Congressional Testimony Report Refreshed

For immediate release                                  Contact:    Ed Barks
Monday, January 25, 2021                                             (703) 533-0403


As with most things in life, the coronavirus pandemic has altered the Congressional testimony landscape. Rather than appearing in an ornate hearing room, the odds are high that witnesses — and a fair share of the members of Congress — will appear remotely.

As a result, Barks Communications President Ed Barks has published a new edition of his research report Thrill on the Hill: Using Congressional Testimony to Achieve Public Policy Success.

“It is important to note that the same principles apply whether you testify in person or, during the pandemic and perhaps beyond, by remote video connection,” he writes in the new volume.

“It is difficult to forecast anything these days,” Barks said. “Yet it seems logical to assume that legislative testimony will retain some options to appear remotely. After all, it opens up possibilities for Congress to elicit a wider range of experts since geography ceases to be a barrier.”

Thrill on the Hill spells out steps that government relations executives should follow when preparing their expert witnesses to appear before Congressional committees.

One of the questions addressed in the new edition is “How do you organize the training session to prepare your witnesses?” It includes a new section that delves into “What if you’re preparing to testify remotely?” offering advice designed to create a seamless learning experience.

While the report is geared toward testifying before Congress, it also applies to witnesses advocating before state their state legislatures as well as federal, state, and local regulatory panels.

The report maintains several important concepts. For instance, it reinforces Barks’ emphasis that Congressional testimony represents the most important business meeting a company’s executives will ever have. And it preserves his accent on the need for sustained improvement, arguing that too many organizations and individual ignore this need at the expense of long-term business and public policy goals.

The updated publication retains the one-page “Congressional Testimony at a Glance” quick reference guide, buttressed with this reminder: “If you are testifying remotely, be sure to work that aspect into your pre-testimony preparations.”

Ed Barks serves as an advisor to communications executives to improve their companies’ messages and how they deliver them, and to government relations executives who want to reach their public policy goals. They gain an enhanced reputation, more opportunities for career advancement, and achievement of long-term business and public policy goals. He is the author of three books: Reporters Don’t Hate You: 100+ Amazing Media Relations Strategies, A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today’s Leaders into Tomorrow’s Influencers, and The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. As President of Barks Communications, he has taught more than 5500 business leaders, association executives, and other experts how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and advocate before policymakers.