SMA Public Affairs

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What is Government Relations?

Government Relations is the application of one or more communication techniques by individuals or institutions to affect the decisions of the government.

How is lobbying different from government relations?

Lobbying is a form of government relations that has its own communication techniques. The term direct lobbying is used to describe the traditional form of personal persuasion.

Do lobbyists use personal connections and influence to receive favorable outcomes for their clients?

No, a lobbyist is skilled in communicating points of view to decision makers, but ultimately the decision remains with the government institution.

Do you lobby directly for your clients or do you help them lobby for themselves?

It depends on the situation. Sometimes the client is his own best advocate. In this situation we will do the ground work to ensure that the client achieves the access and the attention of the decision maker. If we are better suited to the task of directly handling communication then we will do so. Usually, the situation calls for a combination of the two approaches.

My business has a problem that is burning right now and we don’t have time for a “long-term” approach. Can you help?

Yes, we can help because we have experience in crisis situations. However, the effectiveness of any company in resolving a burning issue is based on what has been done beforehand to establish relationships, credibility and to position the interests and issues of importance. We will do what we can in the short term, and work on building the basis for resolving future issues.

How can my business quantify the effect of your services on our issues?

While our efforts will be quantifiable (with documents, letters, meetings, position papers, etc), the effects of these efforts will be more difficult to measure. Sometimes we may have a great impact on an issue but still lose, and other times we may have marginal effect and still have the issue go in our favor. We cannot guarantee outcomes, but you will give a much better chance of achieving results with SMA as a partner.

Okay I’m interested and would like to hear more…now what?

Send us an email or give us a call to set up a free consultation. We’ll sit down and discuss your current situation and afterwards provide you with a customized proposal of our services.