Consumerist: How to Be an Effective Government Relations Advocate
It is not something, you have post your undergraduate or even post graduate studies!
Most importantly, it is not a skill, you can buy, off the shelf!
It takes decades of experience, of interfacing, interactions in the corridors of power!
It is a long journey!
It takes time for politicians, legislators, political war lords and their many tiers of ambassadors to accept you as an insider and most importantly, give you their ears and access!
It takes trust, experience and most importantly, your skills, competence and intelligence to convince the powers that be, that you come with a commodity that they can trust, need and use for their arsenal of weapons against their political opponents and in moving and shaping power policies!
But what are the key points to bear in mind, as you begin your journey in this process?
I can think of seven!
1. Always be accurate and factual in presenting your case to elected officials. Admitting you do not know the correct answer is not a problem, but always be willing to get the correct answer in a timely manner.
2. Be sure you have a clear and concise message. It is important to remember in stating your position that there are many sides to any particular issue. Legislators, Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power respect individuals who acknowledge those differences, perspectives, profiles and clearly explain how their position fits into the larger context.
3. Try to understand their challengers, problems, outlook, and goals. In addition, remember lawmakers, Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power are generally hard-working and are attempting to represent the interests of their constituents. This attitude will provide positive environment for you to advocate your position on issues of interest to you.
4. It is helpful to be a good listener. The comments made by a legislator, Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power provide good information on what follow-up may be needed concerning any particular issue. It is good for you to understand the concerns a legislator may have concerning a particular issue. This recognition does not mean you have to agree or compromise your own position.
5. Be on time even if it is an unearthly time or hour, for your appointment and be respectful of their time. The demands on Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power – time are significant. Being organized will assist you in getting your message across regardless of time constraints.
6. It is effective to have a one-page fact sheet to leave with the legislator Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power following your meeting. Be sure to put your name and group you are a part of so after your meeting is over the legislator, Politicians, Policymakers, and other lawmakers and individuals in the corridors of power will know who presented them with this information.
7. Be sure to thank them always for making time for you!