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Making your government engagement happen – The doing thing

27 June 2019 at 8:23 am
Jo Scard
Jo Scard offers advice on the “doing bits” of making your government engagement happen.

Jo Scard | 27 June 2019 at 8:23 am


Making your government engagement happen – The doing thing
27 June 2019 at 8:23 am

Jo Scard offers advice on the “doing bits” of making your government engagement happen.

In our last post we discussed kicking off your government relations planning by coming up with a framework to guide you.

This week we will focus on the next stage – the doing thing. What do you need to do to make your government engagement happen?

Remember you need to get the basic things right to start off with:

  • What is your vision? 
  • What is the win-win for you and the government targets you are pitching to – what will you both get out of it?

Next the doing bits:

  • The strategy should pivot around a clear call to action. This underpins your actions and therefore outcomes. What do you need your audience to do or understand? Relate the actions and outcomes to your audience to gain interest and their involvement. Are they affected and do they need support? Or do they need to take action to change an outcome? Take charge in directing your audience down the right path, so they can engage with your strategy/project.
  • Your campaign will undoubtedly need to involve storytelling in the form of case studies to support your engagement work with the government. Putting a face to a story is a great way to get your audience to connect and understand your issue and allow your engagement strategy to succeed. It can evoke empathy and create a greater understanding for why and what you’re setting out to achieve. Think about who would be an appropriate fit for your strategy/project. Drive engagement and support by giving a human feel to the stories you tell your audiences.
  • Most government engagement strategies and campaigns also use multi-platform outreach to strengthen their ask and leverage greater exposure and support. This might be via social channels or media outreach. Using the channels you already own is a great way to get in front of your audience as it allows you to have full control of the message. Think about any that you own now – it could be social media, your website, eDMs and blogs, shop fronts or signage – and use them to your advantage.
  • Don’t be shy to use the media! Using the media to get the word out about your project will help to build trust and credibility and help underpin your strategy. Do you have any relationships with the media that could help you out or people you could collaborate with? Perhaps media training is something to consider? Generating word of mouth for your project is a great way to drive interest and awareness among your government targets.
  • Make sure you can resource your strategy. Think about what resources you currently have at your disposal, is it enough to cover this strategy? Or do you need to source external support? Have you considered adding more staff or recruiting volunteers? Do you have the skill sets available to achieve what is required? Having the right resources will help you build an amazing strategy so deciding what’s important early on can save you juggling too much and getting confused on what the real priority is. 
  • Make sure you know how to measure your success. Knowing what success looks like and how to measure it is key to a strategy. Understanding this early on and knowing what is realistic to achieve can help you keep track of your project and identify anything to improve on for next time. Remember to keep the objectives SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Not only will it help your project but reaching targets is also an excuse to celebrate.

Best of luck! Next time we will focus on some of the more practical tools, templates and platforms you can use to keep your strategy on track. 

In between time, if you want help to navigate the new political landscape, or come up with a winning engagement strategy or assistance with a strategic communications strategy or PR outreach, get in touch with Jo Scard at Fifty Acres on 02 6281 7350 or visit

Jo Scard  |  @ProBonoNews

Jo Scard is the founder and managing director of Fifty Acres.

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