Since June, this weekly Politics Plug-in column has aimed to educate and inform the Communitech News audience on the 2015 federal election and provide insights into how government relations activities can serve your business.
Yesterday we voted, the ballots were tallied and our newly elected officials are now busy organizing themselves, as should you. Now is the time to activate your post-election checklist, and here are my thoughts to help you get started:
- Assemble (or confirm) the list of ridings where your company has facilities, and where your customers, suppliers and employees live. This will help when you fill in the names of the newly elected or re-elected MPs on your key contact list.
- Confirm the addresses for your key contact list – email and snail mail, as well as websites, Twitter accounts and phone numbers.
- Confirm you have a field in your list to capture special job assignments – you’ll want to make sure you can add details about cabinet or secretary of state appointments and critic assignments.
- If this is a new exercise in building a key contact list, take the time to include existing elected reps from provincial and municipal levels of government – they’re part of the team as well.
- Add the members of your key contact list to your distribution list to ensure they receive news about your company
- Your facilities – consider upcoming events, such as open houses or celebrations, as opportunities to invite your government representatives.
- Your trusted advisors – associations and other advocacy groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Communitech may be planning events or discussion meetings where members can meet the new or renewed MPs. Watch for these.
- Draft a letter or email to congratulate newly elected or re-elected Members of Parliament who are on your company’s key contact list. It’s customary to send such a message to those MPs you will be in touch with as well as to members of the new cabinet who have oversight in areas important to your business (this might be the minister of industry or the secretary of state for technology….)
- We’re headed into the holiday season and this offers another opportunity to connect with key MPs and elected officials. Watch for community events where you can meet these key people in low-stress environments. MPs often offer a community skating afternoon at a local arena or find other opportunities to bring the community together, and these are great places to say hello and make a brief introduction.
- Watch for the speech from the throne. This is a summary of how the newly formed government will spend its time and resources and how its party platform will be translated into action in Canada’s 42nd Parliament.
It has been a pleasure writing each week for Communitech News and working with the editorial team at Communitech. As this is the last post in this series, I would like to take a moment to thank Communitech for the opportunity it provided to a startup called Scout Public Affairs, by allowing us a voice to shed light on the importance of government relations, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
I am also happy to say that although this is my last blog contribution to Politics Plug-in (for now), Scout Public Affairs is still committed to supporting Communitech’s professional development offerings to members, and will sponsor an upcoming breakfast on crisis communication scheduled for Dec. 2. Watch for more details in the coming days. Looking forward to seeing you at the breakfast!