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The Case for Getting Active with your Government Relations Right Now!!!!

As the Provincial Government begins hiring political staff in the various Ministries and portfolios, many stakeholders conclude the following:

"Allow the newly hired political staff to acclimate to their new roles and wait until they've had a chance to get their briefings from the bureaucracy, before organizing your first meeting to lobby them."

Below is the rationale you need to consider when relying on this type of government relations engagement approach.  

TheCCSGroup's view is that an early engagement with both the political ‘arm’ and bureaucratic ‘arm’ of the government is the proper approach to ensure success for your organization.   We would argue that as you delay initiating these meetings, allowing each day to pass, you are stacking your chances against successfully influencing decision makers for the following reasons:

  1. The earlier your organization engages with decision makers, the more likely you will be able to form ‘deeper’ relationships with staff and elected officials.
  2. Political staff and elected officials that are taking on new portfolios are much more open minded at this early briefing/discussion stage, and more open to hearing suggestions from stakeholders. 
    • At later stages of the political staff acclamation period, they’ve fully formed their biases and opinions based on briefings and experiences they’ve developed with the bureaucracy and competing stakeholder meetings.
  3. The Ontario Government is starting to plan right now for the 2023/2024 Provincial Budget, and the ‘best’ time to have discussions with elected officials and political staff is during their planning stages.

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The advice we give our clients is that lobbying should be a consistent activity and not just campaign driven responding to a threat.  If you want to identify and capitalize on both emerging and existing opportunities and mitigate government relations threats, you can’t be reactive, you need to be proactive.

Reactive organizations don’t realize that if you’re not sharing your narrative, someone else is convincing the government of their own narrative.


Ongoing Threats for Not Engaging Government in the Early Stages of Transition
Here are some of the potential threats when you don't embrace an early government relations engagement approach:

  1. Elected representatives and bureaucrats who are continually transferred from Ministry to Ministry, who don’t have the corporate history, and rational behind your organization’s needs, are now being briefed by stakeholders who are selling them on their own personal narrative.
  2. Long-standing bureaucrats who have archaic views and/or personal gripe with your organization, will now become active and look to advance there own personal interests at the political cost to your organization.
  3. Politicians new to their role that have bias, ideas or incorrect briefings from the bureaucracy, could form narratives that work contrary to the needs of your organization. 

These above stated threats could create incorrect misconceptions surrounding your organization and narratives, that could force your organization 'into damage control response,' which are often more costly and expensive campaigns that would require the increasingly difficult goal and objective of having the government reverse their political direction.

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In short, allowing for time to pass, could come at a huge cost for your organization in terms of missed opportunities and identifying and dealing with emerging threats.  

Reach out and book one of TheCCSGroup Senior Team Members, who can assist you with a no cost discussion and government relations plan/proposal that will enable your organization to capitalize on this unique time and 'supercharge' the outcomes of your government relations engagement.