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  • Communicate Effectively with your Stakeholders

    Robert D. MillerOctober 1, 2012

  • 2

    Todays Discussion

    Why is effective communication important?

    Who are your stakeholders?

    Types of communication

    Best practices

    Questions

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    The retirement environment has changed.

    3

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    71% of likely U. S. voters believe government workers get better benefits than private sector workers

    14% disagree

    15% not sure

    Rasmussen poll, March 4, 2011

    4

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    56% would rather reduce promised benefits for public employees than pay higher taxes to ensure that all promised benefits are paid

    21% would rather pay higher taxes than reduce public employee benefits

    23% not sure

    Rasmussen poll, November 3, 2011

    5

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    Since 2009, 45 states have rolled back pension benefits for teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers

    Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2012

    6

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    Texas is different

    Teacher Retirement System -- $110 billion fund can cover its benefit obligations through 2075

    Employees Retirement System Assets sufficient to pay promised benefits for next 70 years

    7

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    Any legislative battle to change the Teacher Retirement System and the Employees Retirement System will be an unnecessary one. Neither faces a crisis. Legislators should leave them alone.

    Austin American Statesman editorial, September 29, 2012

    8

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    Proposals to eliminate defined benefit retirement plans for public employees

    HB 2506 by Chisum relating to creating defined contribution retirement plans for persons eligible to participate in ERS and TRS

    Texans for Public Pension Reform

    9

  • Why is Effective Communication Important?

    Perception is reality.

    Nature abhors a vacuum.

    10

  • Who are your Stakeholders?

    Plan members and beneficiaries

    Labor organization(s)

    Plan sponsor

    State and local elected officials

    Taxpayers

    11

  • Types of Communication

    Reactive Responding to stakeholders Responding to media inquiries

    Proactive Stakeholder outreach Government relations Media relations Public relations Messaging and branding

    12

  • Best Practices

    Craft a consistent, factual message Create a brand Put a face on it Stay on message and stand together Respond immediately Communicate proactively Engage your stakeholders Embrace social media Regularly update your web site Scale to your situation

    13

  • Questions

    14

  • Robert D. MillerChair, Public Law Group

    Austin: 512.305.4867Houston: 713.226.1186rmiller@lockelord.com