Updated Research Report Reveals Secrets of Congressional Testimony

For immediate release                                  Contact:    Ed Barks
Wednesday, July 31, 2019                             (540) 955-0600

Government relations executives who counsel their executives when time comes for Congressional testimony now have a fresh resource — an update of the research report, Thrill on the Hill: Using Congressional Testimony to Achieve Public Policy Success.

“The more you observe, the more you learn,” said the report’s author, Ed Barks. “It was time to expand Thrill on the Hill with the latest intelligence.

“This is not pie-in-the-sky theory,” he continued. “Thrill on the Hill spells out actionable steps government relations pros need to take when preparing their C-suite to venture forth on Capitol Hill.”

While the report is geared toward testifying before Congress, it is also instructive for those appearing before state legislatures, and federal, state, and local regulatory bodies.

In the new edition, Barks, President of Barks Communications, shines a brighter spotlight on his “Five Minute Approach” to testifying on the Hill. His method cautions witnesses to waste not even one precious second at the witness table.

He also bolstered coverage of Q&A strategy. As the new report states, “Your witness may be on the receiving end of yes/no questions from lawmakers,” then offers guidance on how to handle such exchanges.

The updated report retains two important concepts. First is Barks’ emphasis that Congressional testimony represents the most important business meeting a company’s executives will ever have. “Public policy success is a make or break proposition for any business,” Barks said. “A Congressional testimony fail has dire consequences.”

Second is the finding that some government relations executives pay scant attention to sustained improvement. This advancement over time “has a direct impact on a company’s long-term business and public policy goals,” he remarked.

The new version concludes with a one-page “Congressional Testimony at a Glance” quick reference guide.

The beefed-up 36-page report answers a series of questions that every organization faces when preparing to appear before members of Congress. The research revolves around answers supplied by public affairs experts surveyed by Barks. “I am grateful to the invaluable insights shared by those insiders who participated in the original survey,” he said.

Among the questions examined in Thrill on the Hill: Using Congressional Testimony to Achieve Public Policy Success:

  • Who make the best witnesses?
  • What is the Five Minute Approach?
  • What advice do you have for mentally preparing witnesses so they are not intimidated?
  • What specific steps do you take to prepare a witness for the Q&A with lawmakers?
  • How do you organize the training session to prepare your witnesses?

Thrill on the Hill is available upon request when .

Ed Barks works with communications and government relations executives who counsel their C-suite leaders, and with businesses and associations that need their messaging to deliver bottom line results. They gain an enhanced reputation, more opportunities for career advancement, and achievement of long-term business goals. He is the author of 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 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 advocate before policymakers.