Monitoring and evaluating advocacy efforts for reporting to stakeholders

August 30, 2022
people in a conference room

[Learn how Megaphone from Bloomberg Government enables comprehensive advocacy monitoring and evaluation.]

The key to building an impactful strategy that shapes public policy outcomes is ensuring you have a way to effectively monitor and evaluate your advocacy campaign. By generating performance insights, checking progress toward goals, and gaining visibility into campaign efficacy, you can make more informed decisions about how to improve efforts to mobilize a grassroots movement to your cause – and report on this critical information to donors, stakeholders, and advocates.

However, evaluating policy influence can be difficult and takes time – and without the right tools, public affairs professionals can find themselves without a clear way to demonstrate the impact of their activities and initiatives.

To overcome these challenges, campaign strategists need an effective way to collect constituent data, measure digital media efficacy, and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

So, how do companies organize campaigns to overcome these challenges and influence policy? It all starts with planning.

What is advocacy evaluation planning?

Advocacy evaluation planning sets the stage for your campaign’s success by outlining your strategy and the milestones to hit along the way. It also lays the foundation for how you will monitor and evaluate grassroots work, from data collection to policy impact assessment. With these frameworks in place, you can make strategic adjustments that optimize the outcomes of your advocacy effort and ultimately enact policy change.

Outside of maximizing influence and advocacy outcomes, evaluating your work will also enable you to generate credible reports that demonstrate tangible project impacts to relevant parties. By monitoring and assessing digital media activities, constituent data, and policy influence, you can provide your stakeholders with comprehensive visibility into campaign performance.

Gain comprehensive visibility into your advocacy efforts with Megaphone

Only Megaphone unifies your disparate systems and constituent data onto a single platform with real-time reporting dashboards.

How to measure advocacy success

Developing systems and processes around advocacy monitoring and evaluation is uniquely challenging as strategies must be dynamic to adapt to fast-paced, unpredictable political forces. Goals and milestones often shift to account for changing circumstances and new political opportunities. Campaigns can last for years, and the policy goals may change. As a result, advocacy initiatives might end before legislative outcomes are even realized.

Advocacy success looks different for every project and organization, whether it’s tied to expanding or engaging your supporters, or achieving business objectives through new regulation. No matter the metrics you’re tracking, these four steps will help guide you through the process of measuring the success of your initiatives.

1. Set project objectives

The first step to measuring advocacy success is to outline project objectives. For instance, your overarching goal might be to mobilize voters to get a new bill signed into law. However, this target doesn’t provide you with measurable milestones. To evaluate progress throughout the campaign, it’s best to break down advocacy goals into smaller objectives. These might include reaching a predetermined number of new supporters or mobilizing a segment of advocates to contact their local lawmakers.

2. Choose the right advocacy evaluation tool

With your objectives in place, the next step is to select an evaluation tool that will enable you to monitor and measure campaign success. Your tool should not only integrate with your other systems, but also unify data across disparate sources to provide a deep understanding of your constituents. This includes real-time metrics such as how your advocates are engaging, what channels they’re using, and demographic information that tells a story about each constituent.

Bloomberg Government’s grassroots advocacy tool, Megaphone, provides advanced campaign monitoring and evaluating with the following capabilities:

  • Build profiles and track interactions with your supporters on your digital properties.
  • A proprietary advocacy score allows you to measure the civic engagement level of your audience – whether they be donors, advocates, and members – or a new audience you’re trying to reach. This score will help advocacy professionals better target advocacy campaigns based on the civic participation of the people they want to activate.
  • Develop visuals to track progress towards the goals you set for a specific campaign or your organization overall.
  • Create custom reports and dashboards based on any activity, profile data, goal tracking, task lists and more to make analytics accessible and relevant to any area of your organization.

[Define your strategy, monitor progress, and evaluate advocacy outcomes with Megaphone from Bloomberg Government.]

3. Measure progress metrics

Once your campaign is in motion, it’s time to start monitoring the data and measuring progress toward your advocacy goals. It’s important to track all relevant activity, such as page views, sign ups, new advocates added, and total lawmaker contacts. Measuring and evaluating this granular progress allows you to adjust and optimize your advocacy strategy along the way. This visibility also enables easy reporting to demonstrate the efficacy of your efforts to various stakeholders and supporters.

4. Assess and report outcomes

The final step in measuring advocacy success is to assess the impacts and outcomes of your campaign – and share your results with stakeholders.

In the early stages, evaluation might focus on periodic benchmarks to learn which demographics engage with your movement and understand the kinds of content that mobilizes your audience. After campaign completion, you can assess any policy change outcomes to determine whether you achieved your goals and, if not, to identify areas for future improvement.

Megaphone makes it easy to report on campaign results to your project stakeholders. Create custom charts and infographics using activity, outcome, and constituent profile data to visualize the impact of your advocacy efforts. Whether your movement mobilized new supporters to contact their local legislators or simply gained new advocates, reporting on campaign success metrics is critical to prove progress and value to stakeholders at every step. Even if your efforts struggled to engage constituents, you can identify areas for improvement and walk stakeholders through actionable next steps in your report.

Move your campaign forward with Megaphone

Monitoring and evaluating advocacy efforts doesn’t have to be a burden. Bloomberg Government’s Megaphone offers a seamless, intuitive, and intelligent platform to optimize your advocacy strategy and maximize outcomes. With ongoing, real-time monitoring and constituent data collection, you can generate in-depth constituent portfolios to make sure your efforts target the right advocates.

Megaphone also integrates with your other tools and systems, unifying campaign data on a single platform to provide insights into progress, advocates, and engagement. With advanced visualization tools and reporting capabilities, it’s easy to demonstrate advocacy progress to your stakeholders and supporters.

Ready to evaluate your advocacy campaign? Request a demo of Megaphone today.

Megaphone by Bloomberg Government is an all-in-one platform providing grassroots advocacy professionals with comprehensive visibility and advanced reporting features.

Learn more