Hiring a government relations agency could be one of the best decisions you can make if you are trying to work with the government. After all, consultants at a government affairs firm spend their careers working in and around government. They know the elected officials and the process inside and out. If you are new to government, don’t have the time to dedicate to spending hours at government hearings, or want to jumpstart an effort, a government relations consultant could be a great asset. Here are some reasons why.
They know the personalities. Whether you are trying to pass or defeat a piece of legislation or win a government contract, a government relations consultant knows the players and who has the authority to make things happen (or not happen). Maybe more importantly, they know the relationships between government officials. What may be an innocent meeting with one legislator could blow up and undermine your effort if you don’t appreciate the dynamics between that legislator and another one on an important committee. Those well-versed in government relations consulting services understand all sides of the political aisle.
They know the process. Equally as important as the people is the process. A government relations consultant can help you navigate the process so you don’t miss critical deadlines or an opportunity to influence the process. In the world of government contracting, this is especially important, given that the purchasing process is a series of timelines defined in rules and regulations. If you forget about a deadline, it could mean the difference between winning and losing a contract.
They provide feedback. Feedback may not be fun when it isn’t positive but a strategic government relations consultant will seek feedback and share it with their clients – good or bad. Legislators and government officials may not have the time to meet with clients or they may not feel comfortable giving negative feedback. A consulting firm can act as a trusted messenger who can pass on important advice to the client.
They prevent mistakes. Taking all of the above into consideration, a government relations consultant can help you avoid the pitfalls of working with the government. Being aware of relationship dynamics, appreciating the process and having honest feedback to either emphasize effective communications or self-correct misunderstandings, means that you will be set up for success.
They make connections. Leveraging the relationships your government relations consultant has will expand your network and ability to influence the legislative or business development process. Good government relations consultants aren’t afraid to make those introductions and help you cultivate your own network.
A consultant could be your best friend and help guide you through a maze of relationships, rules and regulations. They can keep you on track, open doors you never knew you needed opened and help you deftly navigate some of the more nuanced aspects of state and local governments. It’s time to take the first step in finding your own new best friend.