                              n/a        15%           n/a                       challenges to get the message across.



                                                                                                                                     2010 Capital Staffers Index | 5
Finding the Balance between Traditional
                                            and Digital Tools

                                            Tristan d’Avezac
                                            Director, Public Affairs
                                            Edelman Paris



The 2010 Capital Staffers Index shows increasing            effectiveness of contacting members through              to Members in their offices, one can see that
usage of “traditional” tools, as well as new forms          their Facebook page is seen as effective at 25%          this method of outreach remains a key way to
of digital communications in France from both               (up 24% vs. 2009) by staffers.                           address issues and get the attention of staffers.
constituents and staffers.
                                                            As with Facebook, Members’ personal blogs are            In addition, demonstrating the benefits a company
This surge should not be misinterpreted. Traditional        “windows” into a world where both citizens and           can bring—including both direct and indirect job
tools—personal visits, letters, etc.—remain effective       companies can understand a leader’s position             employment as well as positive impact on the
in contacting members, most specifically in France.         on certain topics and directly interact with them        local communities—is considered to be the best
Respondents in France were far more likely than             or engage them in a conversation. Contact                approach. In fact, that approach ranks well above
their counterparts in Germany, the European                 through Members’ blogs has jumped from                   providing information on revenues, financial
Union, the United States and the United Kingdom             35% in 2009 to 62% in 2010 as an effective               impact or taxes.
to respond to constituents with pre-formatted               way for constituents to contact Members.
                                                                                                                     The economic and social climate of 2010,
letters and individually written letters from staff
                                                            While we see an increasing importance given              with its high level of unemployment and current
and the Member himself.
                                                            to online tools when addressing staffers and             restructuring at local levels, made staffers and
The increasing attention that is given to social            Members of the French Parliament, advocacy at            Members alike highly sensitive to topics that
media and social networks is evidence of the                the local level is still of high and even increasing     are key in gaining (or losing) support from
French staffers’ appetite for direct interaction            importance. Clearly when one considers grass-            constituents when general elections occur. Thus,
with constituents and third parties. Indeed,                roots groups/local advocacy groups as well as            reputation management at both the national and
between the 2009 and 2010 surveys, the                      letters from local community leaders and visits          local levels through regular contact with Members,
                                                                                                                     local authorities and NGOs is something to which
                                                                                                                     companies should pay deep attention and dedicate
                                                                                                                     significant investment.

“When responding to outreach from constituents, what percentage of the time does your office use each of the following ways to respond?”

                                                                              69%
                                                                                                                                             U.S.           France
            58%                                                                                                                                         Germany
                                                                                                                                             U.K.

                                                                                                                         European Parliament

                                                41%
                  38%                                                                                                                  39%
35%
      33%                                                                                                                                    33%
                                                                                                          30%
                                                                                    29%                                    28%
                              26%
                        23%                                       24%                                                                                             24%
                                    21%                     22%
                                                                        18%
                                                                                                                                 16%
                                                                                          14%                        14%
                                           9%         10%                                                                                                   10%
                                                                                                7%
                                                                                                     5%
                                                                                                                2%                                  3% 2%               2%


                                                               Individually written                                     Individually written
         E-mail               Pre-formatted letters                                       Automated responses                                          No response
                                                              letter from a staffer                                    letter from Member

6 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
The Digital Age Arrives in the Bundestag


                                             Bernd Buschhausen
                                             Deputy Managing Director/Practice Leader, Public Affairs
                                             Edelman Berlin



                                                         The national federal elections one year ago have       State your case—on your Member’s blog.
                                                         left a deep impact on how political communications
                                                                                                                Without a doubt, in Germany as in the other
                                                         are shaped in Germany. Initially mildly ridiculed as
                                                                                                                countries studied in the 2010 Capital Staffers
                                                         a channel more suited to informal, interpersonal
                                                                                                                Index, traditional communications with
                                                         communications, Twitter, Facebook and blogs
                                                                                                                policymakers through meetings, letters and
                                                         have become mainstream tools for Members
                                                                                                                e-mail remains important. But there is a notable
                                                         of Parliament and Cabinet Members.
                                                                                                                jump in the perception of effectiveness of
                                                         From the first Parliament session, called a            blogging (up 18% since 2009) and microblogging
                            Amazing but true—            Twitter party, to ongoing microblogs from              (up 26%) as a channel for communications to
                            the Member’s blog            closed committee sessions and plenary                  constituents—as well as an enormous increase in
                                                         debates, social media is developing into an            the effectiveness of constituents’ communication
                            is an open window            important amplifier for making voices heard            through the Member’s blog or website (up 36%
                                  to the public.         in German policy formulation.                          in 2010 vs. 2009).
                                                                                                                Can one post make a real difference?
                                                                                                                Amazing but true—the Member’s blog is an
“When constituents contact your Member, how effective are the following modes of contact?”                      open window to the public. Anything posted
Numbers in white show change in % total effective from 2009.                                                    here makes its way into the public and requires
                                                                                                                addressing immediately. Or would you leave
                       +4                                                            88%                        it unnoticed when you know that others are
                       –8                                                         86%
                                                                                                                reading the post?
       E-mails         +14                                                                  96%
                       +3                                                               91%                     Digital public affairs as an amplifier
                       +8                                                                   96%
                                                                                                                Social media provides a unique—and refreshingly
                       +1                         41%
                                                                                                                transparent and open—way for individuals, company
     Through a         +11               26%
                                                                                                                public affairs managers, associations and NGOs
     Member’s                                                                    U.S.                           to amplify their traditional approaches. Effective
     Facebook          +24                           46%
          page         +22              25%                                                                     monitoring of the debates in the Bundestag
                                                                                 U.K.
                       +10                         42%                                                          plenary or committee sessions, identifying other
                                                                European Parliament                             supporters and engaging in the debate directly
                       +9               25%                                                                     and transparently to advance shared interests
                                                                              France
                       +13             22%                                                                      publicly underline the rise of digital public
      Through                                                                Germany
                       +9        16%                                                                            affairs in Germany.
       Twitter
                  +2    2%
                       +8      12%


