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Public Affairs

Also known as institutional relations, this term encompasses a range of distinct activities, all orelating to ways of influencing centres of political decision-making in the defence of the interescompany, association, region or country.
Public affairs may be seen as an umbrella term for various interlinked activities that cut across all secta company or institution. To visualise this better, these may be represented graphically as follows:

Public Affairs


Lobbying

Sometimes known as governmental and parliamentary relations, this activity was long misunderstood by Portuguese companies. Lobbying is nothing more than the establishment of contacts with various official entities (government, parliament, administrative departments), political decision-makers and pressure groups (NGOs) through perfectly legal and transparent methods, with the aim of making known, discussing and defending the interests of our clients. Omniconsul's president is himself accredited as a lobbyist in Brussels with both the European Commission and European Parliament.
We are proud to have been the first consultancy firm in Portugal to work in this area, practising in the fields of direct lobbying, top lobbying and grassroots lobbying (or bottom lobbying).


Intelligence/ legislative monitoring

The search for and analysis of sensitive information through market intelligence and legislative tracking enable our clients to understand the processes and political context in which they operate, with a view to their being able to define future strategies for their companies accordingly.


Stakeholder management

- Coalition management

In certain situations it may be useful for a manager to strengthen his position through occasional collaboration with third parties - whether other companies in the same sector or NGOs, natural allies or potential allies.
The establishment of such links requires specific knowledge of management and a degree of impartiality, which can benefit all those involved.
The extensive experience of our team in this area will be of invaluable help in defining appropriate strategies, in coordinating the partners involved, and in implementing any actions that are decided upon.

- B2B

Business-to-business - normally known by the abbreviations B-to-B or B2B - is the term used to designate commercial relations established directly between companies.
This practice has given rise to B2B marketing, which facilitates direct communication between a company and other businesses, institutions and governments with the aim of promoting its products and services, which are in turn to be used by the final consumer. The pharmaceutical industry offers a good illustration of this practice, in that it does not sell directly to the final consumer, since all its activity is based on B2B relations with governments, hospitals and pharmacies.
Other sectors of activity may operate in both the B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) fields, depending on the situation.
Our highly qualified specialists will help identify and define the ideal opportunities and tools for possible B2B activities, as an alternative to more traditional methods.

- Top management relations

Aside from B2B, relations with business decision-makers make it possible to build close links between both parties, share information of interest and pave the way for future joint initiatives in the market or the forming of coalitions with the aim of influencing legislative and/or government decisions. The function of public affairs consultants is to help define the best targets and to handle initial contacts and preliminary matters.


Protocol

For any business executive who must negotiate the political arena or deal with senior administrative officials, it is essential to have some knowledge of protocol and the set of rules that should be observed in any contact with the various entities. These precepts apply to both state and business protocol.
This is not just a matter of rules of etiquette or civility, but of codes many of which are not written down (deep protocol) and which guide appropriate behaviour, both in the world of state diplomacy and in business diplomacy.
Our services support our clients in a variety of ways, in terms of training and directly on the ground in specific situations with which they are not accustomed to dealing.


Strategic communications

This is perhaps the most wide-ranging field of communication, embracing as it does all institutional (corporate) communication, corporate image and reputation management.
Strategic communications normally comes prior to a lobbying campaign, with the aim of building a foundation of goodwill and preparing the ground so as to facilitate future campaigns.
Our action in this area has the aim of building and managing the image and reputation of our clients, with a view to affording them a competitive advantage in their respective sectors and greater visibility and credibility in the eyes of official institutions and other political authorities.
We define the most appropriate positioning and strategies, both where institutional (corporate) reputation and image is concerned and in relations with political decision-makers, and prescribe the most suitable resources and actions to be employed to attain the proposed objectives.


Crisis management

Because of its close relationship to reputation management, crisis management also forms part of the field of public affairs.
On the other hand, many lobbying activities that are undertaken have their origin in emergency situations, after the company has come under scrutiny from official institutions, regulators, NGOs and public opinion. Omniconsul was also a pioneer in introducing crisis management to Portugal in the early 1980s.
Our clients know that they can count on us to provide proactive management when a crisis breaks out, or as preventive action to prepare the company to face possible future crises.

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