Support your lobbying efforts with a targeted and effective PR campaign
Why should you bolster your lobbying with a PR campaign? How can PR support, sustain and even generate credibility to a message addressing political decision-makers? How can PR contribute to a winning strategy? Here are two success stories of projects completed by our teams in October 2020 and April 2021 that provide answers to these questions.
When a company, brand, or business sector wishes to advocate for its interests or to make a specific request to elected officials, a lobbying strategy is established to deliver the message. Often, this strategy aims at influencing legislation in an indirect way. This strategy, whether it is developed by an individual brand or by advocacy groups representing the same professional sector, relies on the media to convey their message and to give it credibility with the public. The media contributes to strengthening the influence – and even the pressure – exerted on the relevant government authorities in order to sway decisions in their favor.
Airlines have all been strongly impacted by the pandemic since March 2020 and have, in order to make it through, often called upon their legislators for assistance. We at GroupExpression have guided two French airlines in their approach to the government while asking for necessary financial support to maintain their business during the crisis and to ensure their recovery.
The key to success? Involved leaders, a dedicated spokesperson, a clear and well-thought-out message, a mastery of decision-making, face-to-face meetings, AND a tailor-made press relations campaign to support it.
Michel Monvoisin, CEO of Air Tahiti Nui based in French Polynesia, came to meet with legislators in Paris in October 2020 to speak out against an imbalance of competition with other French airlines who are based in Continental France that had benefited from government support; he advocated to obtain similar aid so that Air Tahiti Nui could withstand the crisis.
Didier Tappero, CEO of Aircalin based in New Caledonia, came to ask the government for financial aid in order to continue its activities, to maintain French branches in the South Pacific and to ensure the recovery of activity at the end of 2021-early 2022.
The strategy of GroupExpression’s Airline Department Team was to capitalize on the visit to Paris of these two Executives by organizing a series of interviews with key journalists in the sector; this provided means to convey their approach in targeted media. Thanks to this press relations campaign, each Director was able to explain the situation his company was in, what he had instituted to limit costs in the situation, the context in their area of operations, their specific needs, and the deadlines each of them was facing to keep their company afloat. GroupExpression allowed them to take advantage of the strong power of the media to maximize the visibility of a subject and to give credibility to their approach and claims with their respective interviewers. To do so, we selected media that resonate with political decision-makers, that are read by public authorities, and that have an impact on those with economic influence on the aviation sector.
The type of media chosen and the number of interviews organized depend on the message and the availability of the Executive during his visit to Paris.
For example, we had four slots available in Mr. Monvoisin’s agenda in October 2020. We then chose four complementary media of different modalities – BFM TV/Radio, La Tribune, Le Parisien and Echo Touristique – to optimize the visibility of his message to several targeted audiences.
This campaign proved to be extremely positive, reaching more than 4.7 million people and rendering a favorable response from the legislators with whom Mr. Monvoisin had met. His request was listened to, resulting in the first positive signs and attention to the treatment of the case he was making.
Link to “Case Study Air Tahiti Nui Lobbying”
Because Mr. Tappero would be in Paris for a longer period in April 2021, we were able to organize thirteen interviews focused in media with a very large audience and the general public such as: RTL and Le Monde; media with more economic concentration through AFP and La Tribune; the key media players in the travel sector such as Air & Cosmos, Flight Report and The Travelers Club; and additionally, the major titles of the French professional press who are experts of the tourism and airline industry with: L’Echo Touristique, Le Quotidien du Tourisme, Tourmag and Tour Hebdo.
In total, we have generated more than 40 publications reaching a cumulative audience of more than 98 million people. This media success was well received by the elected officials with whom Mr. Tappero met. This campaign helped reinforce the credibility of Aircalin’s CEO’s action and demonstrate the importance of the French airline in the South Pacific area to the decision-makers in France.
Link to “Case Study Aircalin Lobbying”
Another PR campaign will serve to reinforce these promising results when an official decision is announced. To be continued…
…and in the meantime, we are at your disposal to discuss your next lobbying campaign and how we can support it with an adapted media strategy. Talk soon!
Director – Transport Department
06 32 30 68 44