Bushfire Appeals
News  |  Policy

Teaching NFPs to Walk the Blue Carpet

Wednesday, 7th June 2017 at 4:45 pm
Wendy Williams
Not for profits looking for “insider knowledge” on how to inform, assist and influence decision-makers in federal Parliament can now turn to a new e-book.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017
at 4:45 pm
Wendy Williams



Teaching NFPs to Walk the Blue Carpet
Wednesday, 7th June 2017 at 4:45 pm

Not for profits looking for “insider knowledge” on how to inform, assist and influence decision-makers in federal Parliament can now turn to a new e-book.

Annie O’Rourke, the director of communications agency 89 Degrees East, has developed a free resource to offer practical advice for not for profits and other organisations on planning a trip to Canberra to meet with politicians and decision makers.

In particular, Walking the Blue Carpet – The 4Ps of Success, aims to help not for profits advance their cause by focusing on the 4Ps: to be purposeful, pragmatic, politically astute and have really good product.

“A well planned and strategically timed visit to Parliament House could be the start, middle or end of getting your message and issue the attention it deserves,” the book said.

“Never forget that when you enter the Parliamentary zone, you are instantly becoming a very small fish in a very big pond of national and international issues.

“But your mission is to stand out ahead of all the other groups making the trek to Canberra, and ensure that you are not only heard but also remembered well after your visit.”

The guide builds on an earlier document, So, You’re Coming to Canberra, that was produced in 2007 by O’Rourke, who was then CEO at Media Team Australia, an organisation established to assist not for profits to improve their communications skills and strategies.

O’Rourke, who has also worked as a senior advisor to the prime minister and has directed federal government campaigns, told Pro Bono News her time spent in Canberra had given her a good insight into how people could maximise their opportunities.

“I have seen organisations with good policy initiatives but they are not able to maximise the opportunity. They can’t focus on the task at hand… and when they have a meeting they throw everything at the minister,” O’Rourke said.

“It is about bringing it down to the key points and how to get your key points across.”

O’Rourke, who said she has also received “positive feedback” from government advisors for the book, said it was important for organisations to build a relationship with politicians and decision-makers over time.

“I would see different organisations go in and have a short, focused meeting and get their point across, and they are always welcome to come back. Others would show their passion, but the point would be unfocused and then next time the minister would think it is not going to be an effective meeting and wonder if it is worth it,” she said.

“[I think the book will be] a really helpful tool, that will lead to more effective outcomes for organisations that have a good cause or good idea,”

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Aly Becomes First Female Muslim MP

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 12th July 2016 at 11:20 am

Dementia Awareness Call To Politicians

Ellie Cooper

Thursday, 10th September 2015 at 10:55 am

Income Inequality to Worsen Under Budget -Senate Report

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 4th December 2014 at 10:30 am

Senate Inquiry Reports on Grandparent Carers

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 30th October 2014 at 10:10 am


NDIS not yet in tune with the needs of participants

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th January 2020 at 4:46 pm

What impact will the bushfire crisis have on homelessness?

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 15th January 2020 at 4:28 pm

The rise (and scepticism) of Facebook fundraisers

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 16th January 2020 at 8:49 am

New fund paves the way for impact investment in the charity sector

Luke Michael

Friday, 17th January 2020 at 4:34 pm

Bushfire Appeals
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!