Dennis Culloton, CEO and president

You can call it being adaptable or suggest it falls into the category of if you can’t beat them join them, but businesses are getting more sophisticated about the power of campaign strategies.

USC Sociology professor Edward T. Walker writes in the New York Times that Fortune 500 sized companies are using coalitions and other campaign tactics to achieve their legislative, policy or competitive goals.

“Occupy Wall Street and other leftist groups have shed valuable light on the lobbying activities by big business in Washington, but their worries might be misdirected. As companies have adopted the tactics of protest groups, their influence today can be felt in the streets, not just the suites.”

Depending on your political point of view, you could be offended or heartened that the playing field is becoming evened. But having worked on grassroots campaigns for most of my career, I can tell you businesses must participate in community organizing, coalition-building and other strategies because it is no longer just the province of anti-business groups—the competition is engaged in grassroots campaigning.  And if you don’t get your message out, someone else will get it out for you. 

Here is the link to the full op/ed piece: