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  Check out the latest Amyisms
Amyism #1
Grassroots Results: "If you want to have something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done."
Amyism #2
Grassroots Momentum: "Electronic communication tools do not create grassroots momentum. People do."
Amyism #3
Growing Grassroots: "A terrible thing happens when your senior managers do not know about your program--nothing!!"
Amyism #4
Growing Grassroots: "Word of mouth from a grassroots evangelist beats 50 communications from your CEO. Nothing recruits better than a satisfied volunteer."
Amyism #5
Innovation/Learning: "We have to constantly look at ways to alter the nuances of our programs. The political climate changes too rapidly to be content with executing and implementing your programs the same way year after year."
Amyism #6
Grassroots Volunteer Recognition (informal): "If you have the latest technology, you should be using the time you are saving to innovatively thank your high producing grassroots volunteers."
Amyism #7
Grassroots Volunteer Recognition (informal): "You can’t fake it. You can’t make someone feel important if you don’t truly believe they are." --Jim Beck
Amyism #8
Grassroots Culture: "Show me the pictures in your department’s offices and I will tell you whether you truly have a grassroots culture."
Amyism #9
CEO Support: "Do you think you have CEO Support? Take the party test: if you and your CEO are at an event, would you be able to talk to him or her without having to introduce yourself? If the answer is no, double check the CEO's support of your program."
Amyism #10
Grassroots Volunteer Motivation: "Your grassroots activists are employees or members who choose to help advance your cause. Choose your favors carefully."
Amyism #11
Motivation: "People will come to you for the cause, and stay for the leader."
Amyism #12
Focus: "Wherever your focus is at work, that's where your program is, also."
Amyism #13
Grassroots Organization: "The legislative process is a highly organized one. How can we expect to impact it unless we have an organized process in place?" --Dimon McFerson, Former CEO, Nationwide Insurance
Amyism #14
Innovation: "Watch out for the dinosaurs in our industry. If the message hasn't changed in two years, it's obsolete."
Amyism #15
Grassroots Members as Customers: "Please stop referring to your employees and association members in combative terms such as "targets" or "segments." How about simply customers?"
Amyism #16
Grassroots/PAC Ownership: "Everyone throws this term around, but few know what it means. If you aren't making sure your volunteers' contributions are recognized and USED, you don't know what ownership is, and they don't feel it."
Amyism #17
Grassroots Communications: "Many organizations believe that because "we sent an e-mail" communication has taken place. If that was the case, why don't candidates just send an e-mail saying "I'm running for office, vote for me?" Why doesn't McDonald's send an e-mail saying "We have hamburgers for sale, please buy one?" You have to communicate through a variety of means to make your message stick." --Jim Beck
Amyism #18
Evangelism: "It's not about the data base, it's about getting people to believe." --Tiffany Adams
Amyism #19
Grassroots Advocate Feedback: "It's amazing how the wailing and gnashing of teeth over lack of communication from the grassroots ends when someone on the government relations staff is actually held responsible for finding out what's going on in the district."
Amyism #20
Continuous Improvement: "We won the award for the best overall grassroots program from our national trade association. However, I didn't want us to be remembered as the "has-beens" of grassroots in our industry." --John Stowell
Amyism #21
Volunteer Recognition: "Who you spend time with speaks volumes about who you value. Show me a grassroots or PAC leader who slights his volunteers in public and I'll start drawing white chalk lines around that program."
Amyism #22
Grassroots Leader Motivation: "In the good old days, anyone could get participation in their issues with lots of money and lots of members. Now, the differentiating factors are leaders who can persuade and motivate more than the other side."
Amyism # 23
Relationships: "It's intellectually inconsistent to encourage your grassroots advocates to develop and maintain relationships with key legislators, yet ignore your own advice when it comes to working with your advocates."
Amyism #24
Grassroots Program Strategy: "There are no accidents. Behind every bad result there is a worse strategy (or none at all!)"
Amyism #25
Motivation: "Motivating your grassroots advocates during the tough times is infinitely easier if you adhere to a strategic approach to recruitment at all times."
Amyism #26
Measurement: "Grassroots measurement is more than just numbers. What is the value of a credible, trusting relationship with a legislator? What is the organizational price of a strained relationship with a legislator? The soft stuff is the hard stuff."
