Gov Affairs Pic

Public Relations and Government Affairs

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a Government Affairs and Lobbying panel at the Capitol Building.  I was showered with enticing information on what it’s like to work in the government relations sector of public relations from a group of professional lobbyists in the Lansing area. Recently changing my major from kinesiology to journalism with a minor in public relations, and I have been curious as to what this profession entails.

What is Lobbying?

This is a form of advocacy meant to influence a decision being made at a federal, state, or local level. Within government affairs, lobbyists, (the people doing the pursuing) may attempt to sway a legislative official’s opinion one way or another.

How is this done?

Here is the best advice the professionals provided in order to be successful in the career:

  • Sell yourself
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH!
  • Don’t advocate for something you don’t believe in
  • Constantly be “on the ball”
  • Own it!— Confidence is key

What are the pros of this career?

  • Lucrative business— if you do well, it pays well
  • 24 – hour job
  • Opportunity to network is everywhere— each of the six professionals have at one point worked with one another
  • Some businesses offer the choice to travel frequently

What are the cons of this career?

  • 24 – hour job
  • Making yourself available to your client more than your family
  • High stress levels

What if I want to pursue a career in this field?

  • EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE.
  • Internship on a legislative level
  • Build communications skills

Overall, a career in government affairs is appealing to me as I continue my education. I have the utmost respect for the daily accomplishments of our government and it would be an honor to one day work in such a respectable environment.

Who attended the panel? 

Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (or MITA)

Governmental Consultant Services, Inc.

Creative Many Michigan

Acuitas

Sparrow Health System

Michigan Restaurant Association