Association Advocacy Chick

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Achieving Success in Diversity and Inclusion

Association Advocacy Chick

In August, ASAE introduced the 2015-2017 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan as well as new policies on religious diversity and accessibility. We asked the D + I Committee’s Immediate Past Chair and 2008-2009 DELP Scholar Mariama Boney to talk about their important work. Association Advocacy Chick: What are some of the responsibilities for ASAE’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee? The committee also coordinates the ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). AAC : Identify some of the most pressing issues for associations when it comes to D + I. . Reach and Relevance.

Now What?

Association Advocacy Chick

This year marks some very important milestones for me. ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program otherwise known as DELP celebrates its 15th anniversary. March will be my 5th anniversary with my current employer. June will be the 1st anniversary of Generation Advocacy. August marks the 5th birthday of Association Advocacy Chick. I’m very excited about all of this. Yet, I’ve had this one nagging question on my mind: Now what? What do these milestones mean in terms of my career? My blog? My professional development?

Lobbying is changing

Association Advocacy Chick

The Washington Post recently published an article about the changing landscape of lobbying. The article highlighted lobbying firms in the DC area who are shaking up their approach to Capitol Hill. One group models their operation after tech companies including open workspaces and compensation structure. Another ended the practice of billable hours. One firm uses social media to highlight important issues. For lobbying firms with traditional corporate structures, hierarchies and big corner offices, these examples are somewhat radical. However, they speak to a new reality: Lobbying is changing.

#asae14 is over. Now what?

Association Advocacy Chick

To recap #asae14, some sessions were great; Others not so much. People had particular feelings about the opening and closing sessions. Nashville pulled out all the stops to welcome attendees. We all had fun at parties, yadda, yadda, yadda. But it’s all over now. The sessions. The networking. The receptions. So now what? Do we go back to work as if nothing happened? Obviously not. Here’s what we should do before the end of the month. Follow up with those we promised to connect with. Schedule that coffee or lunch meeting. Don’t let those potential connections die off.

I Heart Detroit

Association Advocacy Chick

One of the highlights of being a DELP scholar is our annual reunion. For most of us, it’s the only opportunity we have to see each other and immerse ourselves in all things DELP. No matter how large our group gets or how unique our experiences are, there’s been one constant in my seven (!) years as a DELPer: Detroit. The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau supports ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program. Every summer, we travel to Detroit for a weekend filled with learning and fun. It’s become one of my favorite annual trips. Stores closed.

Humanizing Government Relations

Association Advocacy Chick

My fellow lobbyists, I have distressing news. Our members don’t know who we are and why we exist within our associations. They don’t see our value. We have to deal with a Congress that can’t get s**t done (yup, I just cursed). Congressional staffers don’t want to meet with us. We’re being told that a 10% cut to our program areas should be considered a legislative victory. We’re in the age of the SuperPAC where our association PAC check isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Friends – It’s time we humanize government relations.

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In appreciation of the intern

Association Advocacy Chick

I’ve worked for my current employer for over four years now and there’s been one constant throughout that time: our interns. Our public policy internship program is a paid internship for two psychology graduate students to work in our Public Interest Government Relations office in DC. The interns spend one year with us learning how psychological research can be applied to public policy. The internship exists because there’s very little programming that addresses public policy and advocacy in psychology doctoral programs. They want to learn more and offer assistance as needed.

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Congressional testimony tips from Seth Rogen

Association Advocacy Chick

Last month, actor Seth Rogen testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee to ask for more research funding for Alzheimer’s disease. Organizations are well aware that star power sells and having a celebrity spokesperson can help bring attention to your cause. In fact, Ben Affleck was also on Capitol Hill that same day giving testimony. However, no one seemed to care because Rogen’s opening statement was the talk of Capitol Hill. In fact, two days after his appearance, CSPAN reported that video of Rogen’s testimony was their 3rd most watched video EVER. Humor works.

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With friends like Public Relations, who needs Lobbying?

Association Advocacy Chick

The Center for Public Integrity recently reported on how some trade associations were turning to public relations and advertising instead of lobbying to influence legislators. They point to the lack of disclosure rules and expansive outreach as factors in this shift. While these groups still spent money on lobbying, public relations and communications are receiving more resources and attention. As an association lobbyist, it raises some interesting questions. First, is this the beginning of the end of lobbying? However, it’s too simple of an explanation. I don’t think so.

ASAE15: We do we GO from here?

Association Advocacy Chick

ASAE 15 was a different experience for me than in years past. It was my first annual as an Executive Director. I missed the annual DELP reunion so it was my only opportunity to see most of my DELP family. It was our first annual meeting in Detroit. I could focus on the good, the bad and the unusual, but I’ve decided to go with what’s next. What are going to do with the content knowledge we’ve gained? How will we use those hallway conversations? Here are some suggestions. Remember those people you met and said, “I’d like to connect with you”? Actually do it.

