DC Influencer: Megan Pollock, Consumer Electronics Association

Megan Pollock, comms director for the Consumer Electronics Association, talks about hot-button issues in public policy for 2012.

Megan Pollock, comms director for the Consumer Electronics Association, talks about hot-button issues in public policy for 2012.

Regulation is a key issue in the consumer electronics sector. What are the best ways to reach out to policymakers?
Our team consists of folks from the government affairs, marketing, and PR departments. There is no silver-bullet solution to targeting policymakers, so we work together to craft multiple strategies, which include in-person outreach, paid media placements in very targeted publications, earned and social media.

One tool we have effectively used this year has been Twitter. Our team has come up with a lot of innovative new ways to utilize this avenue, including a tool that helps our Innovation Movement members directly connect with their congressmembers via Facebook and Twitter and sound off about important issues.

The Innovation Movement strikes at the heart of what is on the minds of US citizens. How can this initiative specifically help the struggling economy?
Innovation involves constant change. That can be scary, but we can't stifle innovation or the entrepreneurs behind it. These people make our country flourish.

Through this grassroots effort, we encourage policymakers to consider initiatives that support international trade, skilled immigration, deficit reduction, and broadband deployment. Innovation Movement members understand these issues are the foundation of a great nation. We work to ensure our country's leadership supports these ideas as well.

Your organization provides thought leadership on many fronts, from immigration to IP enforcement. What issues will be on the front burner for 2012?
Spectrum will remain one of the biggest issues. I feel as if I've been on the front lines of this debate since the digital TV transition days. We are getting closer, but Congress must pass incentive auction legislation to free up the underutilized and much-needed spectrum.

Each year at CES, more amazing products are announced. A majority of those depend on a strong wireless Internet. We have also talked to consumers who say the top items on their holiday gift lists include wirelessly connected products. So manufacturers are producing and consumers are buying. Now we must make sure we have the policies and infrastructure to support this demand.

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