The contentious relationship between government and private sector in Brazil gained new proportions with a series of recent corruption scandals in the country. Companies accuse politicians of extortion; politicians, in turn, claim to be seduced by the economic power of the private sector. In the midst of this conflict, Institutional Relations Officers gain even more relevance, as well as the demand for greater transparency and basis for the activity.
The approach between institutions who cherish ethics in their relationships becomes increasingly essential for the country right now. The aim of partnering the Brazilian Association for Business Communications (Aberje), curated by Maria Elisa Curcio (HTAR Advogados), and JOTA’s Às Claras project (“Out in the open”, in Portuguese) is clear: to provide content with quality, technical information and in-depth analysis to improve the decision-making of public and private agents, highlighting the importance of communication for development with integrity.
The transformation of government relations is a necessity, as Aberje has been proposing in its government relations’ agenda amongst its memberships in recent years. The agents involved in these relationships have in hand a myriad of data and statistics that, through the use of appropriate tools, can serve as a basis for sophisticated analysis, as JOTA has been developing since its foundation in 2014.
The two institutions thus join with a continuous effort by Brazilian society to encourage new practices and new narratives for the government relations field – either through regulation, anti-corruption legislation or a population demand.
The search for a truly democratic society requires a change in the way Institutional Relations Officers operate, which is already happening in most of the companies that act in the country. It is not about dreaming that illegal practices will vanish completely in the near future, but rather about offering qualified information, analysis and tools that can be ethical and transparent subsidies for advocacy in the country.
Relationships between society and government depend less and less on inside connections and privileged relationships. What we want is to value and strengthen democratic processes, reinforced by well-constructed and well-founded narratives, with the means to influence relationships based on legality and legitimacy.
Therefore, Às Claras project will continue to publish academics and professionals texts and analysis so that best practices become more and more reality.