                       +66                                                     82%
     Through a
     Member’s          +52                                             70%
          blog         +30                                     60%
2010—“Member’s         +27                                       62%
       website”
                       +36                                                            90%




                                                                                                                                     2010 Capital Staffers Index | 7
No Matter the Channel, the
                                               Message Remains Essential

                                               Rob Rehg
                                               Regional President
                                               Edelman Washington, D.C.



The growth of online communications channels,                    Barometer™, a research tool that targets                      This year’s Index shows the trend continuing.
combined with the media’s quest to keep up with                  D.C.’s elite policymaker audiences, identified                In the United States, 59% of surveyed staffers
instantaneous reporting, has led to an explosion                 “deficient messaging” as the top reason D.C.-                 stated that one-page briefing overviews are
of information in Washington, D.C. Members of                    focused public affairs campaigns fail. Similarly,             among the most influential communications
Congress and their staffers now hear about more                  30% of this group—drawn from government                       vehicles. That ranks higher than typical tools of
issues, from more people, through more avenues,                  agencies, trade associations, lobbying and political          the trade, such as white papers, editorials in news-
than ever before. The 2010 Capital Staffers Index                consulting firms, NGOs and elite media—named                  papers and research conducted by industry groups.
reinforces that clear messages and compelling                    “powerful messaging” (the ability to frame an                 For communicators and lobbyists, distilling an
narratives—strong enough to carry through this                   issue to best advantage and define the debate                 issue into its most essential points and backing
rising level of noise—are essential to winning                   on an issue) as one of the top reasons for                    them with data is more important than ever. Just
policy battles.
                                                                 success. Their perspective was clear: mastering               as important, given the growth of social media,
Respondents to a survey StrategyOne con-                         the message helps companies, governments                      an organization’s messaging should be tailored
ducted in 2009 using its proprietary Beltway                     and organizations win.                                        to the channel through which it will be deployed.
                                                                                                                               A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works
                                                                                                                               when positions must be shared through 140-
                                                                                                                               character tweets, Facebook wall posts, op-eds,
“When you meet with lobbyists, which THREE of the following things do you pay the most attention to?”                          briefing papers and grassroots-generated
                                                                                                                               constituent outreach to elected officials.
   Research conducted                                                                                       61%

  by non-governmental
                                                                                                  56%
                                                                                                    58%
                                                                                                                     51%       Job creation is the top priority for Congress,
                                                           28%                                                       overall
         organizations                                                                    50%                                  so framing messaging around the current U.S.
                                                                                                        59%                    economic climate—which drove the 2010
      One-page briefing                                                                 48%
                                                                                                              63%
                                                                                                                     45%
                                                                                                                               election cycle and is the lead topic of pundits’
             overviews                                    25%                                                        overall
                                                           26%                                                                 debates—is the most effective way to connect
          White papers                                                           41%                                           with staffers. Foreign entities seeking to define
                                                           26%
   written by university                                                                                             42%
                                                                                                      57%
                                                                                                      57%            overall   themselves in Washington should heed that 35%
             academics                                24%
                                                                                                                               of staffers want to hear about direct and indirect
                                                      24%                                                                      jobs generated in the United States, while 25%
              Editorials in                                                                     54%

              newspapers                                             34%
                                                                                 40%
                                                                                                                               expect companies to demonstrate their positive
                                                                                                  56%
                                                                                                                               contributions to local communities.
                                                                    33%
     Research conducted                                                    37%
                                                                                  42%
                                                                                                                               Public affairs campaigns are changing dramatically,
      by industry groups                                    28%
                                                              30%                                                       U.S.   with emerging social media tools and grass-
                                                    22%                                                                        roots engagement strategies serving to amplify
  Third-party constituent                           22%                                                                 U.K.
                                     6%                                                                                        constituents’ voices. Yet smart campaigns will
                  polling                                            34%
                                                             28%                                European Parliament            continue to invest in traditional media outreach
                                            10%                                                                                and direct contact, to ensure positions are heard
                                              12%                                                                    France
              Advertising        3%
                                  4%
                                                                                                                               with consistency. No matter how many channels
                                2%                                                                                  Germany    you use to reach your audiences, message is
                                   4%
                                      6%                                                                                       still king.
                     Blogs         4%
                                       7%

                              0%




8 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
Effective Constituent Outreach
                                       Must Include Digital Mobilization
                                       Bill McIntyre                                 James Lundie
                                       Senior Vice President,                        Joint Managing Director,
                                       Grassroots Enterprise                         Public Affairs
                                       Edelman Washington, D.C.                      Edelman London