Using live video streaming for advocacy

Association Advocacy Chick

For the past few weeks, we’ve seen people tiptoe into the world of live video streaming apps including Meerkat and Periscope. While I’ve downloaded Periscope, I’ve yet to produce any content personally or professionally. However, here are some possibilities when it comes to using this service in your advocacy efforts. Congressional Briefings. I once worked on a briefing for congressional staff on the challenges of and opportunities for parents with disabilities. We were bombarded with questions about making it available for outside the DC area. Hill Days. Member Updates.

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The association lobbyist’s iPad toolkit

Association Advocacy Chick

I love my iPad. I really I love my iPad. I probably use it more than my office desktop and television combined. It’s not only a great way to watch videos, read e-books and check email and social media networks, it’s also becoming a part of how I do my job as an association lobbyist. In the process, I’ve discovered some apps and other items that every iPad-toting lobbyist should have in their arsenal. The free app is available for download through GPO - [link]. MyCongress: It’s another member directory, but more robust. You will need to create an account to use.

The 4 myths about DELP

Association Advocacy Chick

One of my passions in life is ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program otherwise known as DELP. I’ve talked about DELP a number of times and have featured many of my fellow scholars in my blog posts. However, the program seems to still be a mystery for many people. That mystique has led to some misconceptions. Well, it’s time to clear the air about what DELP is and more importantly, what it’s not. Myth #1 – DELP scholars are entry-level staffers. Reality – DELP scholars are mid and senior level professionals. We advocate on Capitol Hill.

Social Lobbying? Sounds Familiar

Association Advocacy Chick

The always wonderful Maddie Grant directed my attention to a recent blog post by TechCrunch’s Semil Shah entitled The Dawn of Social Lobbying. The basic point of the piece is that big-moneyed lobbying where “suits” (his word, not mine) are paid hefty sums to peddle influence is being upstaged by an emerging phenomena known as social lobbying. Social lobbying utilizes networks to move or defeat legislation. I would argue that social lobbying has always existed. It’s called grassroots lobbying. I can go to the Hill and talk about the technical aspects of the bill (i.e.

DELP at ASAE14

Association Advocacy Chick

Hi all! Just a quick hello before we head to Nashville for ASAE14. I was going to do a “tips on prepping for ASAE annual post”, but there are already a ton of great posts on this topic including this , this and this. I want to take this opportunity to plug some of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) and diversity+inclusion activities at ASAE this year. DELP Lounge. Check out the DELP Lounge in the Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom, Salon C2. You’ll find information on the program, tips on applying to DELP and more. Sunday, August 10. 2:00 -3:30pm. All Aboard!

So you wanna be a DELP Scholar?

Association Advocacy Chick

You’ve received the email from ASAE. Maybe someone handed you the brochure. Maybe you’ve read this blog and have finally convinced yourself that now is the time: You want to apply to the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). But, how do you begin? Background information including the application can be found here. In addition, some of my DELP colleagues wanted to offer their advice to those taking the plunge. Apply from your heart. Be clear about what you expect to get from the experience and how you will pay it forward – Art Hsieh, class of 2008-2009. My advice?

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Ignite me? Ignite you!

Association Advocacy Chick

My name is Stefanie and I’m obsessed with Ignite. For those not familiar, Ignite is an event where speakers have five minutes and 20 slides (auto-advanced every 15 seconds) to make a point. The first Ignite took place in Seattle back in 2006 and has since spread across the world. I recently participated in my second ever Ignite at IgniteDC #9. So why should you do an Ignite? Not easy.

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Middle children ignite!

Association Advocacy Chick

The Ignite session from ASAE 12 is now online on ASAE’s YouTube channel. Once again, I was honored to participate in what’s become the most fun and nerve-wracking presentation I’ve ever had to give. So if you missed the session or want to hear me retell the story of how I got that band-aid on my chin at age 3, check out the video below. I hope you enjoy it! Turning Middle Child Angst. into Career Success

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Video 39

Looking back, looking forward

Association Advocacy Chick

As we begin a new year, we often reflect back and determine what we’d like to see in the new year. I’m no different. It’s kinda hard to describe 2013 in simple terms. It wasn’t a bad year for me. I turned 40. I traveled to Hawaii for the first time. I had my first learning lab at ASAE annual. I dove head first into the wonderful word of Android (surprise!). I witnessed friends and family succeed beyond expectations. However, I also experienced being lied to, manipulated and passed over. My work suffered a bit during a particularly stressful time. I gained weight (sigh).

