Canadian Biomass Magazine

Getting your message through to government

November 15, 2016
By Andrew Snook

November 15, 2016 - With so many big players in the energy sector, and the bioeconomy divided into so many sub-sectors, how does a company get their message through to a government that is inundated with thousands of requests for funding and other forms of assistance?

That was the question that Monte Solberg, retired Federal Cabinet Minister and former MP for Medicine Hat, Alta., offered attendees advice on during his session, “Getting your message through,” during the Scaling Up Conference in Ottawa. The session was part of the panel session, “Tax/Spend/Regulate/Procure: What for Government?”

The first piece of advice Solberg offered was that companies should take the time to read through a government’s mandates and budgets before approaching anyone.

“Make yourself very relevant,” he said. 

When crafting a message for a member of government, it is extremely important to explain how a company’s technology or product will “give the government a win” and help them avoid blame, Solberg told the crowd.

“It’s a two-way street, folks,” he said. “Bring them something of value.”

Solberg added that it is important to make sure to meet the right people in government. He suggested touching base with policy analysts and other government employees involved in shaping policy before trying to request meetings with cabinet ministers. 

Although data, facts and evidence are an important part of the conversation, Solberg recommended starting the conversation with a story about the company that is interesting enough that government officials will want to share that story with their colleagues.

The panel session also offered presentations from Helen Ryan of Environment and Climate Change Canada; Robert Hornung of the Canadian Wind Energy Association; and Carla St. Croix of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.

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