                                                        If you want to influence elected officials, you would   The 2010 Capital Staffers Index clearly shows
                                                        do well to pay attention to the online community.       that online outreach, like e-mail, is one of the
                                                        While the type and tone of engagement activity          most effective methods to communicate with
                                                        will vary by market, this new online community          elected officials—and social media channels like
                                                        is changing the way we think about mobilization         Facebook and Twitter have made tremendous
                                                        programs for two very important reasons. First,         gains in capturing the attention of the staff
                                                        the online community is the most watched, most          serving elected officials.
                                                        used and most influential cultural medium in
                                                                                                                Staffers ranked e-mail communications the most
                                                        the U.S. and Europe. Second, it is comprised of
                                                                                                                effective digital channel, in the high 80s to mid-
                                                        individuals who are eager to share, learn, praise,
                                                                                                                90s, showing notable gains in (nearly) every
                                                        condemn, inform, question and engage their
                                                                                                                capital. They rank Twitter and Facebook as roughly
                                                        network of friends, family and co-workers
                                                                                                                two times more effective with their bosses this
              The online community is                   about upcoming elections, social causes and
                                                                                                                year than in 2009, with Twitter getting into the
                                                        product launches.
              the most watched, most                                                                            teens and low 20s in three capital cities, while
              used and most influential                 Clearly, community mobilization campaigns to            Facebook climbed into the mid-20s in France
                                                        influence public policy, consumer products and          and the U.K. and the 40s everywhere else.
                cultural medium in the                  social issues are now a sophisticated interplay
                                                                                                                But a “digital-only” approach to mobilization
                     U.S. and Europe.                   of traditional and digital strategies.
                                                                                                                would be a mistake. The 2010 Capital Staffers
                                                                                                                Index confirms that traditional constituent-to-
                                                                                                                elected official communications—including
                                                                                                                personal visits, telephone calls and written
The impact of digital communication has made significant gains at the expense of paid media,                    letters—remain extremely effective. The big
while traditional outreach remains critical.                                                                    distinctions between the online community and
                                                                                                                our physical ones are its dense populations, vast
                                                                                                                active relationships, near-instant propagation of
   Reaching Members                                                            Traditional
                                    2009         2010       Change                                              information and—most importantly—members of
   % Effective                                                                 Channel
                                                                                                                the online social community are as interested in
   Written letters                  90%          88%          –2               Digital
                                                                               Communication                    social issues as they are in commercial concerns.
   E-mails                          87%          92%          +5
                                                                                                                So whether you are in the world of public affairs,
   In-person visits                 86%          88%          +2
                                                                                                                where risk and opportunity are managed through
   Telephone calls                  85%          83%          –2                                                stakeholder relationships, or in the world of public
   Member’s blog/website             31%         72%          +41                                               relations, where reputations are managed by
   Member’s social network          22%          37%          +15                                               maintaining an organization’s public image,
   Microblogging/Twitter             7%          15%          +8                                                digital mobilization is an essential element to
                                                                                                                any strategy to manage the most watched,
   Mobile interaction                n/a         32%          n/a
                                                                                                                most used and most influential cultural medium
   Comments on YouTube               n/a         14%          n/a                                               in the U.S. and Europe.




                                                                                                                                      2010 Capital Staffers Index | 9
The Online Constituency: Citizen
                                        Engagement in the Digital Age
                                        Michael Slaby                                  David Almacy
                                        Executive Vice President,                      Senior Vice President,
                                        Global Practice Chair, Digital                 Digital Public Affairs
                                        Edelman Chicago                                Edelman Washington, D.C.



After President Obama’s victory in 2008, much             online clearinghouse for crowd-sourced policy         that while Hill staffers use social networking
was written about his campaign’s effective use            ideas, with the best rising to the top based on       sites all day for both personal and professional
of digital and social media tools to build support,       community votes.                                      purposes, there is an emphasis on personal
reach new audiences and engage younger voters.                                                                  usage during perceived “down time.”
Many predicted that his Administration would use          But, as the 2010 Capital Staffers Index shows,
                                                          let’s not write obituaries for mainstream media       There remains a significant gap in online activation
similar digital strategies—and they did, in fact,
                                                          outlets just yet. Newsrooms may be shrinking but      and engagement in governing compared with
set out to build on the foundation laid by their
                                                          their value and influence on Capitol Hill aren’t.     campaigning. As increasing numbers of winning
predecessors to leverage emerging digital outlets
                                                          For staffers, online news sites consistently rank     candidates rely on digital strategies to win and
to better serve and connect with Americans while
                                                          far above social networks, blogs and social           make promises of online engagement part of
simultaneously adapting to a rapidly evolving media
                                                          media, with the highest usage (64%) occurring         their campaigns, Members who find themselves
landscape. The same was true for Capitol Hill.
                                                          from 9-10 a.m. when staff are preparing for           in positions of power must learn to govern online
Members of Congress and Hill staffers quickly             briefings, conducting research or getting             as well. Perhaps these words from American
learned how to navigate these new channels                caught up on the news.                                philosopher, writer and 1983 Presidential Medal
through direct constituent engagement and the                                                                   of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer will serve as
creation of content best suited for social media          For the most part, social networks run a distant      encouragement: “In times of change, learners
and networking sites. In many cases, such                 second in usage percentage when compared with         inherit the earth; while the learned find them-
content was embedded on official House and                online news sites, except for significant spikes      selves beautifully equipped to deal with a world
Senate “dot gov” sites. In May 2010, the House            during the lunch hour (31% from noon to 1 p.m.)       that no longer exists.”
Republican leadership even created its own                and at the end of a typical work day (tied with
digital channel, “America Speaking Out,” an               online news at 46% after 6 p.m.). This suggests



“When during the day do you normally access the following types of sites?”


                                                                   Online news sites               Blogs                Social media               Social networks
       56%            64%
                                       53%
                                                                    50%
                                                   48%                             49%
                                                                                                                47%            46%                           46%
                                                                                                  44%
                                                                                                                                            42%
                                                                                                                                                               46%
                                                                                                                                                             35%
                                                                    31%
                      28%
       24%                            24%                                          24%
                                                    22%                                                         22%            23%        23%                 29%
                                                                                                  20%
                      19%
       17%                                                          18%           18%
                                                   16%                                                              16%        15%        15%
                                      19%                                                  18%
                                                                   17%
                                                   15%                                           14%
       12%                           13%                                         13%                          13%             13%            12%
                      11%

   Before 9am     9am-10am       10am-11am      11am-12pm        12pm-1pm       1pm-2pm       2pm-3pm         3pm-4pm        4pm-5pm       5pm-6pm         After 6pm




10 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.

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Edelman 2010 Capital Staffers Index Whitepaper

  • 1. 2010 Capital Staffers Index A Trans-Atlantic Analysis of Digital Media’s Impact on Shaping Policy 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 1
  • 2. 1875 Eye Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006 | 202.371.0200 | www.edelman.com For more information on the 2010 Capital Staffers Index, please contact Jere Sullivan jere.sullivan@edelman.com or Sparky Zivin sparky.zivin@strategyone.net 2 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 3. The Lobby Keeps Getting Bigger Jere Sullivan Chairman, Global Public Affairs Edelman Public affairs in many ways can be described as As in the past, we are seeing the role of technology the art of persuasive conversation. That quality driving the public affairs methodologies that are has been constant since its origins in the lobby being embraced to shape the discussion on the of the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., when critical issues of our times—the economy, the interest groups and constituents would camp environment, who we elect and how we govern. out in hopes of getting a few minutes with then- This is not a new phenomenon, as we have President Ulysses S. Grant, to state their case on seen how other technologies, such as radio and a host of issues and hopefully apply some gentle television, have expanded the reach of political, persuasion. And, although public affairs has societal and industry leaders and viewpoints. Perhaps the biggest matured, the same premise holds true today: But the Internet—and, more recently, mobile difference is these we are still trying to have a conversation to technology—also significantly enhances the new platforms serve advance an opinion with political leaders, NGOs, speed at which we all communicate. And perhaps businesses and stakeholders from all walks of the biggest difference is these new platforms as conduits to a life. The big difference now is that the modes by serve as conduits to a two-way conversation. two-way conversation. which we have those conversations are changing. In some ways we have gone full circle, returning public affairs to its original days when personal conversations were at the heart of the practice. “When constituents contact your Member, how effective are the following modes of contact?” The 2010 Capital Staffers Index takes a closer look at how members of parliaments and the U.S. U.S. Congress and their constituents alike are embracing social media, from blogs to texting U.K. to Facebook and Twitter. We have found they are 39% 38% European Parliament in many ways reintroducing and personalizing the conversation that had slipped away from France us over the past few decades. 30% Germany As we look back along the public affairs timeline, 27% cynics have commented at every stage, “This is 25% 24% just a fad and will pass.” While traditional public affairs is clearly as important as it ever was, there is no denying that social media is now a part of 15% the public affairs repertoire. And while the means 14% 12% for continuing the discussions are sure to morph with the advent of new technologies, the same basic premise will remain constant. We all want 4% to engage in a conversation, but the lobby in which we do so is getting much larger and more crowded every day. Mobile interaction through Comments posted on YouTube applications or text messages 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 1