Amyism #27
Credibility: "Check the background of your sources. If they haven't done it before, they can't do it for you."
Amyism # 28
Grassroots Volunteer Retention and Motivation: "Pay attention. Act on what you hear and observe, not from what you believe or hope. Your volunteers will tell you how to keep them engaged if you pay attention."
Amyism #29
Grassroots Results: "Your ultimate results are revealed in your daily routine. Tell me what you want, show me your weekly calendar, and I'll tell you if you'll get it."
Amyism #30
Grassroots Volunteer Satisfaction: "One of the keys to keeping good volunteers is to improve your services for those who are using them, instead of worrying about who isn't using them. Find out what makes your active participants stay with your program and do more of it."
Amyism #31
Grassroots Evangelism: "Evangelism is a process of getting people not just to join your cause, but to believe in it so much that they are compelled to make converts for you because they believe it is in the potential converts' self interest, not the interest of the organization, to join."
Amyism #32
Motivation: "As you begin your grassroots work, I am convinced that the most critical decision you will make is your attitude toward your volunteers."
Amyism #33
Listening: "It is irrelevant what we think is the most efficacious or compelling way to convey important issues to our grassroots customers. They will determine what is relevant. We must listen."
Amyism #34
E-Advocacy: "Our electronic communications tools are one way we can create a grassroots community, instead of being a substitute for it. Are you utilizing the medium to create espirit de corps, or only to ask for favors?"
Amyism #35
Rogue Grassroots Advocates: "Not all rogues should be summarily dismissed from your grassroots efforts. One of the reasons the Rogue exists is because he or she does not know better. It's our responsibility to teach them to know better so they do better."
Amyism #36
Government Relations Value: "When you relentlessly tout only what your new technology does instead of your insights and strategies, you instantly and unwittingly devalue your contributions to your organization."
Amyism #37
The Grassroots/PAC Brand: "Just like any company is known by the quality of its customers, so too is a government relations department known by the quality of its grassroots or PAC customers. Potential PAC and grassroots members are attracted to reliable, successful brands. If you aren't happy with the quality of your customers, you need to alter your brand."
Amyism #38
Implementation: "The politics of implementing your programs cannot be ignored. Do you have internal support for your efforts? If not, do you have a strategy to gain that support, or do you expect your colleagues and key leaders to follow your initiatives?"
Amyism #39
Recognition: "The notion of relying solely on scheduled formal recognition is flawed and leads to missed opportunities to increase grassroots and PAC productivity. It is more important what you do 365 days a year in the informal recognition moments, rather than the extravaganza-laden events, plaques, and other ceremonies."
Amyism #40
Education vs. Persuasion: "The government relations profession prides itself on educating its advocates. Why then don't our advocates enthusiastically respond? Because the link between education and persuasion is weaker than you'd think. There is much to persuasion beyond education." -- Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.
Amyism #41
Grassroots Advocate Retention: "It's not how many grassroots advocates you find, it's how many you keep that matters." - Laura Feldman
Amyism #42
Advocate Participation: "Allegiance to your cause isn’t an entitlement. The organizations that foster an emotional allegiance strategy will have more committed, fervent advocates than those who assume that a dues payment or a paycheck equals commitment."
Amyism #43
PAC Recruitment: "When we think of 'solicitation,' the mental picture hardly conjures up welcoming images. By removing the 's' word from your PAC vocabulary, you will subtly alter your PAC’s image. Think of recruiting, instead of soliciting, for PAC membership."
Amyism #44
Motivating Key Contacts: "The most common mistake in motivating Key Contacts is thinking that they are similar to the general public, and treating them that way."
Amyism #45
Motivating: "Instead of shopping for lightening bolts and trinkets to motivate your advocates, analyze the context of your legislative and organizational situation. Develop strategies and tactics based on your current context, not on what is most expedient or convenient."
Amyism #46
"Organizations (and politicians) tend to believe that science is optional. It's not. If you run ads and they don't work, it doesn't matter how you spin it; they didn't work. We may have all sorts of business and theological reasons to challenge a piece of science, but denying the reality of a tested universe never leads to a positive outcome."  -- Seth Godin

