2017’s Business Puzzle: How to Persuade the New Administration

For immediate release                           Contact:    Ed Barks
day, January 31, 2017                                      (540) 955-0600


November’s election results left many government relations pros scratching their heads. Most had solid connections into the Hillary Clinton camp. When Donald Trump proved victorious, however, the previously well-connected went into scrambling mode.

To help public affairs experts make sense of the change, Ed Barks has published “Persuading Team Trump: The New Inside-the-Beltway Reality.”

“Businesses and associations are in a state of confusion with respect to their public policy goals,” Barks said. “First, they must figure out who’s who in the new administration and attempt to gain entree with key administration players by putting any existing contacts to work. Then they need to determine how to restructure their messaging so that it resonates with the new crowd.”

Barks’ new position paper provides guidance on what new staffers in federal departments and agencies might know—and, importantly, not know—about legislative and regulatory history affecting an organization’s issues.

Messaging efforts demand extra attention. “The words, stories, and examples you’ve been using no longer apply. Smart businesses are right now working with message development consultants to adjust their messaging to better gain inroads with the new team in town,” he continued. “They are also relying on those consultants to teach their leadership how to deliver those revised messages powerfully and effectively to the administration as well as through the media.”

In “Persuading Team Trump” Barks writes, “Naturally, you are not going to sacrifice your principles, but you can angle your message in hopes of getting at least some of what you want or preventing the very worst from happening.”

There are also political considerations. Barks urges business leaders to ask themselves an important question: “Are you better served to turn up the heat or duck and cover?”

“Longstanding ground rules no longer apply,” Barks concludes. “Companies that haven’t started adapting yet had better get going, or they can wave goodbye to their public policy goals for the next four years.”

Ed Barks helps his clients sharpen their messages and their ability to communicate them. They gain an enhanced reputation, more confidence, added opportunities for career advancement, and realization of long-term business goals. The former radio broadcaster is the author of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations, and community organizer at The Media Training Blog. As President of Barks Communications since 1997, he has taught more than 5000 business leaders, association executives, and other experts how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and testify before government officials.