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Estado de S.Paulo - Caderno de Recursos Humanos - Interview with Hermínia Sica de Moraes

Multinationals boost institutional area in Brazil

Many companies do not have an area of Institutional Relationship Management (IRM), or a specific department to deal with the institutional relations of companies. Often CEOs assume the task of interfacing with sector specific agencies, but do so only sporadically or for specific demands with the government area and organizations that directly or indirectly impact their business.

It is a gap that exists in corporations and that only becomes latent in times of crisis or of a strategic necessity. The absence of a structured area of IRM, a sector that tends to grow in Brazil, has been assimilated by specialized companies, such as IP Desenvolvimento, which focuses on corporate strategy and the development of new businesses.

IP Desenvolvimento has excelled in this niche market and has already structured the IRM for large companies. IP provides to its customers systematic development of the relation between companies with the political, institutional and social areas that influence the business in the long term; creates and maintains specific networks for the sector where the client operates, besides the mapping of new businesses and to foment the proactive exchange of informations with the objective to enhance new businesses and to reduce risks to the companies. "The model is already been used by international companies who, when arriving in Brazil, stimulate the nationals to use it too," says Hermínia de Moraes, Executive Director of IP Desenvolvimento.

It is not a simple task because it involves the "heart" of the customers. That is why IP has created a methodology that addresses everything from the description of the fields that influence in a direct and indirect way the businesses of the company and their respective impacts; the identification of public targets, primary and secondary; assessment of potentials and risks; the elaboration of a long-term action plan; the strategies of institutional communication; the network plan; the types of necessary partnerships; the guidance for the acquisition of competences, analysis of strategic guidance, among others.

In practice, IP structures the IRM work that is to be done and, once the evaluation is done and the work form agreed, proposes the conduction and necessary time for each activity. The work is managed through project management. The company also promotes the participation of businesses in key business entities. Finally, IP provides full support for the conception of boards of directors, proposes names to compose the board, searches and confirms the members, and very often in a second step, joins the board, giving continuity to the counseling and the formulation of strategies.

As you can see IRM is strategic for the companies, however, in Brazil only a few of them paid attention to the importance and only trigger this sector in very sporadic situations, which compromises the results of this relation in the long run.