5 Ways to Be Awesome at Public Affairs – Lessons from Playing w/ BGOV

Join us on Sep. 21st to see, do, and learn about Bloomberg Government with an interactive session with tips on how it can help you be awesome as a public affairs official. Limited seating so please RSVP.

I’ll be honest – I’m an unabashed Bloomberg fan. I’ve read Michael Bloomberg’s biography (awesome), respect him as a leader (love his concept of the bullpen ), freaked out when I met him in person (groupie), and I got really excited the first time I used the original Bloomberg finance product (I love finance, stocks market)

In preparation for our Sep. 21st See.Do.Learn event with Bloomberg Government, I was giving access to play around with the new BGOV product.

Our first session is for Public Affairs and Communications professionals, so I took it for a spin and here’s my 5 tips on how you can use it to be awesome at Public Affairs.

1) Legislation Guru – I remember when I was at ICE and there was proposed Immigration legislation. Everyone was talking every day what the status of the legislation was and we were making numerous plans based on the various proposed legislation (house, senate, edits, etc).

Bgov has a pretty awesome legislation tracker where you can track specific legislation, get updates. The biggest value for me is a little hard to write about until you see it – it just beautifully puts all info in one format. Yeah, you can get a lot of this info on house.gov, and thomas.loc.gov but the visuals here are awesome and all of it is in one place.

2) The State and Local Press Release – So your agency just announced the winners of a national grant program and you want to find the state and local officials for the areas that won for the press release. Once again, it’s just super easy to find the Congressional officials but also the state and local political figures.

3) The Travel Trip – The head of your agency is traveling to Chicago or Santa Fe for a series of meetings but has a free afternoon and is looking to schedule some meetings. Bgov has an awesome tool where you can find the largest companies in a state or city (potentially to schedule a meeting with a related company in the industry) or you can find a list of government buildings in the area (time to swing by a local field office)

4) Meeting at the White House or Hill – So your boss has a big meeting at the White House or Capitol Hill and s/he asks you to figure out who’s going to be in the room and what are the key issues. Bgov has a great White House and Capitol Hill staffer look-up – search by name, title, or office and you’ll find the key staffers and their phone and email. I just did a quick query on WH new media office and was cool to see they even had some of the behind the scene rockstars.

5) News Junkie Analysis – I love reading. I’m the guy that has 100 feeds in his RSS reader and I take a peruse of NYTimes, Washington Post, Politico almost every day. I was surprised to see how much awesome original content Bgov had as well – very different than standard newspaper coverage. And I loved the analyst reports – these were my favorites – for example, they took the Super Committee that’s working on deficit reduction and wrote a 3 page report on the history of super committees, what other ones currently are ongoing, and pros/cons.

Overall, I had fun playing with BGOV this morning and these are just a few ideas I came up with in an hour of playing with data. I encourage you to bring your problems you are facing as a Public Affairs professional to the Sep. 21st event and we can play around with the product and come up with solutions.

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