  • 4. Three Trends Emerge from 2010 Survey: Emergence, Parity and Localization Sparky Zivin Vice President StrategyOne In a year awash in dynamic changes across the of digital communication channels in enabling (four times the usage compared with three years public affairs space, it is perhaps not surprising successful two-way communication between ago), text messaging (nearly double the usage), that in the 2010 Capital Staffers Index, we Members and their constituents. For example, blogging (nearly three times the usage) and measured some fairly dramatic changes in the compared with the 2009 baseline data: Twitter (more than five times the usage). And way parliamentary staffers engage in dialogue this growth is predicted to continue as staffers • Reaching Members through their blogs/ with constituents and special interest groups. look to the coming years. websites: up 41 points This survey contains the views of between 50 • Reaching Members through social networks: Parity. Driving these substantial increases in and 67 senior staffers working for Members up 15 points the effectiveness of digital media is a move of the European Parliament, French Assembly, • Reaching constituents through microblogging: toward parity across staffer audiences. While German Bundestag, U.K. Parliament and U.S. up 11 points we saw high effectiveness ratings in the U.S. Congress, and tracks many baseline metrics • Reaching Members through microblogging: and U.K. in the 2009 data, the results of this first established in our 2009 benchmark study. up 8 points year’s survey show that staffers in the European Of particular note are three recurring themes Union Parliament, French Assembly and German signaled in the data: Furthermore, when staffers look back at tech- Bundestag are rapidly catching up and are close nologies in use three years ago and compare in parity with U.S. and U.K. staffers. Emergence. This year’s Index measured a them with today’s utilization, we see explosive significant rise in the perceived effectiveness growth in technologies such as Facebook Additionally, we are starting to see the perceived effectiveness of digital communications reaching parity with more traditional outreach and communications channels. Lastly, we see interesting trends in the ways “Thinking about several different technologies, please indicate whether or not your Member was using them to communicate with constituents on key issues three years ago, is using them now, and will be using staffers are seeking out policy information online, them three years from now.” both from more traditional online news sources and social media channels. For example, prior Text Blogs Facebook Instant Twitter to 10 a.m., staffers rely primarily on traditional messaging messaging online information sources. However, from 11 a.m. on, social media usage outpaces online traditional media and spikes at various times Used this 3 35% 16% 15% 14% 7% throughout the day. years ago Localization. The old saying goes that “all politics is local,” and the results from the 2010 Capital Using this 55% 46% 62% 28% 38% Staffers Index certainly bear this out. Whether today it is advocating a cause through local voices, or demonstrating how an issue is directly contributing to employment and community benefits in Will use in the Members’ home regions, staffers clearly feel next 3 years 55% 50% 52% 38% 45% that adding local context to an advocacy effort is key to ensuring successful outcomes. 2 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 5. The Takeaway: Digital is Now Mainstream Michael Burrell Chairman, European Public Affairs Edelman London The key message for public affairs professionals Fascinating too is the detailed evidence on in Europe from the 2010 Capital Staffers Index is when parliamentary staffers are most likely to that digital communications are an increasingly be using social media (lunchtime and evenings), effective way of getting your message across to suggesting that lobbyists should pay attention legislative assistants—and through them, to the to when they seek to deploy these tools to parliamentarians themselves. maximise effectiveness. Most lobbyists understand the vital role that While the overall trends are similar in Berlin, parliamentary staffers play in the European Brussels, London and Paris, dig deeper and Parliament, the House of Commons, the you find some interesting differences—the Bundestag and the Assemblée Nationale. What European Parliament and Bundestag staffers While the overall this survey underlines is the significant gains are using digital communications more than trends are similar in that digital communications continue to make as their equivalents in the House of Commons a channel to reach both them and their bosses. and the Assemblée Nationale, and mobile Berlin, Brussels, London telephones are being used as a channel more and Paris, dig deeper Look at the 41-point increase in the use of in Continental Europe than in the U.S. or U.K. legislators’ websites and blogs, the 15-point and you find some rise in their use of social networks and a more There is continuing good news in the survey interesting differences. modest increase in engagement through Twitter. for the online outlets of the BBC and Le Monde, named by 28% of British and French staffers as the information sources that they trust most for policy analysis. By contrast, relative newcomer EurActiv leads the pack in Brussels, “When meeting with representatives of companies based outside name-checked by 13%. your own country, which of the following is the best approach?” U.S. Finally, one of the quirkiest sets of results came Having a/an ___ spokesperson demonstrate the company’s U.K. positive economic impact in your country: in answer to the question: “When meeting with European Parliament representatives of companies based outside your 90% 92% own country, which of the following is the best Germany approach?” For nine out of 10 American and This question not asked British staffers, having an American or British among France staffers spokesperson demonstrate the company’s positive economic impact was seen as the best 34% approach, while the nationality of the spokesperson 30% 30% was less critical in both Germany and France. So a treasure trove of data—with one overriding 12% message for public affairs professionals: while 10% 6% 6% traditional public affairs techniques remain 4% 4% 2% 2% 2% 2% important, digital advocacy has become 0% a mainstream public affairs tool worldwide. American British French German spokesperson spokesperson spokesperson spokesperson 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 3
  • 6. New Class of MPs More at Ease with Digital Communications Chris Rumfitt Joint Managing Director, Public Affairs Edelman London The explosion in the use of digital and social Of course, against this backdrop, the irony is media amongst parliamentary staff and Members that more “traditional” visits and formal letters of the U.K. Parliament must be viewed within are still seen by parliamentary staff as “most the context of the General Election in May 2010, effective.” But is this because they are also the which saw the largest intake of new MPs since most easy to control? And the reality is that for 1945 and a significant drop in the average age. every MP who launches a Facebook campaign For candidates who had campaigned online, it within moments of a government announcement, was natural to transfer and evolve their existing there are some who still don’t even have a platforms on Twitter and Facebook, for example, as website or use a parliamentary e-mail address. part of their ongoing interface with constituents The 2010 Capital Staffers Index data from once they were elected. respondents in the U.K. shows that parliamentary In essence, over the last year we have seen the staff’s online activity tends to spike at lunchtime rise of