Willett Public Affairs Case Studies 

# 1 – Highlighting a Trade Association’s Expertise and Promoting its Members’ Capabilities.

Challenge

The client, a statewide association representing doctors of chiropractic, wished to highlight their members’ ability to treat painful disorders such as chronic back injuries without the use of drugs or surgery, as an alternative to traditional medical care using both, particularly involving the medical use of additive opioids.

 

Solution

Willett Public Affairs crafted an innovative solution to show state policymakers that doctors of chiropractic could help in the battle against opioid addiction in the treatment of pain, through non-surgical methods that did not involve addictive painkillers. Willett drafted legislation proposing a pilot program that allows a limited number of doctors of chiropractic to participate in a Medicaid program that would include chiropractic care as an alternative to traditional pain management (chiropractors are presently not authorized Medicaid providers in New York). Willett was successful in inserting the pilot program language into the state budget, lobbying for its passage and is now working with the Department of Health on program implementation.

# 2 - Securing Valuable Government Contracting Opportunities for a Professional Services Firm.

Challenge

A large architectural and engineering firm that does work in New York City and upstate, was anxious to enter the lucrative Westchester government contracts market for public works and approached Willett for help.

 

Solution

First, Willett counseled the client on developing a business development strategy in compliance with the state’s complex lobbying procurement laws, which if violated can result in contractor disbarment. Second, Willett, using its network of political relationships, introduced the client to key decision-makers and agency officials in Westchester county municipalities, provided regular follow-up with important contacts, and helped distribute effective client marketing materials to the right people. The client is now a qualified vendor in several Westchester municipalities and is regularly receiving public works RFPs.

# 3 – Expediting Payments to Construction Contractors doing Business with the State.

Challenge

Willett represents several leading construction contractor trade associations in New York. For years contractors were being denied timely payments on some state public works projects because of vague and capricious contract terms dictating final close-out payment on  construction jobs, that were frequently being interpreted against the contractor by both state agencies and the courts.

 

Solution

Willett helped draft remedial legislation that addressed the technical deficiencies in state contract provisions that were being unfairly used to delay or deny contractor payments. Willett then helped create an effective industry coalition that advocated for bill passage and negotiated with the governor’s staff on acceptable, final bill language. The governor signed the bill into law in 2020.

# 4 – Defeating Proposed Program Budget Cuts to a Healthcare Trade Association’s Membership.

Challenge

The Governor proposed a significant budget cut to a key state program for this leading healthcare association’s membership.  The association  quickly needed an organized grassroots and advocacy plan to avoid these devastating cuts from being enacted.

 

Solution

Willett immediately provided the client with key information on the proposed cuts and scheduled informational meetings with other coalition members on how the state budget process works. Willett then created advocacy materials and organized a community-based mobilization strategy that included a bus trip to Albany with clients and staff of the coalition.  Willett also arranged over 45 meetings with elected officials and staff to educate policymakers on the program and the impact of the Executive Budget’s proposed cuts.  As a result of Willett’s efforts, major cuts to the program were minimized and key elected officials turned into allies.  The program is now widely supported by the both the legislature and governor as a result of Willet’s effective and ongoing advocacy and educational work.

# 5 -  Outsourcing Cost-Effective Association Management Services.

Challenge

A statewide coalition of community-based healthcare and social service providers formed a new trade association. The member-providers were reluctant to hire a full-time executive director, but were still in need of comprehensive association management services to run the new organization, and stay within budget.  They also needed a lobbying firm to represent their interests before state government, but didn’t have enough money for both.

 

Solution

Instead of taking on the joint expense of a full-time executive director plus an outside lobbying firm, the association contracted out daily association management functions and lobbying services to Willett, at an overall dramatically reduced cost. Willett now successfully manages all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the association, as well as functioning as its lobbyist before key state regulators and elected officials, all at far less cost than hiring a full-time employee and a separate lobbying firm.  

For further information or to schedule a consultation on a government affairs or association management matter, contact Perry M. Ochacher, Willett Public Affairs President, at (914) 319-9173, or via email at pmo@willettpublicaffairs.com, or Matt Lesieur, Senior Vice President at (917) 545-2670 or via email at mhl@willettpublicaffairs.com.