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Back to Reality

Association Advocacy Chick

Yesterday was my first day back in the office after being out for 10 days due to business travel and vacation. In this day and age, being out one day feels like you’ve been gone for a week. And what do we come back to? Endless emails to delete read, mail to sort through and all of the projects that seem to pop up while you’re out of the office. So how do I manage this? Here are some simple tips that have helped me transition from vacation mode to work mode. Treat my first day back as an off day. Yes, I’m in the office, but don’t expect much from me. Make a to-do list.

Giving advice or giving away the store?

Association Advocacy Chick

I value the opportunity to give back and pay it forward. Most recently, it has come in the form of giving advice to younger professionals looking to start or develop a career in government relations. Within the last three weeks, I’ve received no less than four different requests to discuss my career and offer any tips on starting out. I don’t mind helping. However, I’m starting to wonder if advice is the only thing people want from me. Let me explain. I recently had a phone conversation with a young woman who was very anxious to start her GR career. ” The amazing thing?

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Generation Advocacy

Association Advocacy Chick

I have a confession to make. This past June, I gave birth to my baby. Now that my baby’s 6 months old, I felt it was time to show them off. Introducing Generation Advocacy. No, I have not gone Hollywood and gave a child a weird name (although we could call them Ginny for short). Generation Advocacy is the name of my new business. GA, which is what I affectionately call it, is my advocacy training/PAC management/general government relations consulting service. My goal for GA is to spread the message that you (yes you) have the power and ability to advocate. To them I say, thank you :-).

ASAE12: Are you ready?

Association Advocacy Chick

As I type this, I’m 2 days away from getting together with 13,000+ psychologists and students in the land of Mickey. My presentations are ready. I’m pretty much packed and my schedule will actually allow me to eat at some point. However, that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about my other conference. The one where I’ll be getting together with 5,000+ association professionals in the land of Cowboys. ASAE12 is less than two weeks away and I’m so excited. So how do you manage? However, sessions can be cancelled or not what you expected.

Confessions of an interim manager

Association Advocacy Chick

For weeks, I’ve been debating how I was going to blog about my experience as an interim manager. Was I going to sugar coat it and say that everything was wonderful or do I focus on the gory details? Neither. I’m going to be honest. As I alluded to in a previous post, my boss unexpectedly resigned in early March giving two weeks notice. She had been offered a great opportunity that she would’ve been foolish to pass up. With only two weeks to decide how the office would run in the interim, the decision was made four days before her departure. No title change. No salary increase.

Sharing my blogging experience with others

Association Advocacy Chick

Late last year, I had the opportunity to present before the local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority on social media. I talked about SEO and Facebook and Twitter. I gave stats on who’s using social networks. However, the part that generated the most interest and discussion centered around blogging. As I talked about starting and maintaining Association Advocacy Chick , many in the audience wanted to know the pros and cons of blogging. On the downside, it requires time that I may not always have. A lack of comments can be discouraging. However, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Giving back

Association Advocacy Chick

Last week, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel on networking hosted by the Public Leadership Education Network otherwise known as PLEN. PLEN seeks to connect college-aged women to those who work in public policy. My panel included Peggy Tighe who a consider a legend in the lobbying world and Kelly Biggs, someone to keep an eye on in the future. We were asked various questions about how we started our careers, what we do to maintain a network and how to market their skills into their chosen careers. Not because I get to talk about myself, but because it allowed me to give back.

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Welcome to 2012: Challenge accepted

Association Advocacy Chick

This time last year, I wrote about how I aimed to be a better person professionally and personally. For the most part, I’ve shown some real growth in both areas. However, the effort to become better doesn’t end at the stroke of midnight. Like dancing and meditation, it’s now a part of my DNA. So what should I talk about during this first week of the new year? Well, the amazing Maddie Grant issued a challenge to blog about the topic How are you going to change the world in 2012 ? A large task indeed. I mean I’m a small spoke in a very large wheel.

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Why a simple “thank you” can make the world a better place

Association Advocacy Chick

When you’re having a crappy day, sometimes an unexpected thank you is all you need

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Can I have it all as a female lobbyist?

Association Advocacy Chick

By now, you’ve all heard about Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece in the Atlantic about the difficulty of women who desire both a high-powered career and a family. Much have been made about the arguments for and against the notion of “having it all” National Journal, a publication covering politics, recently did its take on that issue from the perspective of women working in Washington. In short, while we’re doing better than ever in high-level positions, we still lag in pay and opportunity compared to our male counterparts. My career path to lobbying is atypical.

