What Makes A Good Public Affairs Consultant?

What are the skills needed to make a good public affairs consultant, whether they work for an agency or in-house? And how can we use this to think about how we can all improve? It is very easy to think about public affairs as being focused on political engagement. That may be the main aspect […]

Being Called Out By Ministers

There is nothing worse for any organisation than being called out a Government Minister. It inflicts reputational damage, risks networks and relationships, and comes with the hint of future action. But how can we minimise the chance of it happening and how should we react if it does? There are several pressures that politicians react […]

The Importance Of Soft Power

A stakeholder map too often looks simply at decision makers. It maps out a path to power so that engagement efforts can be focused. But this ignores the importance of soft power and the role it ultimately plays in decision-making. Of course, looking at who makes the decisions is not wrong. But to focus too […]

There Is Still Much To Teach Government About The Private Sector

Governments always talk as if they know and understand everything about how business works. But that isn’t the case. The process of educating them remains a key job of public affairs. Governments, and particularly, the Johnson government, do intervene directly in the operation of markets, even if they claim otherwise. That very intervention is not […]

Influencers And Their Impact on Public Affairs

Moving a bottle of soft drink may not seem like a big deal but when Christiano Ronaldo is involved then the world takes note. And that includes politicians. When Ronaldo moved bottles of Coca Cola, one of the main sponsors of Euro 2020, from view at a press conference, social media went into overdrive. Graphs […]

Changing Stakeholder Communications?

The recent European Communication Monitor 2021 Survey showed the importance of digitalising stakeholder communications. But what does the post-pandemic world offer? The Survey brings together data from 2,600 communications professionals across 46 countries and is now its 15th year. There is a good summary of the whole report on Stephen Waddington’s, Wadds Inc, blog. As […]

Five Ways To Spot A Lobbying Campaign

Open a newspaper or scroll through social media and you can’t help but fall over a story, thread or post that is really aimed at lobbying the Government. But how can you tell? What are the tell-tale signs? And what could you learn from it? A Recent example The fall-out from the recent, short-lived European […]

What Does Business Think About The Way Government Engages?

In March and April 2021, the Whitehall and Industry Group (WIG) asked more than 50 large private sector organisations about public-private sector collaboration, Net Zero and Covid-19. The responses showed that whilst there is much to welcome, much more remains to be achieved. The respondents to the survey worked within the government affairs function for […]

How To Prepare For Engagement With Policy Makers

I was recently set the challenge of describing how best organisations can prepare for engagement with policy makers, especially politicians, to ensure that it is effective. My comments were made in a discussion about ‘When Business Meets Politics’ for the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic that I took part in with Václav […]

Lobbying: Do Audiences Really Understand What We Do?

A series of scandals have recently impacted on public affairs. Despite those involved being David Cameron and Boris Johnson, they have been labelled as ‘lobbying’ scandals. This potentially damages us all. We have to appreciate that if the reputation of the profession is damaged then it has a direct impact on all of us. The […]