Have you ever noticed that when you’ve got something someone wants, suddenly everyone wants a piece of the action?
… And so begins the clamoring, jockeying for position, the arguments, sales pitches, criticisms and sometimes even a bit of subterfuge.
For those of us who’ve served in a political office, or in certain parts of the public service, it’s a familiar routine particularly when there’s financial grants or new policies or regulations that will change the way some sectors do business or, as members of the public, decisions will affect the way we live our lives.
Stating the obvious, decision making within government is not perfect, but, that being said, there are means to affect government decisions based on good timing, a solid rationale and the right approach to decision makers. The formula for success is not always easy either, and, if it was, … well … everyone would do it!
Reason one: Ask any decent government relations person and they will tell you that success in lobbying lies in the relationships that have been built over years. Trust is key to decision-makers no matter what their political stripe and that’s where government relations expertise can be of enormous value.
Decision-making in our system of government often requires consultation and almost always there will be multiple agendas, ideologies and emotions at play. As noted above, the “noise” generated by competing voices can drown out the true nature of public opinion and affect decisions/perceptions. That’s why decision makers count on trusted advice from people they know and constituents who inform them in a fair and unbiased manner.
A second reason to consider a GR professional is that government can also be a complex beast with layer after layer of decision-making that may transcend multiple ministries and agencies. Having people on your team who know government, its processes and timelines will help keep your project on track and avoid pitfalls.
Third, government relations is a lot more than just setting up meetings. Good GR folks are multidisciplined and they know communications, they know business trends, they know public opinion and they know how to merge that knowledge in a strategic manner to assist their clients in achieving their goals and objectives.
And that’s why you, your business, your organization or your community may find value in government relations …