Call Me Maybe

Association Advocacy Chick

“ Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?” ” - Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe. Okay, I’m going to cop to the fact that I love this song. It’s not on my iPhone (yet), but it’s been playing in my head for the better part of a week. It may have something to do with a recent report by Lobbyists.info which indicated that while lobbyists prefer in-person meetings with congressional staff, congressional staff would rather communicate via email.

Lobbying is not a four-letter word

Association Advocacy Chick

Earlier today, I attended a breakfast at ASAE with some of my government relations colleagues. Our guest speaker was Anna Palmer, a reporter for Politico. Politico , as you would imagine, covers national and international politics. Anna’s beat is the world I live in, lobbying. During the discussion, someone commented on the use of the words lobbying and advocacy in the news. Specifically, they noticed that when the story carried a negative tone, lobbying and lobbyists are used. When the story is more upbeat, advocacy and advocates are used. Don’t believe me? The word advocate ?

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Why I lobby for associations

Association Advocacy Chick

Last week, ASAE celebrated the Power of A campaign with a series of activities highlighting the social and economic impact of associations. Such events included Capitol Hill visits from over 100 association executives and a panel on why associations matter. I had the honor of moderating that panel where we discussed, among other things, why we work for associations. It’s an interesting question for someone in my position. Why did I chose to work for the association community when many of my fellow lobbyists go the corporate route? What does this say about association lobbying?

Prince

Association Advocacy Chick

For the past 8 months, I’ve been on hiatus from blogging as I transition into a new position in association management. I knew it would take a powerful event to get me back here. Unfortunately, it was the death of Prince. Three days later and it’s still hard for me to write that sentence. I thought I wouldn’t have to write this for another twenty years or so. Hooked.

Be a mental health advocate

Association Advocacy Chick

As most of you know, I’m a lobbyist for a membership association representing mental health professionals. I love what I do and more importantly, I love the issues that I work on. Mental health is not an easy topic to discuss especially on Capitol Hill. It’s a fact that our current mental health system needs improvement. However, there’s disagreement in Congress on the best course of action. Is it more funding? More providers? More research? Beyond that, the stigma still exists around mental health doesn’t make it the sexiest topic in Congress.

When it comes to DELP, don’t just take my word for it

Association Advocacy Chick

I often talk about my DELP experience from the perspective of an alumna. But what is it like for someone new to the program? I’d like to introduce to you a couple of the members of the Class of 2011-2013, Martha Ramirez, SPHR from the Society for Human Resources Management and Donte Shannon from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Recently, I had the pleasure of talking to them about their experiences as a new DELP scholar. Association Advocacy Chick: What led each of you to apply for the Diversity Executive Leadership Program? A sense of purpose and direction. Independent thinker.

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Open Community….from an advocacy prospective

Association Advocacy Chick

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, social media divas Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant, CAE of SocialFish have published their first book, Open Community. The book offers advice to associations looking to either create or expand their online communities with the help of social media. From an advocacy perspective, this is an excellent resource for government relations professionals.

Something to meditate on

Association Advocacy Chick

May is Mental Health Month. As someone who works for an association representing mental health professionals and a blogger, it’s my duty to acknowledge this month with a lesson about maintaining good mental health. All too often, we focus on the physical aspects of our health and completely ignore our mental state. So what can we do about this? How do I know if I’m even doing it right?

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Where’s the diversity in association government relations?

Association Advocacy Chick

Without disclosing specifics, I was recently involved in an activity which gave me a snapshot of something I know all too well. If I was to make assumptions solely based on this activity, I could say with all confidence that if you’re a minority working in an association, you’re probably not the lobbyist. Now, I know I’m making a sweeping generalization here, but my experiences don’t lie. . Throughout my career, I have traditionally been the only African-American in the room. It didn’t matter if I was attending a Democratic or Republican event, I stuck out.

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The beauty of being underestimated

Association Advocacy Chick

It’s neither comfortable nor pleasant, but at some point in our lives, we’ve all been underestimated. I routinely find myself in situations where the perception about my abilities don’t match the reality. I don’t look like the typical DC lobbyist. Heck, I don’t look like the typical association professional. However, I find that there’s a certain beauty to being what Merriam Webster defines as regard for being less than capable than they really are. Being underestimated keeps people guessing. When you do something very well once, it’s a surprise.

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Yes you can: government relations on the CAE exam

Association Advocacy Chick

For those of you who have taken the Certified Association Executive (CAE) exam, you may be familiar with the 3-day course offered by ASAE called the CAE Kickoff. The kickoff, formerly known as the CAE immersion, gives attendees an overview of the 9 domains covered on the exam as well as tips for approaching and preparing for it. Unfortunately, this did not surprise me one bit.