There’s a new government. Now what?

There’s a new government.  Now what?

Legislature building, edmonton

Legislature building, edmonton

Governments change.  Whether through general elections, by-elections, cabinet shuffles, defections, or promotions, it’s important to keep up with who is representing your organization and its interests.  If your elected official changes (or simply changes affiliations), it’s up to you to know their policies.  Developing a relationship with elected officials only when you want/need something isn’t fair to your organization or your representatives.  It’s important to cultivate relationships with your elected official at all times.  Remember that relationships work both ways: you should be contributing an equal amount of value to what you expect in return.  In most cases, this is in the form of industry information and your organization’s contributions to government goals and mandates.

When there is a change, be sure to introduce your organization to your new official – don’t assume that you’re on their radar.  One of the simplest ways to reach out is with a letter expressing your willingness to work with your elected official and share information that can help them make decisions.  Elected officials are busy people, so be patient when expecting a response.  Once they acknowledge your letter, reach out and offer to meet face-to-face.  Developing a relationship with their staff is also helpful when navigating schedules, and getting valuable face time.  Be sure to keep up-to-date with the latest policy directions and offer input where appropriate.  When you see your official in public, say hi to them and remind them of what your organization is working on.  For this it is important to be brief and consistent.  If you haven’t already developed an “elevator pitch” for your organization, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we detail elevator pitches and how they can benefit your organization.

For more information on how your organization can engage governments more effectively, contact AFC today.