by Selen Öztürk
As a legally recognized entity, every business is obliged to comply with the laws, regulations, and procedures of local, regional, and national governing authorities. Hence, from a corporate point of view, government relations can be defined as a practice of influencing public policy at all levels of governance to achieve business objectives. Unlike the broad spectrum of public affairs work, government relations specifically focus on how a business interacts with the government and its relevant agencies.
In today’s highly regulated business environment, the implementation of appropriate government relations strategies has proven to help businesses gain an important competitive advantage in the market. For this reason, most companies allocate time and resources to managing their government relations.
Individual networks and areas of expertise play a critical role in conducting a business’ government relations in most cases. While some companies prefer to outsource government relations experts to push through their interest agendas on a topic-basis, some (depending on the company size and resources) dedicate a team of employees within their organizational structure to carry out all their government relations efforts. Professionals of this field are often tasked with communicating, facilitating, and resolving various kinds of public policy issues between government entities and their clients. Such issues may involve heavy taxation policies on retail products, intensified e-commerce regulations, strict competition laws, as well as export/import barriers that impact private businesses. Furthermore, government relations professionals often inform and educate policymakers about public policy matters, monitor legislative developments, and lobby for corporate interests through various means — direct lobbying and communications efforts with government representatives and bureaucrats being the most preferred methods.
Obviously, there are majestic differences between running a country and a business, and that private sector issues and objectives cannot always be prioritized by governing authorities. Especially in politically turbulent countries, it can get even more difficult to communicate private sector needs and demands and achieve desired business objectives. Government relations professionals possess the necessary knowledge and key contacts to influence policy-making processes in a way that fulfills market expectations. Thus, they play a bridging role between businesses and the government.
The work of government relations professionals contributes to implementation of better public-policies, job creation, fostering innovation and constructive dialogue among different interest groups and governing authorities.
As a public affairs agency in Turkey, CORPERA develops and implements a tailored public affairs strategy that integrates advocacy and lobbying. Check out our Public Affairs service or get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help your business achieve its strategic business objectives.