Get to know the gatekeepers of the government agencies, community entities, and other stakeholders that you interact with on a regular basis. These are the administrative assistants, the schedule keepers, and the front office personnel that allows access to the official you need to see. (This follows suit for production companies, agencies and studios as well – relationships with executive assistants and schedulers are extremely valuable.) When you’re in crisis mode, this person is the one who has the ear of the official and can get things done for you. They will also guide you through any protocol required when dealing with their bosses.
Information you should have
1. List of offices you interact with regularly
2. Information on the gatekeeper
o Personal contact information: emails, cell phones
o Potential issues to be aware of when dealing with this office
The politics are especially heightened when the film industry is involved. The politicians want the recognition and it is critical that the film commissioner tries to provide ample opportunity for the senior official(s) to be involved in any high profile activity. For example: Meetings or announcements with high profile directors, producers, actors, etc., quotes in paper articles, set visits, shout outs by the film commissioner for the support the administration provides, etc. All press releases should be vetted up the chain of command so that the administration is involved and given credit. You will need to be careful that you protect confidential information; however, there can be opportunities for these officials to be involved.