How SMEs and associations find a hearing in high politics
“There is no more exciting year for us than that of a federal election” says Dr. Hubert Koch at the beginning of our conversation. With his company “Dr. Koch Consulting e.K.” he is a heavyweight in political lobbying. And he has an office at Satellite Office in Berlin. A unique chance to ask a few questions….
We are located in the Satellite Office on Unter den Linden, in the middle of “political Berlin,” which has a radius of only two kilometers, says Dr. Koch. This is where it all happened. “We can make the appointments on foot, which is an optimal location for us. We walk to talks in the Bundestag and the politicians also come to us on foot.” Lobbying, he said, is all about the face-to-face conversation. “Politicians are inundated with reports, but they don’t have time to read them, nor can papers convey emotions. Only in personal conversation can you work out intersections, convince people and reconcile opinions,” Dr. Koch reports from his daily work. For many years he has been active in lobbying, has built up networks, is well known in the political landscape. “To make yourself heard in politics, you need a resilient personal network. You have to know each other, and you have to earn trust. Only then can you be convincing in political discussions. And you need a local presence and address in order to be authentic and comprehensible,” says the lobbyist.
Many meetings with top politicians also take place at Satellite Office. The atmosphere and beautiful surroundings coupled with good service just fit the bill and were perfect for the occasion, Dr. Koch said. We have an extremely exciting year ahead of us, with three state elections and one federal election. Lobbyists now attend all election party conferences to influence election programs. They hold talks with the possible “new” candidates. Dr. Koch’s favorite place at Satellite Office is the fireside lounge for personal conversations of a confidential nature. He also conducts simpler conversations in open space or in the meeting room. “Satellite Office is more personal than a hotel but still public. An ideal compromise between the private office and a busy hotel.”
Dr. Koch Consulting e.K. represents around ten associations and organizations from business, healthcare, public institutions professional associations and trade unions. Discussions are held on behalf of these associations and their terms of reference are brought to the attention of politicians. With the “Dr. Koch Capital Office”, he additionally runs a capital representation for customers and thus offers them a political contact point without having to relocate a headquarters or maintain permanent personnel capacities. Likewise, the company represents numerous medium-sized customers. “Most customers initially think they are too small, that you are not being listened to in politics anyway” reports Dr. Hubert Koch. But this was not the case. “If SMEs have a political or legislative concern, I can open doors to politics for them, even if the client doesn’t know where the handle is” tells the communications professional. Medium-sized companies are used to making decisions. And then something happens. But this is not the case in politics. “All politicians, even ministers, have to get a majority to implement decisions” reports the lobbyist. Therefore, he said, it is important to let the right people know about the concerns of SMEs. The need in the midmarket is great, he said. “My goal for this year is to offer capital city representation for medium-sized companies as well. We can realize this at a very interesting price. In addition, Satellite Office offers itself as a reliable partner for representative offices” says Dr. Hubert Koch. Likewise, as a lobby coach, he offers special consultations on how to support the competencies of entrepreneurs and association managers in a way that translates their expertise into a language that is understood by politicians.
Dr. Hubert Koch has been a Satellite Office customer for over 10 years. The key factor for him is flexibility. “I can enlarge or reduce the size of offices, have a technically powerful telephone system and space for meetings with several people. You can’t map that out privately at this price. That’s why the model has been perfect for me for years.”
Thank you very much for the interesting interview, Dr. Hubert Koch!
The interview was conducted by Annette Kissing.