What’s in it for me? The key to public affairs strategy

By Luke Robbins Grace

The thing you need to ask yourself at the start of any public affairs campaign or programme is this: Why would a politician or civil servant want to meet you or do something that would assist your organisation? You simply have to make sure it is in the public interest, and in theirs, to do so.

The key to success in public affairs is to communicate with confidence about how your organisation serves the public interest, and to demonstrate that there is a problem that needs solving. The bigger the problem, the more people care about it, the greater the media coverage, and the more high profile commentators talk about it, the more likely it is that someone will want to solve it and that works well if you are the one with the solution.

The next step is to make sure that your solution involves engagement from your politician or government official and allows them to take some of the well-earned credit.

Whether your objective is to change legislation, amend regulations, raise your profile or win a Government contract, all public affairs are about problems, which it is in the public interest to solve.

The top tips for a well-designed strategy:

  • Be clear about what it is you want
  • Make sure you can demonstrate that what you want to achieve is also in the public interest
  • Create solutions to your target stakeholders’ problems
  • Understand what is in it for them

 Find out more

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

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