Government relations is the process of influencing public policy at all levels of government: local, state, federal and internationally through communication with government (and opposition) representatives at both political and bureaucratic levels.
This can involve communicating with regard to making or amending legislation, the development or amendment of government policy, programs or projects and the awarding of a government contract or grant or the allocation of government funding.
Government relations professionals play an important part in our representative democratic system of government in Australia as a key communicator between organisations and government. Individuals and organisations also approach government directly. However, some use experts to advise them.
Also known as lobbyists, professional government relations practitioners use their knowledge and experience to help corporations, associations, charities and other not-for-profit organisations interact effectively with, and navigate the processes of, government. By communicating with government (elected government, opposition parties and bureaucracy) lobbyists help to improve outcomes for the community as a whole.