COVID-19: planning to engage as part of the recovery


Renee Wilkinson 1 May 2020
2 mins
Engaging with government after COVID-19

Negotiating the COVID-19 pandemic is currently a major focus for the WA Government. The good news for business is there will soon be opportunities to be involved in the recovery.

Staff in Ministerial offices have spent recent weeks keeping pace with daily decisions to implement the Government’s response to the pandemic. But as the curve continues to flatten the Government has an eye to the future and is keen to hear about projects that will inject valuable income and jobs into our communities as part of the recovery from COVID-19.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt has made it clear that initiatives to boost the State’s economy will be crucial once the peak of the pandemic has been negotiated.

Smart businesses are getting their ducks in a row to ensure they are first in line with clear plans and messaging that demonstrate how they can be part of the recovery.

Here are some simple tips to ensure your business is ready to engage with Government:

Don’t put strategies on ice: you might not be able to sit in the same room as other key decision makers in your business right now, but you can still have strategy meetings. Video conferencing has never been so important.
Identify your targets: who are the key stakeholders who will influence your project? These might be government decision makers or important community or activist groups – the point is that you can spend time now identifying who they are and working out how you might engage with them.
Pick out the roadblocks: the path to engaging with government will be easier once the pandemic has passed but your project will still likely encounter some challenges. Devote some time to considering technical issues, approvals processes and questions of social licence which will have to be addressed in months to come.
Set your goals: it can spell doom to engage with government without a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Narrow your focus and clearly identify your goals.
Clear messaging: businesses with strong, clear and targeted messaging get the most cut-through. What are your key messages?

Now is the time to plan ahead and ensure your business is well-placed to engage with the WA Government as it looks to the longer term.

Don’t get left behind.

Renee Wilkinson is an Associate Director in Purple’s Government Relations team and an expert in helping clients build relationships with government and the community. Email Renee.

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Renee Wilkinson More from author

Renée is an experienced and award-winning stakeholder engagement and government relations professional with more than twenty years in the communications industry.

A consultant with Purple for 13 years, Renee has experience developing and implementing effective strategies in the resources, infrastructure, agriculture, health and education sectors.

She works with clients from early project stages through to official opening (and beyond) to ensure stakeholders at the corporate, government and community levels are engaged suitably to help clients reach project goals.

Prior to joining Purple, Renee worked in communications roles in the state Government, including time with the WA Health Minister.

Her stakeholder engagement work with the development of an inner-city women’s prison was recognised nationally by the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Golden Target Awards. Renee holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a qualified IAP2 Practitioner.

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