Amyism #47
Grassroots and PAC Persuasion: “As influence agents, we must learn to think in story, talk in story, and present our arguments in a narrative form. Because story can persuade and inspire where reason and logic and argument fall flat."
-- Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.

Amyism #48
The Competition to Influence: "Many psychologists refer to the human mind as a dark stage lit by the single spotlight of conscious attention. That's why it's smart to have the guy running the spotlight on your payroll." -- Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.

Amyism #49
Grassroots Effectiveness: "When you meet with your legislators, do they congratulate you for your grassroots prowess, or do they admonish you to develop your grassroots prowess? Listen to what they say, as well as what they don't say to determine your true grassroots effectiveness."

Amyism #50
Recognition: "We can either recognize our volunteer grassroots and PAC advocates when it's convenient for us, or engage in the principle of strategic spontaneity to maximize our grassroots and PAC allegiance."

Amyism #51
Measurement: “Organizations measure what is important and do not measure what is unimportant. Smart government relations professionals know that what gets measured gets attention, so those who welcome and even initiate metrics will have more organizational clout and resources than those who do not measure beyond the number of emails sent and PAC receipts.”

Amyism #52
Motivation: “Before you can motivate others, you must be consumed with the cause yourself. Before you can move them to action, you must be inspired. To convince them, you’ve got to believe.”

Amyism #53
Volunteer Leadership: “Demonstrating leadership behaviors is not essential if you are in a transactional environment. If, however, you are persuading "black belt" people to engage in your cause, you have to be a transformational leader. I'm concerned that many government relations professionals are operating in a transactional role rather than in a transformational leadership role.”

Amyism #54
Benchmarking: “While it is nice to know what other similar organizations are doing, when we benchmark we can become benchparked. The numbers tells us what is expected, not what is exceptional. How do we know, for example, that the average corporate PAC participation rate of 18% should not be 50%? A better approach is to find out why certain milestones were not achieved, and then create early warning systems to avoid the same pitfalls in your organization.”

Amyism #55
Government Relations Results: “When we know what brings the greatest return, but do not do it, we have to ask ourselves if we really believe in what we are doing, or just doing what is easy. We get a short-term rush, but not as many long-term gains.”

Amyism #56
PAC Pride : “Your PAC can't be like the crazy aunt or uncle who you keep in the attic but never talk about.”

- Meaghan Killion Joyce
International Paper

Amyism #57
Grassroots Training Rigor: "Teaching people how a bill becomes law or the structure of a Congressional office doesn't get to the end result, which should be grassroots persuasion, rather than just grassroots advocacy. Your training should be rigorous, challenging, and fun. The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."
Amyism #58
Social Media vs. Social Capitol: "Despite the fascination with social networks, they aren't a secret grassroots weapon. The groups that have social capital among their members will have the edge. That was the case prior to online networks, and it's true today. In a world of hyper - abundant social networks, social capitol is the "killer app."
Amyism #59
Astroturf Lobbying: "When you can’t convince your own stakeholders to support your issues, and you have to pay someone else to gin up grassroots support, wouldn’t that be one of many red flags about your message, messenger, or culture?"
Amyism #60
Grassroots Ethics: "When people in power call for ethical standards...odds are, those ethical standards are designed to keep them in power."
--Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.
Amyism #61
Advocacy vs. Persuasion: "Advocacy is not persuasion. One is the activity, the other is the result. Just like spending a lot of time in your doctor's office doesn't make you a neurosurgeon, advocating doesn't make you persuasive."
Amyism #62
Grassroots tactics: "You can have the best advocacy plan for your grassroots volunteers, but if they arenį¨š persuaded that they need to get off their computers and in front of their legislators, it doesnį¨š matter. Do your volunteers know why face-to-face contact with opinion leaders and legislators is the platinum standard of persuasion?"
Amyism #63
PAC Objections: There are no new PAC objections known to mankind. The crime is not in the objection, but in us not being prepared to rebut them."
Amyism #64
Competitive Advantage: "You will not win more issues, gain more grassroots participation, or raise more PAC money by doing things 'reasonably well most of the time.' You can't dabble in excellence."
Amyism #65
Grassroots Tactics: "Your best grassroots advocates know the difference between just being kept busy and meaningful engagement. The only real way to retain people is with meaningful engagement." - Betsy Vetter
Amyism #66
PAC Objections: "Questions or challenges and even sometimes hostility about your PAC are signs of interest. Prepare for the objections. When you hear only the crickets, then you know you're in trouble."
Amyism #67
Successful vs. Unsuccessful Influence Tactics: "People are generally unable to distinguish a successful tactic in a failed campaign, or a failed tactic in a winning campaign. People overgeneralize, and assume any tactic used in a failed campaign is a bad one. Whereas a successful campaign blesses every tactic used."
--Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.
Amyism #68
Grassroots Motivation: "Motivation is largely intrinsic. Your job is to create an atmosphere conducive to self-motivation. Blanket approaches don't work."
Amyism #69
Grassroots Motivation: "Are you recognizing victories or behaviors? One key to motivation is creating an environment where the desired behavior, regardless of the result, is recognized."