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Partner News: The Power of Association Advocacy

By Peter Strong, CEO, Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA).

Advocacy can be approached in different ways, but ultimately the Oxford Dictionary says it is ‘the act or process of supporting a cause or policy for someone or something.’  

For years people have said to me, ‘we want to advocate for our members and lobby Government, but we don’t think we have the influence to do it.’ Let me tell you, you do.

Associations often represent the majority voters, and while it might be you who goes to Government to represent them, they are the force which will drive you forward.

So, where do you start?

  1. Know who’s who - make it your job to know the Ministers’ faces and names in the portfolios that matter to you
  2. Clear your schedule when it’s a parliamentary sitting week, travel to Canberra and take meetings with members of the backbenches, representatives and Ministers
  3. Narrow down what you want to one or two key points, make it clear and concise – what are you asking for?
  4. Bring evidence – displayed in a way that is easy to understand
  5. Become a regular face in the halls of Parliament House, be seen and heard by those who will influence the policies you want to change

Not every Association will have the time or resources to advocate, but that’s where collaborations with others who have the same goals can be extremely helpful. COSBOA is in a unique position to help get you into the right office or through the right door, we can advise on what the best communication process is, and we can add considerable weight to important arguments about key business issues.

The COSBOA National Small Business Summit, 29-30 August will be held in Melbourne, if you are an Association leader or CEO, this is an opportunity to hear from the regulators, Ministers and key members that can impact small business in Australia. Themed ‘Policy for the people’ the 2019 Summit, brings into account the changes happening to small business policy, the role of associations, emerging issues, resources and future predictions.

If you want to be a powerful Association advocate, be there - register now:
www.cosboansbs.com.au

 

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