Advocacy Diagnostic Tool

11 August 2016

BDO has developed a diagnostic tool to help organisations pinpoint weaknesses in their advocacy efforts ultimately allowing them to focus their resources on improving their programs and developing strong arguments for policy reform.

The intersection of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors is changing.

Understanding the unique ecosystem that exists between the public sector, private enterprise and not-for-profits requires an ear to the ground and a deep understanding of how each executes their role with a view to improved community outcomes and better returns for the economy.

In times of low economic growth, the nature of these relationships is forced to change, as each tries to generate maximum value with less resources and greater consumer expectations.

The private sector is looking to new ways to realise value through effectively engaging in the public policy debate and winning the race in market led proposals.

Government is increasingly outsourcing services to the private and not-for-profit sectors.  Member organisations need to improve public policy advocacy efforts to improve government services to their members.

Those that embrace the contributions of thought leaders, innovators and start ups will stand ready to engage in meaningful, informative and objective public policy debate.

Those CEOs that upskill in public policy engagement will be in great demand

Understanding a business’s strengths and most utilised advocacy behaviours is a fundamental starting point in further improving their public policy related actions.

Shareholders and members no longer believe it is acceptable for leaders to leave engagement in the public policy process to their public relations or government relations staff, yet the traditional skill set of a CEO often doesn’t include the specific skills to work in public policy engagement.

McKinsey estimates the business value at stake from public policy engagement is huge: about 30 percent of earnings for companies in most industries, and higher still in the banking sector, where the figure tops 50 percent.

With the potential returns being so significant, it is clear that shareholders will reward companies that extract this value, and penalise those that don’t.

Know your weaknesses and do something about them

Operating at the intersection of public, private and not-for-profit is not for the feint hearted. There is no place for complacency and ‘doing it the way you’ve always done it’ just won’t cut it.

BDO’s Advocacy Diagnostic is an opportunity for organisations and not-for-profits to assess their capability and compare this to industry best practice.

The diagnostic review focuses on how well your organisation understands and executes traditional advocacy activities, along with your ability to develop and manage relationships and networks with critical external stakeholders.

Your answers to 21 investigative questions will be reviewed and benchmarked against best practice advocacy methodologies, the result of which will provide guidance to your board and leadership team on future-proofing their ability to influence change to public policy.


If you answered anything other than a ‘yes’ to the questions above, there may well be room for improvement in your existing advocacy programs.

If you would like to talk to one of our public policy and advocacy experts, please contact us today.

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