On 1 June the Corporate Affairs Summit returned to Sydney’s ICC after a COVID-induced virtual meeting in 2020. The Summit is a must-attend event for anyone in Corporate Affairs and brings together seasoned government communicators across industries like health, finance and energy.
Advoc8’s CEO Nicole Buskiewicz was a speaker on the Government Engagement panel, which explored how government relations professionals are leveraging media and technology to build long-distance relationships with government stakeholders in these pandemic times.
Here are our top Government Relations take-outs from the Summit.
- The recent focus on COVID case numbers, vaccination rates and employment figures means policy-makers are asking for more data than ever when consulting with stakeholders. Use tools like electorate mapping to visualise your organisation's data, focusing on the local contribution to objectively communicate your story.
- The job of corporate affairs professionals now is to provide compelling evidence on how legislation and political decisions impact local constituencies, not just their bottom line. Be “constituent obsessed” and research MPs constituencies before you meet with them to provide interesting insights about voters and the role your organisation plays within the electorate.
- At some point you’ll probably need to lean into existing government relationships (which hopefully you’ve proactively nurtured during pre-pandemic times!) Leverage these relationships when you can, but don’t neglect backbench MPs, especially up and comers and those with similar policy interests.
- Don’t have many existing relationships? Starting building them by identifying relevant MPs with mutual interests using a tool like Advoc8’s External Feeds, which scans Parliament and social media feeds to see what topics MPs are talking about.
- Every party lays out their policy priorities in the lead up to an election. Get familiar with it, and align your policy goals with those of the government of the day when meeting with Ministers and government MPs.