Government Relations (GR) is the process of influencing public and government policy at all levels: Local, Regional, National, European, Global. It involves the advocacy of an interest that is affected, actually or potentially, by the decisions of government leaders.

At its core, GR is an educational process mixed in with a liberal amount of advocacy.

  • Educating business and industry leaders about the governmental process;
  • Educating officials about the issues important to business or other constituencies; and
  • Educating governmental and business leaders, and the public, about the potential consequences of legislation.

Law has an impact on business, but business professionals do not always comprehend the difficulties of running a country and politicians do not always understand the complexities of running a business, so educating both about the potential effect legislation could have on an industry is an essential part of the law-making process. Without an understanding of the law-making process, opportunities to shape the outcome of legislation that affects a given business can be missed. GR Practitioners educate clients about the law-making process and identify and monitor important issues – issues that affect their business. Once these issues are identified, GR Practitioners offer advice on how to influence the underlying laws and public policy. And, when necessary, ensure that their client’s position is considered in the debate by lobbying public officials, staff, and/or the general public.

Ultimately, what GR Practitioners do is make the case for their business or their client’s business in the public policy arena.

The Practice of GR is comprehensive, encompassing the full range of GR services from direct lobbying to legislative development to regulatory affairs for businesses, trade associations, non-profits, educational institutions and industry.

A successful GR programme involves not just policy expertise but personal and political relationships with policymakers to help clients expedite issues, seize opportunities and prevent problems, present issues effectively to both officials and the public, gain support for clients’ positions, build winning coalitions, and obtain results that matter.

The Practice of GR  includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following activities. (ranked alphabetically)

  1. Advocacy/Lobbying.
  2. Advocating before National Parliaments, National Agencies and European Institutions, in particular European Commission, Council and European Parliament.
  3. Ally Development (Identifying supporters and mobilizing key contacts; Organizing advocacy programmes involving employees, retirees, customers, stockholders, members, vendors, and other constituencies).
  4. Analyzing specific business and other strategic objectives.
  5. Anticipating and countering the campaigns and messages put forth by opponents, competitors, and the media.
  6. Assessing the environment and developing a strategic plan that clearly outlines the definition of success, as well as helping define clear goals and objectives for the campaign.
  7. Building grassroots support and addressing cross-jurisdictional policy issues by working with local GR practitioners.
  8. Coaching of employees, managers, and other individuals in matters relating to GR.
  9. Coalition Building (Identifying, recruiting and coordinating groups sharing similar concerns to accomplish GR objectives).
  10. Conducting of research in the area of GR.
  11. Consultation in the area of GR.
  12. Developing policy positions and providing strategic communications and issue management.
  13. Developing strategies, crafting messages, and designing campaigns to help clients meet clearly defined objectives.
  14. Development and implementation of GR resources policies and procedures.
  15. Drafting legislation and amendments, monitoring, promoting and reporting on legislation.
  16. Education and Training: (Creating and delivering presentations on a wide range of topics related to GR, including sessions on quality management, advocacy, grassroots, and current issues).
  17. Establishing a feasible communications strategy, designing the message, and outlining the tactics and tracking it all within a realistic timeframe.
  18. Evaluating and managing political risks.
  19. Government procurement.
  20. Government Relations (Providing a full range of lobbying and advocacy services; coordinating international, European, national, and state activities on a given issue and ensuring that clients efforts on all these levels work together to promote their goals).
  21. Identify emerging issues and the potential impact on clients.
  22. Intelligence gathering.
  23. Issues management (Assisting clients to identify issues, clarifying their GR goals, developing effective strategies and executing these initiatives; Monitoring, analysis, and forecasting, as well as strategic planning).
  24. Lobbying (Legislative and regulatory).
  25. Media relations.
  26. Mobilizing grassroots involvement.
  27. Monitoring legislative, regulatory issues on the national and EU level.
  28. Policy analysis and advocacy.
  29. Programme assessment (Evaluating the effectiveness of GR programmes through audits, benchmarking and total quality management techniques).
  30. Programme development and evaluation in the area of GR.
  31. Promoting interests before government departments, agencies and legislative bodies, in the diplomatic community and in broader policy arenas.
  32. Providing ad hoc coalition building for intense short-term, single-focus issues.
  33. Providing advice to clients, managers, and employees in matters pertaining to GR.
  34. Public/private partnerships.
  35. Regulatory and policy monitoring and analysis.
  36. Relationship building.
  37. Reviewing and analyzing legislation and regulations.
  38. Staff Development (Providing counsel on GR issues for new and experienced GR  staff; Developing training and orientation programmes clients need in the GR area for new staff or provide a sounding board for experienced managers).
  39. Strategic GR planning and implementation.
  40. Strategy development: (Assisting clients define and implement their international objectives, assisting associations or companies in finding the optimal approach to global expansion of services, membership or products).
  41. Teaching in the area of GR.  
  42. Undertaking research and policy analysis, drafting or delivering testimony, and preparing and distributing formal and informal advocacy materials 

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