the e-MP, a shift in how MPs communicate and in the evening, which suggests that they with constituents that has been mirrored by an may still see using social media as additional expectation from constituents that they can fire to their day jobs rather than integral to them. off an e-mail or track their representative’s But this is changing. And what does it say that movements at will. Ultimately these headline more of them trust the policy analysis they get Over the last year we figures suggest that MPs are closing the distance from Conservative Home than that posted by have seen the rise of the between them and their voters, demonstrating the Financial Times? e-MP, a shift change in they want to be part of the conversation and “embracing the chaos” of what’s happening how MPs communicate in cyberspace, rather than issuing top-down, with constituents. one-way public pronouncements. Summary of United Kingdom Staffer data (% Total Effective) Member Constituent Constituent Member Effectiveness of Outbound Effectiveness of Inbound 2009 2010 Change 2009 2010 Change Digital Communications Digital Communications Websites 87% 76% –11 E-mails 94% 86% –8 Blogging n/a 40% n/a Member’s blog/website 18% 70% +52 Online videos 27% 32% +5 Member’s Facebook page 15% 26% +11 Podcasting n/a 32% n/a Mobile interaction 9% 22% +13 Text messaging 35% 30% –5 Twitter n/a 24% n/a Online advertising 38% 28% –10 Comments posted on YouTube n/a 14% n/a Microblogging 18% 26% +8 4 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 7. MEPs Looking for More Direct Interaction with Constituents Martin Porter Laurent Chokouale General Manager General Manager Edelman Brussels/The Centre Edelman Brussels/The Centre If one wanted to summarise the findings of the Does that mean MEPs and their staff are 2010 Capital Staffers Index for the European moving back towards communications 1.0? Not Parliament, one would have to say, “Much has at all! A large number of staff have started using changed, yet everything’s the same.” Whilst there a variety of standard social media applications The most active MEPs— is a clear trend towards more active, targeted such as Facebook (increased 24% in 2010 over and sophisticated use of social media, there is 2009), blogs (increased 30%) and microblogging, and their staffers—see also the fairly unexpected result that traditional both to get information and to communicate on [social media] as a way to by- constituent-to-Member communication—be that behalf of their Members. Yet when it comes to pass traditional information in-person visits, written letters or phone calls— direct personal contact, e-mails and other forms has, in comparison with 2009, become significantly of traditional communication still remain the channels and to establish a more important; other parliaments showed a most effective way to approach an MEP and more direct dialogue. rather declining or stagnating trend. get his or her ear. Politicians Online!—a 2010 paper of the European Policy Institutes Network that looked at MEPs’ Summary of European Parliament Staffer data (% Total Effective) personal websites—adds some interesting details to the Index. MEPs appear to have invested Member Constituent significantly in the development of highly interactive online platforms. They provide a constant and Effectiveness of Outbound “qualitatively high” flow of information and involve 2009 2010 Change Digital Communications voters and supporters by means of interactive Websites 75% 78% +3 e-forums or regular chat rooms. The most active Blogging 45% 51% +6 MEPs—and their staffers—see this as a way to Online videos 62% 45% –17 bypass traditional information channels and to establish a more direct dialogue with audiences Podcasting n/a 42% n/a who are familiar with the Web. Text messaging n/a 36% n/a Online advertising 38% 34% –4 And there was one significant finding with indications also for the use of social media: Microblogging 27% 33% +6 the Members’ Web presence seemed to have a Constituent Member strong relationship with their country’s electoral system—the more candidate-centred the system, Effectiveness of Inbound the more active the politician’s Web presence. 2009 2010 Change Digital Communications Furthermore, the characteristics of the MEP’s E-mails 82% 96% +14 privileged electorate certainly has an impact. The Member’s blog/website 30% 60% +30 more Internet-savvy the potential voters, the more important is an active and modern Web presence. Member’s Facebook page 22% 46% +24 Mobile interaction n/a 39% n/a In essence, Web 2.0 does not save oneself the burden of knowing an MEP’s communication Twitter 7% 16% +9 preferences. But it opens a number of additional Comments posted on YouTube n/a 15% n/a challenges to get the message across. 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 5
  • 8. Finding the Balance between Traditional and Digital Tools Tristan d’Avezac Director, Public Affairs Edelman Paris The 2010 Capital Staffers Index shows increasing effectiveness of contacting members through to Members in their offices, one can see that usage of “traditional” tools, as well as new forms their Facebook page is seen as effective at 25% this method of outreach remains a key way to of digital communications in France from both (up 24% vs. 2009) by staffers. address issues and get the attention of staffers. constituents and staffers. As with Facebook, Members’ personal blogs are In addition, demonstrating the benefits a company This surge should not be misinterpreted. Traditional “windows” into a world where both citizens and can bring—including both direct and indirect job tools—personal visits, letters, etc.—remain effective companies can understand a leader’s position employment as well as positive impact on the in contacting members, most specifically in France. on certain topics and directly interact with them local communities—is considered to be the best Respondents in France were far more likely than or engage them in a conversation. Contact approach. In fact, that approach ranks well above their counterparts in Germany, the European through Members’ blogs has jumped from providing information on revenues, financial Union, the United States and the United Kingdom 35% in 2009 to 62% in 2010 as an effective impact or taxes. to respond to constituents with pre-formatted way for constituents to contact Members. The economic and social climate of 2010, letters and individually written letters from staff While we see an increasing importance given with its high level of unemployment and current and the Member himself. to online tools when addressing staffers and restructuring at local levels, made staffers and The increasing attention that is given to social Members of the French Parliament, advocacy at Members alike highly sensitive to topics that media and social networks is evidence of the the local level is still of high and even increasing are key in gaining (or losing) support from French staffers’ appetite for direct interaction importance. Clearly when one considers grass- constituents when general elections occur. Thus, with constituents and third parties. Indeed, roots groups/local advocacy groups as well as reputation management at both the national and between the 2009 and 2010 surveys, the letters from local community leaders and visits local levels through regular contact with Members, local authorities and NGOs is something to which companies should pay deep attention and dedicate significant investment. “When responding to outreach from constituents, what percentage of the time does your office use each of the following ways to respond?” 