Membership

How an Iowa Business Association Gets Members Prepped for the Caucus

By / Jan 24, 2020 (bgblue/DigitalVision Vectors)

With candidates taking over the state in the months ahead of the Iowa Caucus, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry has offered resources to help the employees of members understand the process.

After months and months of buildup, we’re finally in the midst of the 2020 primaries, starting with the Iowa caucus on February 3.

And for residents of the state trying to make sense of what’s happening, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (IABI)  has been working on making sure that their members—employers in the state—are able to get their members to vote.

The association has produced the 2020 Iowa Caucus Toolkit, part of the nonpartisan campaign Iowa Votes. The toolkit includes suggestions on how employers, including associations, can get their workers to take part in the event.

“The initiative does not tell employees how to vote or who to vote for, instead it provides information to help employers encourage participation in the caucuses,” IABI says in the toolkit. “In the weeks leading up to the February Iowa Caucus, we encourage private sector organizations and trade associations to unite and remind employees to Get out the Caucus.”

Many of the recommendations include tips on how employers can train their workers to best engage with candidates, who often show up in the state in the months before the event—as well as how those employers can encourage some of those candidates to stop by. (Never hurts to ask.)

Fighting against the tendency to get starstruck when randomly running into a candidate on the campaign trail, the guide recommends strategies for employees to ask useful questions even when they run into a candidate unexpectedly. “Providing a short list of questions to ask the candidates will not only help your employee, but also encourage the candidate to talk about issues important to the business community,” the toolkit explains. “Make it pocket-sized for unplanned candidate encounters at the supermarket, church, mall, or school.”

The messaging is not just focused on the Democratic caucus, either—IBIA’s efforts promote the Republican caucus as well, despite the fact that the winner is very likely to be the current president.

“Although the advertisements and constant barrage of candidates, media and staff can sometimes seem never-ending, the spotlight on Iowa and the trust the public puts in us to help select the next president of the United States cannot be understated,” said Nicole Crain, the association’s executive vice president of public policy, in a blog post.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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