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Blog Public Affairs in corona time: the quality of lobby relations deteriorates

The digital lobby or the virtual advocacy, it seems to work. But in the long run, the quality of the relationships deteriorates, according to public affairs professionals from large companies. They miss the physical lobby, the contact in person. Read the blog of Erik van Venetië, trainer within the Public Affairs Programme of Centre for Professional Learning (CPL), below.

What do you do in corona time? Experiences of public affairs professionals in times of crisis

The videocalls from home follow each other at a rapid pace. This usually works efficiently. A lot of lobby work marches on without any problems.

In fact, efficiency creates a higher workload, especially in the sectors that are strongly affected by the crisis. "My experience is that it is only getting busier," says Jaap Jelle Feenstra of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. "It has always been a lot of work, but all communication is now step-by-step, one by one via email."

"Certainly at the beginning of the crisis, all those calls were quite intensive one after the other," says PFZW's Wouter Thalen. There was a lot of coordination with the other companies in the pension sector, more consultation with the pension umbrella, internal accountability to the board and contacts with colleagues.

Wouter Thalen: "In the beginning I got up with it and went to bed with it. In the long term, that is very tiring. Now the frequency is lower. I make sure I can breathe between calls. "

Chat in the margins

What exactly are PA professionals missing?
Especially the fun, the moments when you talk about other things:

  • The talks about current events on the margins of a meeting.
  • The frowning brow or a wink during a meeting.
  • A one-to-one cup of coffee without an agenda.
  • A confidential conversation about a private topic at a party.

These are all moments when you build "report" with people, says Mark Esseboom of IBM. The new initiatives grow from this.

Read the entire blog at hetgrotelobbyen.com

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