Improve Your Chance for Success in Texas with a Partner Who Knows the Lay of the Land

You can’t assume you know how a Texas audience will respond to your position or agenda. The state is simply too vast, with disparate industries, complex politics, a strong-willed citizenry, and a deep and rich history. 

If you’re looking to do anything successfully in Texas, it all starts with research. Without research, you’re bound to repeat past mistakes, step on a local landmine, and leave yourself vulnerable to attack. Every effective strategic communications plan rests upon a solid foundation of professional research conducted with a tested methodology. 

The Monument Group’s approach to research is designed to give our clients a leg up on the competition. We dig deep into the darkest corners and uncover crucial information — information that might be used as a sword or a shield depending on your circumstances.

When an issue is going to receive public attention, you’ve got to be ready, and that means understanding the players and the playing field. Our professional research abides by a process designed to ensure you are ready for battle.

Every Issue is Different, So Every Client Gets Custom Research

“Research” is a broad term we refine to capture the information our clients need. The information we uncover sets our clients’ strategies apart, making them more insightful, more targeted and more credible.

The fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know. What mistakes have others made? Who are your likely opponents? What groups would serve as strategic allies? Where does Texas rank in an industry?

We develop custom packages that range from vulnerability assessments to competitor analyses and opposition research. Our research lets you see around corners, making your efforts smarter and more effective than those of your opponents or competitors.

The research component creates the foundation upon which all other aspects of our work rests. It identifies the audiences we target, the messaging we develop, the platforms we choose, the media outreach we conduct or the campaigns we undertake. In other words, nothing gets done (or done right) until the research is complete. 

Taking a Deep Dive Across the Research Spectrum

At the Monument Group we regularly conduct multiple disciplines of research depending on the client needs and the type of engagement. 

Not every discipline is required for every situation, but our research expertise is as wide as it is deep, which is vital in a state the size of Texas. Our research capabilities include:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Vulnerability reporting
  • Landscape assessment
  • Opposition research
  • Legislative research
  • Litigation intelligence
  • Event-based research
  • Vetting
  • Monitoring and rapid response

At The Monument Group, we make every effort to avoid surprises by putting the work in ahead of time to uncover anything that might be used for or against your initiative. If it comes up down the road, we have a plan to deal with it.

Let’s take a closer look at the main research areas we cover along with others we can deploy, depending on the circumstance.

Vulnerability Reports 

Similar to the research a politician would conduct before throwing his or her hat in the ring, these allow you to understand your vulnerabilities and the potential arguments or lines of attack likely to be used against you. Information collected in this report allows us to prepare responses, correct inaccuracies, and identify gaps in the facts to make sure your position is clear.

A vulnerability report includes a thorough review and analysis of: 

  • Media coverage (Nexis, Google, Internet archives, TV Eyes, Meltwater)
  • Quotations (In addition to media coverage sources, speeches, press statements, correspondence, social media);
  • Social media coverage (Facebook, blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube)
  • Public Records (Legal databases, online databases, FOIAs)
  • Political contributions (Local, state, and federal)
  • Financial disclosures (Asset searches, personal financial disclosures, state/county/local property listings, SEC and FEC)
  • Lobbying records
  • Personal, political, and business associations
  • Votes, budgets, attendance and statements in public meetings 
  • Environmental citations, OSHA violations

Landscape Assessments

This is a multi-prong undertaking that may include research into:

  • Statewide/Regional Landscape. Understand the market, regional differences, constituencies, and political climate.
  • Stakeholders. Identify and understand the key stakeholders and decision makers relevant to your desired outcome. Know their stated positions, actions, and motivating interests.
  • Media Landscape. Assemble and analyze media and social media channels to understand the climate, predict future coverage, and identify key outlets and reporters
  • Ally Research. Identify grassroots voices for recruitment and mobilization. 
  • Opposition Research. Identify and understand your opponents to prepare for attacks, neutralize arguments, and correct inaccuracies. Know what channels they use to communicate.
  • Competitor Analysis. Analyze your competitors including their vulnerabilities, public perception, previous campaigns, and messages that have resonated across audiences.
  • Events. An analysis of any events related to your company or issue, including attendee lists and media coverage.

Opposition Research and Competitor Analysis

  • Identify and understand your opponents to prepare for attacks, neutralize arguments, and correct inaccuracies. 
  • Know what channels they use to communicate.
  • Analyze your competitors including vulnerabilities, public perception, previous campaigns, and messages that have resonated across audiences.

Legislative Research

  • Identify the key lawmakers and government officials who will likely impact your issue area.
  • Get to know their positions and policy priorities. 
  • What legislation have they introduced and championed, how have they voted, and what have they said on issues important to you?

Less Common Research Areas:

Litigation/Deposition Intelligence. A thorough scrape of legal records to prepare for the court of public opinion. 

Vetting. Understanding the assets and vulnerabilities of prospective partners and surrogates. 

Monitoring. Daily monitoring of media, social media, opposition, and governmental process to be prepared and not caught off guard by breaking news, changing narratives, legislation, budget cuts, shifting positions, or mounting opposition.

Event-Based Research. Prior to the event, analysis of attendees, issues, and potential vulnerabilities to the client. Messaging for the event that includes responses to vulnerabilities and issues uncovered in pre-event research. Media monitoring after the event. 

Mergers & Acquisitions. Analyze businesses and leaders before the merger or acquisition. Know their vulnerabilities and assets. 

Government Contracts. Analyze your competitors’ vulnerabilities. Identify and understand the key stakeholders and decision makers relevant to your desired outcome. Know their stated positions, actions, and motivating interests.

If You Skimp on Research, You’re Taking an Unnecessary Risk

What happens if you don’t do the research before undertaking your initiative in Texas? Pick your poison. Repeating past mistakes, offending constituencies, failing to connect with the right audience, overlooking how your opponent can take you down, harming your future chances if you mess up. 

An absence of research causes campaigns to flail and waste time and money on people and issues that have little impact on achieving results. Research keeps corporate campaigns on track by providing the clarity we need to hammer home the messages that work best with the tactics that reach the most critical audiences. 

Research can test your resolve and humble you, but it will make you honest and uncover creative solutions to your problems. The bottom line is that research protects your bottom line.

If you want to hear more about how The Monument Group’s research can give your issue a fighting chance in Texas, let’s chat

Related Insights