I have been mostly working on my garden this weekend, as i have been in previous weekends and i got me thinking about how we do things in our work life.
I have been trying to get a garden for the past number of years, yes that's right years, and kept doing a little here and a little there and trying my best to turn the lump of soil that was Mount Kilimanjaro into a nice flat lawn. One thing after another #happened#.
As ever problems kept occurring - those horrible snags that ruin a well laid plan. I did have quotes from builders from over a year ago now that brought tears to my eyes, and not in laughter. so DIY R us was the apparently the thing for me.
I'm not bad at the old DIY, but not brilliant either as i don't do it every day.
As things went, i messed about, made probably basic mistakes to a professional, and goodness knows how much money i really wasted in trying to save money.
Yesterday, i helped finish off the last of the foundations for the last parts of the wall for my new garden. It felt good, and it is still feeling very very sore. I'm am simply not as fit as i thought i was, nor was i as used to physical labour as i thought i was.
Then the epiphany that brought me to type all these words out. Always get the professional in to do a job that you might be able to do with lots of time to spare and resources.
Yes there is usually lots of teeth sucking once prices and quotes are being discussed, but in the long term you want things done right. A key is building a good relationship with your 'sub-contractor'. If you don't feel you can work with them, then don't.
The builder i am working with is a wonderful guy and easy enough on the pocket. As soon as i started talking to him i felt i was talking to someone who knew what they were doing and what the job would take. I had of course been chatting to a few other builders, but Raymond, my builder, explained what he would do and why it would have to done that way. He was honest in his talk and his walk. I trust him.
And here is my point, the same goes for public affairs or public relations. Businesses and organisations need to build relationships. Normally this is viewed as building relationships with their customers or clients or whatever. Yet we all work in a legislative context, which is decided upon our government.
We all need to look at how we are doing things in creating and building that constructive relationship with government, with the Departments, and with politicians - from MEPs, to MPs, to MLAs to local councillors. They are creators, facilitators and implementers of legislation- the primary function of governmental structures.
Now if an organisation wants to influence the right people at the right time with the right information they are really going to need to plan in lobbying activities, or, for the more politically correct, political communications.
No organisation is the same. Different issues, different modus operandi, different budgets, different sizes ...... you get the picture.
Many organisations have in-house public affairs teams, many do not. Those that do not either run ad hoc public affairs posts to simply muck through while others engage the services of a public affairs agency.
A public affairs agency will simply do what any organisation can do in the lobbying field. The only difference is that they will do it, in the words of Daft Punk, harder, better, faster, stronger. This also allows the organisation to focus on the thing they do best while still getting their messages through to government. It is that simple.
Yes i could have built my own wall, put in the founds, put up my own fence. I guarantee though that it would be finished in about 2025 and still not look right. Plus who do i go to if it falls over?
With an outside professional you have peace of mind and are still in control of the overall project. The same is true for beginning a public affairs campaign. A professional has the where-with-all to know what to do if things go right and if things go wrong. they are people that the organisation can call on to fix the situation if it is not the one the organisation was wanting to happen.
Yes, i work in a public affairs company. Yes, if you are an organisation looking for a public affairs solution i would love your custom. Yes, i would say Chambre PA is the best - but then i would, wouldn't i?
What is really important is that organisations understand what they want to achieve and that they feel the public affairs company gets it. Understanding, clarity and trust, i think are the main points of approval organisations should tick box against. Price does come into it, and although it could be said 'you get what you pay for', it does not mean that the most expensive is the best. An organisation should look at the overall package and be happy with it.
I am really happy with my builder and i hope to have the whole thing finished, weather permitting, in a couple of weeks. I brought in a professional to do a professional job.