Denny Civic Solutions manages civic campaigns designed to make change through public policy. It’s much more than lobbying, advertising, public relations, or building grassroots coalitions. It’s all of this and more!
All successful campaigns start from the same position — with the end in mind.
For-profit companies seeking regulatory relief mount campaigns…
Nonprofit organizations seeking funding for new initiatives run campaigns…
Local governments seeking additional local control on tax, zoning, planning and other issues run campaigns…
Whether we are fighting for or against something, working to raise awareness or driving a voter referendum, we follow sound principles and guidelines developed by Carnegie Mellon University Professor and successful public policy change “engineer” Rick Stafford.
- Start with a working Hypothesis or idea to address the problem and/or opportunity at hand. For example, “We should create an Innovation Fund within Health and Human Services to reward innovation and cost efficiency.”
- Conduct thorough research on the hypothesis that will allow for sound, informed strategic decision-making. For example, “Based on research, we should implement a tax base sharing program as a pilot first before full implementation begins.”
- Do the market research — Know your decision makers like the back of your hand.“Let’s do a survey to better understand what moves voters to support our idea of changing the form and structure of local government.”
- Begin building consensus on a well-researched proposal with key decision makers and influencers.“It’s time to take our proposal to develop a special zoning district for our company to the Mayor and his key advisors to discuss it with them. Let’s ask for their feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our proposal.”
- Build the organization and recruit the right leadership — Civic campaigns don’t happen on their own. Successful campaigns require a balance of professionals with strong organizational, research, political and legislative skills. But above all, successful campaigns require strong civic leadership. Without this kind of leadership, success is far less likely!“We need to identify and recruit the most trustworthy, influential civic leader(s) with credibility on this particular issue. Let’s identify those who have a strong desire to make change and engage them to lead our effort.”
- Game On! — Time for Public Advocacy which is the heart of a civic campaign, bringing all of the key elements together as one to move public opinion.“Let’s launch our coalition’s opposition to H.B. 111 with a strong message. Let’s share that message through statewide earned media, direct mail and digital media. Let’s launch our grassroots organization and play “inside baseball” with legislative champions.”
- Be Ready to Win, which means be ready to implement the policy change you are campaigning for or against. Even when the final vote is taken, many details are left to be resolved. You don’t want to win the battle and lose the war because you either weren’t ready to implement the proposal or someone else like an opponent was ready to do so in a timely fashion.“Here is a leadership team, funding, and an organization in place to work on the zoning and tax change, once our legislation is passed.”
Based on decades of expertise, these are the key principles that Denny Civic Solutions follows when building and implementing a civic campaign. All of these principles are employed in a socio-economic-political environment that can and will change over time.
Our team understands the challenges that impact civic campaigns, including time. Some campaigns have a definitive start and end date when success or failure will be known. For others, the start and end date is not always as clear. But a sense of urgency is always required.
Regardless of the challenges you face, Denny Civic Solutions has the expertise to keep your Initiative top of mind among the people that matter. By starting with the end in mind and Following specific principles, a winning campaign is within reach.