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Guest post by public affairs professional John Engber.
Has your company hired a public affairs professional?
I bet for many, the answer is “no.”
And I understand why: You can’t afford to hire me.
And that’s a problem, because you can’t afford not to hire me.
Far too many startups, small, and medium-size businesses put off hiring public affairs help. While their rationales are many, they all face the same risks.
In addition, Congress controls the federal purse strings, so your Senators and Representatives impact spending by federal agencies. Does your company sell products to the federal government – or should you be? Your Senators and Representatives need to know you before they can help you!
Uh-oh. (While you weren’t watching.)
More often, your competitors use government in more subtle ways, tilting the deck in their favor. Is that happening to you today in Washington, DC or your state capital? Are you sure?
Do you include legislative and regulatory goals in your business planning?
How will the next round of FDA reform impact your company? What changes do you want to see made in the FDA medical device approval process? What would those changes mean to your financial bottom line – and what are you willing to spend to make them happen?
Got $150,000 sloshing around? Probably not.
The answer for many firms is hiring a public affairs consulting firm to bring an experienced team at a cost often well below that of a single, salaried professional. Because your needs will vary at different points in the year, a firm enables you to bring more focus in the busy times and less in the quieter ones.
Any well-run business seeks to exploits its opportunities and minimize its risks. An effective public affairs team can open your eyes to possibilities you’ve never considered and deliver solutions tailored to the unique needs of your business.
John Engber is President of John Engber & Associates, a Seattle-based public affairs firm. Email John.
There probably are readers who “really can’t” afford you. Are there ways they can pay you as a function of incremental revenues (or cost savings) you affect?
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