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Governmental Affairs

CMS services a wide variety of organizations involved in governmental interactions, ranging from official representation during legislative sessions and interim proceedings, to rule-making and implementation in the executive branch of government. Montana’s legislature is frequently called a “citizens’ legislature,” meaning the members who serve are not professional politicians. Interactions with those who choose this important component of public service confirm this notion, and our experience is that the vast majority of legislators want only to serve their constituents and their communities. Yet the hectic pace during sessions, and the long stretch of time in between when the legislature meets for general business, sometimes means your organization needs assistance in making your voice heard.

Governmental Affairs

Our governmental affairs team is headed by professionals who are well seasoned in legislative mechanisms, policy analysis, and the impact of any pending legislation, not only on our clients’ needs but the general public. We approach the policy-making process with respect for the legislative institution and admiration for those who choose to knock on their neighbors' doors and ask for the privilege of representing them in Helena. Yet we also know that misguided public policy can be allowed to develop and become law due to tight time demands and lack of oversight. CMS believes good public policy requires maximum transparency and seeks to add our expertise to the process with this goal in mind.

Ultimately, the legislative process comes down to communication--from constituents to their elected representatives, between individual members, with leadership in both chambers, and between major stakeholder organizations and the legislature as a whole. Not only is CMS well positioned to make sure your concerns and needs are given a full vetting during committee hearings and floor debates, we understand the need to complete the communication loop and provide updates to the members of your organization as the process unfolds. Your daily business continues apace even as a legislative session demands your attention. Our governmental affairs team can make sure you have a strong presence in the capitol as you tend to core operations. Typical projects and services include:

CMS’ Communications Division can help your organization effectively distribute its message to key decision-makers, other organizations, and the general public. Even if you have internal communications expertise, CMS can assist in everything from a press event that yields results, to a long-term public education campaign. Best results in this important area start with an understanding of the different forms of media and appreciation for the professionals who report and edit the news stories. Not only do CMS’ communications staff have direct knowledge of media institutions, but also a close working relationship with reporters, news anchors, and radio interviewers.

CMS can also help with longer term public education projects. Such outreach requires an agreement from all stakeholders on what the core message should be. Our approach is to facilitate this type of dialogue internally and then develop the message in a more succinct format for public review. Americans are receiving more than a thousand times as much information than only a generation ago, and this is not a trend that is likely to slow, let alone reverse.

Making your voice heard above such a din can mean the difference to meeting your group’s objectives. All organizations require an outside perspective from time to time; our communications experts are well versed in studying your operation and making suggestions as to which area is best to highlight for maximum results.

CMS' Communications Division can also provide short and long-term assistance with such promotional materials as brochures, websites, and targeted electronic communication. Typical projects and services include: