Are you talking to the right people? Part I

By Karen Crummy

Published March 5, 2024

At the beginning of the legislative session, you teed up an expert lobbyist, put together a compelling narrative and created a list of sincere individuals to share their moving stories to lawmakers during bill hearings.

That’s a great start.

What many organizations, companies, nonprofits and coalitions advocating for or against legislation miss, however, is the importance of communicating to people outside of the Dome in order to impact policy change under the Dome. Public opinion informs political decision making, and outward pressure from targeted constituencies on legislators makes a difference because they care what their neighbors think and pride themselves on understanding the needs and concerns of their districts.
The way to leverage public opinion is to cover all your bases through an integrated communications and outreach plan that is innovatively tailored to your specific audiences. The old ways of robocalls and mass emails to lawmakers and one well-placed phone call don’t work. Your lobbyist needs backup from grasstops and grassroots coalitions that can speak publicly about the issues to generate attention and speak privately to decision makers to apply pressure. These various stakeholders personalize the issue and create the inflection points needed to bring about much-needed change or block irresponsible policy. By putting in the time to build a stakeholder map and recruit compelling messengers, you can strategically deploy your best influencers with the right message at the right time to the right audience.

How do you effectively deliver that message? That’s for Part II.

Karen Crummy

Karen is a nationally renowned communication consultant who built her reputation as an award-winning political journalist and investigative reporter with The Boston Herald and The Denver Post.

Her journalism background combined with her experience as a former civil rights lawyer has established Karen as a leader in the communications space, guiding public relations and policy strategies for Fortune 500 CEOs, corporations, high stakes political campaigns, white collar criminal and civil trials and numerous industries and individuals needing crisis communications.

Karen has interviewed U.S. Presidents, vice presidents, senators, and representatives, and she has traveled on planes, trains, buses, and pickup trucks covering campaigns at the federal, state, and local level and talking to candidates and voters across the country. Karen has moderated gubernatorial and U.S. Senate debates and been interviewed by Fox, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The L.A. Times and other national and local newspapers and radio. ​​She received a B.A. in history and M.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.