In policy-land, your opponents want you off the radar

November 4, 2010

One thing to never forget in policy-land is that opponents want you off the radar. Too much traditional PA relies on damage limitation or maintaining the status-quo as near as possible to where it’s been before. Fine for now perhaps, but it’s a short term fix: opponents will keep coming back for more. You’ve reduced something or other by 10% and yet a couple of years later they’re back demanding another 10% – and given that all you’ve ever done is reactive damage-control lobbying, they’ll win again, and keep doing so until you’re off the radar. Do you really think they’re ever going to go away? No. They only asked for 10% because they knew they wouldn’t get 20% – but they also know they can keep doing more of the same. Why? Because they own the public narrative while you’re completely eschewing it. Solution? Think big. Tell a story not a key message. Think global not Brussels. Think your entire industry not just your organisation. Be a CAMPAIGNER not a lobbyist.

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