Few executives know how to navigate the intersection of business, government and politics and lack the requisite political and government experience to navigate Washington. The failure to recognize how politics and government affect their industry can detrimentally impact their business operation and ability to generate revenue.
At one point companies such as Microsoft, Tyco, Facebook, Research in Motion and others ignored Washington and failed to build relationships with anyone having anything to do with Congress. Now, each of these companies has a strong government relations program and effectively communicates with Congress on a variety of legislative issues affecting their company and industry.
They realized that government affects everything we do, from local zoning laws to the American with Disabilities Act to bankruptcy and intellectual property reform. But more often than not, companies simply ignore what government does, hoping it will just leave them alone. And they do so at their peril. Without an effective strategy for dealing with the federal government, corporate players risk losing credibility with Congress, as well as restrictive regulations and even the odd lawsuit by the Justice Department.
Investing in building relationships in Washington, Lansing and other centers of government will prove vital to a company’s success, in addition to tracking the legislation and regulation emerging from the legislature. Have a public affairs consultant on your team will:
- Open doors and build relationships when you need them and,
- Educate and inform lawmakers of what is going on back home.
An effective external relations strategy integrates advocacy, public relations and positions legislative, regulatory and legal matters before government and key decision-makers. This includes:
- Identifying priorities
- Lining up key supporters
- Finding advocates within government
- Building coalitions
- Show a local impact
- Implementing a proactive media strategy
- Engage the legislature/Congress
- Building political capital
It is important to work with an experienced professional to help your company navigate governments murky waters and start building a network of resources to take action on any issue, with enough time to shape and frame the debate