Public Affairs trends: what to expect in the world of policy and government relations

Earlier this year, the Holmes Report identified five key trends predicted to emerge within public affairs throughout 2015. As we prepare for our Public Affairs Seminar in London, we wanted to share these trends as a snippet of what to expect on the course.

1. Election Fever

Clearly this is focussed largely on the UK with the upcoming general election – the first social media election for the UK

According to Kevin Bell, head of the global public affairs practice at Burson-Marsteller. “Clients of all types should be encouraged onto social media platforms to monitor, assess and engage in the debate. Being active on social media will complement their more traditional public affairs activities.”

2. Greater Negotiation

More integrated campaigns will incorporate traditional lobbying as well as modern communications tools, which enable micro targeting and narrowcasting, as well as the measurement and modification of communications.

Jamie Moeller, head of the public affairs practice at Ogilvy PR indicates that “organisations that succeed in influencing policy outcomes in 2015 will use the full array of modern communications tools: earned media, targeted digital advertising, social media engagement and content. Each of these elements must be integrated within an overarching political strategy to ensure success.”

3. A More Global Approach

The social media evolution has led to a massively increased ‘butterfly effect’ whereby the actions in one country can easily attract global attention or criticism.

“Regulatory developments in one country are travelling fast across the globe. The reputation of an organisation heavily depends on the behaviour in local situations, but the regulatory consequences have a worldwide impact. Health, food, labour standards, environmental issues come to mind. So, companies need to communicate consistently at all levels, domestic, regional, global. Coherent positions have to be communicated to authorities and the public at all these levels.” Thomas Tindemans, head of public affairs practice at Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

4. Taking a Stand

Companies are getting more and more involved in political and social issues, whether willingly as a proactive choice to connect with their audience, or rather less willingly when drawn into a debate.

“It is the millennial generation that is now having a huge impact on politics, economics and culture while previous generations and their approach are increasingly taking a back seat. Technology is empowering people and creating new pressure groups overnight” Amit Misra, head of MSLGroup’s public affairs practice in Asia.

Read the full report here: http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/2015-trend-forecast-public-affairs

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This article draws on content from the ISOC knowledge base for Public Affairs.

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