Bob LeDrew: Pre-budget advice for business
- February 25, 2008 7:51 AM |
- By Michael Hlinka
Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).
By Bob LeDrew, a public relations specialist based in Ottawa
(Listen to the original audio)
So tomorrow's the big day. The federal government delivers the 2008 federal budget. And while once upon a time, the speculation was about what goodies might be unveiled, the tone in the lead up this time 'round has been more like a dysfunctional family fight.
Last week, the fighting was between current federal Finance minister - and former Ontario finance minister - Jim Flaherty, and current Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty.
During a speech last Tuesday, Flaherty said that under McGuinty, the province lacked innovation, foresight and leadership. McGuinty's minister Sandra Pupatello was in the audience, and called Flaherty's remarks "bald-faced lies." McGuinty himself took it a little more diplomatically.
Meanwhile, associations like the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters were being much more conciliatory and positive. So it's obvious that even my best advice won't help you influence the budget at this point.
But I can give you some advice for when you're a little fish and the sharks and the dolphins are taking bites out of each other.
First off, keep yourself informed. Read your trade magazines, read the media coverage, watch the news, and stay on top of developments. Think of it this way - if you aren't keeping current for your own sake, you should be doing it just so you can talk to your customers about it.
Second, manage your expectations. When people on Parliament Hill, at Queen's Park, or City Hall are firing off the heavy artillery, you're not going to make a big splash if you weigh in on a public policy issue.
So if you can't make a big splash, then what? Well, then think about a ripple. If you have a contribution to make, and you have relationships with reporters at your local paper, think about offering up a quote or two, or maybe offering an op-ed essay. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce would like to do an event discussing your pet issue.
But make sure that you know your limits and don't end up biting a hand that feeds you.
Third, if your initiatives don't bear fruit, use it as a relationship-building opportunity with media, customers or business groups in your community.
You may not have a role in every great debate. But you can find your niche and exploit it - if you budget some time and energy for the task.
For the Business Network, I'm Bob LeDrew in Ottawa.
- Andrew Wahl (19)
- Andrew Willis (13)
- Bob LeDrew (10)
- Dan Noel (1)
- David Baskin (18)
- David Berman (1)
- David Colman (14)
- Deborah Yedlin (29)
- Duncan Stewart (29)
- Ellen Roseman (90)
- Jacqueline Drew (10)
- Jim Bray (25)
- Jim Jubak (6)
- John Gilchrist (4)
- Kelly VanBuskirk (6)
- Kira Vermond (73)
- Loraleigh Kovacik (9)
- Michael Hlinka (183)
- Peter Vincent (16)
- Pierre Battah (1)
- Todd Hirsch (1)
All News blogs
- Kira Vermond: Resolutions for Work
- New Year, new you. At least that's what you're shooting for in 2012 at your workplace. This is the year that you're going to ditch your wallflower ways, speak up in meetings and take the initiative.... Continue reading this post
- Ellen Roseman: Air Miles-Use them or lose them!
- If you're collecting Air Miles, you now have only five years to use them. And if you don't redeem in time, you'll lose them.... Continue reading this post