69% U.S. France 58% Germany U.K. European Parliament 41% 38% 39% 35% 33% 33% 30% 29% 28% 26% 23% 24% 24% 21% 22% 18% 16% 14% 14% 9% 10% 10% 7% 5% 2% 3% 2% 2% Individually written Individually written E-mail Pre-formatted letters Automated responses No response letter from a staffer letter from Member 6 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 9. The Digital Age Arrives in the Bundestag Bernd Buschhausen Deputy Managing Director/Practice Leader, Public Affairs Edelman Berlin The national federal elections one year ago have State your case—on your Member’s blog. left a deep impact on how political communications Without a doubt, in Germany as in the other are shaped in Germany. Initially mildly ridiculed as countries studied in the 2010 Capital Staffers a channel more suited to informal, interpersonal Index, traditional communications with communications, Twitter, Facebook and blogs policymakers through meetings, letters and have become mainstream tools for Members e-mail remains important. But there is a notable of Parliament and Cabinet Members. jump in the perception of effectiveness of From the first Parliament session, called a blogging (up 18% since 2009) and microblogging Amazing but true— Twitter party, to ongoing microblogs from (up 26%) as a channel for communications to the Member’s blog closed committee sessions and plenary constituents—as well as an enormous increase in debates, social media is developing into an the effectiveness of constituents’ communication is an open window important amplifier for making voices heard through the Member’s blog or website (up 36% to the public. in German policy formulation. in 2010 vs. 2009). Can one post make a real difference? Amazing but true—the Member’s blog is an “When constituents contact your Member, how effective are the following modes of contact?” open window to the public. Anything posted Numbers in white show change in % total effective from 2009. here makes its way into the public and requires addressing immediately. Or would you leave +4 88% it unnoticed when you know that others are –8 86% reading the post? E-mails +14 96% +3 91% Digital public affairs as an amplifier +8 96% Social media provides a unique—and refreshingly +1 41% transparent and open—way for individuals, company Through a +11 26% public affairs managers, associations and NGOs Member’s U.S. to amplify their traditional approaches. Effective Facebook +24 46% page +22 25% monitoring of the debates in the Bundestag U.K. +10 42% plenary or committee sessions, identifying other European Parliament supporters and engaging in the debate directly +9 25% and transparently to advance shared interests France +13 22% publicly underline the rise of digital public Through Germany +9 16% affairs in Germany. Twitter +2 2% +8 12% +66 82% Through a Member’s +52 70% blog +30 60% 2010—“Member’s +27 62% website” +36 90% 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 7
  • 10. No Matter the Channel, the Message Remains Essential Rob Rehg Regional President Edelman Washington, D.C. The growth of online communications channels, Barometer™, a research tool that targets This year’s Index shows the trend continuing. combined with the media’s quest to keep up with D.C.’s elite policymaker audiences, identified In the United States, 59% of surveyed staffers instantaneous reporting, has led to an explosion “deficient messaging” as the top reason D.C.- stated that one-page briefing overviews are of information in Washington, D.C. Members of focused public affairs campaigns fail. Similarly, among the most influential communications Congress and their staffers now hear about more 30% of this group—drawn from government vehicles. That ranks higher than typical tools of issues, from more people, through more avenues, agencies, trade associations, lobbying and political the trade, such as white papers, editorials in news- than ever before. The 2010 Capital Staffers Index consulting firms, NGOs and elite media—named papers and research conducted by industry groups. reinforces that clear messages and compelling “powerful messaging” (the ability to frame an For communicators and lobbyists, distilling an narratives—strong enough to carry through this issue to best advantage and define the debate issue into its most essential points and backing rising level of noise—are essential to winning on an issue) as one of the top reasons for them with data is more important than ever. Just policy battles. success. Their perspective was clear: mastering as important, given the growth of social media, Respondents to a survey StrategyOne con- the message helps companies, governments an organization’s messaging should be tailored ducted in 2009 using its proprietary Beltway and organizations win. to the channel through which it will be deployed. A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works when positions must be shared through 140- character tweets, Facebook wall posts, op-eds, “When you meet with lobbyists, which THREE of the following things do you pay the most attention to?” briefing papers and grassroots-generated constituent outreach to elected officials. Research conducted 61% by non-governmental 56% 58% 51% Job creation is the top priority for Congress, 28% overall organizations 50% so framing messaging around the current U.S. 59% economic climate—which drove the 2010 One-page briefing 48% 63% 45% election cycle and is the lead topic of pundits’ overviews 25% overall 26% debates—is the most effective way to connect White papers 41% with staffers. Foreign entities seeking to define 26% written by university 42% 57% 57% overall themselves in Washington should heed that 35% academics 24% of staffers want to hear about direct and indirect 24% jobs generated in the United States, while 25% Editorials in 54% newspapers 34% 40% expect companies to demonstrate their positive 56% contributions to local communities. 