When undertaking EU engagement, it is not always enough for companies to simply articulate their policy issues and needs. Often, businesses operate in areas that may be completely new and unfamiliar to policy makers; if what they do is not understood, achieving effective change will be impossible.
In such a scenario, it may be better to first demonstrate how the business works and its value to the European economy. This was the case for a client of FIPRA which provided digital advertising.
The FIPRA Approach
The first step was to demonstrate to policy makers how the company contributes to the European economy and ‘demystify’ widely-held misperceptions around business models based on data processing. This required careful explanation of the vital role this company plays in assisting their clients in reaching customers online.
The second step was to start a dialogue on the policy issues that are shaping the operating environment foronline advertising. This was easier to achieve thanks to the first step, which ensured that the contribution of the business was recognised and understood.
This dual approach was effective, allowing the companies to share the policy implications for their businesses and their customers and shape the policy environment accordingly. As a result of FIPRA’s efforts, the client was able to embark on a long-term strategy involving frequent, honest and open discussions with key EU stakeholders in the European Commission, European Parliament and Permanent Representations.
In addition, the client is one of several FIPRA clients that has now become a reference and ‘go-to’ for other organisations seeking advice on the issues.