101 of Corporate Affairs

Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on advice to a large multi-national firm looking to set up in Australia. With a communications team but no local corporate affairs function, they wanted to look at local ways to enhance, shape and protect their reputation – particularly with government, their most significant Australian stakeholder. Through a quick and dirty brainstorm, here’s an abridged version of the priorities I came up with for them to implement – what do you think?

  1. Build connections and rapport with government through partnerships and participation in government programs
    1. Co-ordination and drafting of responses to state and Australian government inquiries on important regulatory and industry issues. For example, co-ordinating responses and proposals to government, such as reporting to the Women’s Gender Equality Agency and submitting to relevant Senate inquiries
    2. Training and workshops for executives on Australian government culture and priorities, such as for early bid meetings or industry roundtables
  2. Support and assistance on government relations and strategy, briefing the Board on Australian Government and state government political landscapes and players
  3. Establish a simple and consistent corporate social responsibility approach for Australia, with standard policy and principles
  4. Communicate and engage with external stakeholders to promote the company’s priorities including preparing briefs on key industry issues, preparing a schedule of meetings with key stakeholders and attending events
  5. Liaise with HQ and leverage internal expertise to bring a local flavour to international content, including social media and speeches.