33% Research conducted 37% 42% Public affairs campaigns are changing dramatically, by industry groups 28% 30% U.S. with emerging social media tools and grass- 22% roots engagement strategies serving to amplify Third-party constituent 22% U.K. 6% constituents’ voices. Yet smart campaigns will polling 34% 28% European Parliament continue to invest in traditional media outreach 10% and direct contact, to ensure positions are heard 12% France Advertising 3% 4% with consistency. No matter how many channels 2% Germany you use to reach your audiences, message is 4% 6% still king. Blogs 4% 7% 0% 8 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Effective Constituent Outreach Must Include Digital Mobilization Bill McIntyre James Lundie Senior Vice President, Joint Managing Director, Grassroots Enterprise Public Affairs Edelman Washington, D.C. Edelman London If you want to influence elected officials, you would The 2010 Capital Staffers Index clearly shows do well to pay attention to the online community. that online outreach, like e-mail, is one of the While the type and tone of engagement activity most effective methods to communicate with will vary by market, this new online community elected officials—and social media channels like is changing the way we think about mobilization Facebook and Twitter have made tremendous programs for two very important reasons. First, gains in capturing the attention of the staff the online community is the most watched, most serving elected officials. used and most influential cultural medium in Staffers ranked e-mail communications the most the U.S. and Europe. Second, it is comprised of effective digital channel, in the high 80s to mid- individuals who are eager to share, learn, praise, 90s, showing notable gains in (nearly) every condemn, inform, question and engage their capital. They rank Twitter and Facebook as roughly network of friends, family and co-workers two times more effective with their bosses this The online community is about upcoming elections, social causes and year than in 2009, with Twitter getting into the product launches. the most watched, most teens and low 20s in three capital cities, while used and most influential Clearly, community mobilization campaigns to Facebook climbed into the mid-20s in France influence public policy, consumer products and and the U.K. and the 40s everywhere else. cultural medium in the social issues are now a sophisticated interplay But a “digital-only” approach to mobilization U.S. and Europe. of traditional and digital strategies. would be a mistake. The 2010 Capital Staffers Index confirms that traditional constituent-to- elected official communications—including personal visits, telephone calls and written The impact of digital communication has made significant gains at the expense of paid media, letters—remain extremely effective. The big while traditional outreach remains critical. distinctions between the online community and our physical ones are its dense populations, vast active relationships, near-instant propagation of Reaching Members Traditional 2009 2010 Change information and—most importantly—members of % Effective Channel the online social community are as interested in Written letters 90% 88% –2 Digital Communication social issues as they are in commercial concerns. E-mails 87% 92% +5 So whether you are in the world of public affairs, In-person visits 86% 88% +2 where risk and opportunity are managed through Telephone calls 85% 83% –2 stakeholder relationships, or in the world of public Member’s blog/website 31% 72% +41 relations, where reputations are managed by Member’s social network 22% 37% +15 maintaining an organization’s public image, Microblogging/Twitter 7% 15% +8 digital mobilization is an essential element to any strategy to manage the most watched, Mobile interaction n/a 32% n/a most used and most influential cultural medium Comments on YouTube n/a 14% n/a in the U.S. and Europe. 2010 Capital Staffers Index | 9
  • 12. The Online Constituency: Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age Michael Slaby David Almacy Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, Global Practice Chair, Digital Digital Public Affairs Edelman Chicago Edelman Washington, D.C. After President Obama’s victory in 2008, much online clearinghouse for crowd-sourced policy that while Hill staffers use social networking was written about his campaign’s effective use ideas, with the best rising to the top based on sites all day for both personal and professional of digital and social media tools to build support, community votes. purposes, there is an emphasis on personal reach new audiences and engage younger voters. usage during perceived “down time.” Many predicted that his Administration would use But, as the 2010 Capital Staffers Index shows, let’s not write obituaries for mainstream media There remains a significant gap in online activation similar digital strategies—and they did, in fact, outlets just yet. Newsrooms may be shrinking but and engagement in governing compared with set out to build on the foundation laid by their their value and influence on Capitol Hill aren’t. campaigning. As increasing numbers of winning predecessors to leverage emerging digital outlets For staffers, online news sites consistently rank candidates rely on digital strategies to win and to better serve and connect with Americans while far above social networks, blogs and social make promises of online engagement part of simultaneously adapting to a rapidly evolving media media, with the highest usage (64%) occurring their campaigns, Members who find themselves landscape. The same was true for Capitol Hill. from 9-10 a.m. when staff are preparing for in positions of power must learn to govern online Members of Congress and Hill staffers quickly briefings, conducting research or getting as well. Perhaps these words from American learned how to navigate these new channels caught up on the news. philosopher, writer and 1983 Presidential Medal through direct constituent engagement and the of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer will serve as creation of content best suited for social media For the most part, social networks run a distant encouragement: “In times of change, learners and networking sites. In many cases, such second in usage percentage when compared with inherit the earth; while the learned find them- content was embedded on official House and online news sites, except for significant spikes selves beautifully equipped to deal with a world Senate “dot gov” sites. In May 2010, the House during the lunch hour (31% from noon to 1 p.m.) that no longer exists.” Republican leadership even created its own and at the end of a typical work day (tied with digital channel, “America Speaking Out,” an online news at 46% after 6 p.m.). This suggests “When during the day do you normally access the following types of sites?” Online news sites Blogs Social media Social networks 56% 64% 53% 50% 48% 49% 47% 46% 46% 44% 42% 46% 35% 31% 28% 24% 24% 24% 22% 22% 23% 23% 29% 20% 19% 17% 18% 18% 16% 16% 15% 15% 19% 18% 17% 15% 14% 12% 13% 13% 13% 13% 12% 11% Before 9am 9am-10am 10am-11am 11am-12pm 12pm-1pm 1pm-2pm 2pm-3pm 3pm-4pm 4pm-5pm 5pm-6pm After 6pm 10 | © Edelman 2010. All rights reserved.