Make your voice count through effective public affairs

All businesses and organisations are affected by politics and public policy in some way.

If your ability to thrive is being influenced by the actions of government and other decision-makers, you can do something to contribute to your future.

Public affairs is a discipline within PR that’s about influencing government policy at central or local level. It’s all about earning understanding, respect and trust, and gaining support to influence policy and decisions.

Lobbying of parliamentarians, local councillors and MPs is the bedrock of any public affairs programme and should be underpinned by clear goals, a realistic strategy, detailed research and strong advice. Public affairs is often combined with media relations to gain more widespread support.

It can be easier for larger organisations or those with recognised authority to get their voices heard. Some will have their own in-house public affairs team. Yet smaller, less visible organisations with a well-considered public affairs strategy can still work effectively to influence the agenda.

If you belong to an industry or professional association, it can help represent your organisation’s interests. Or call on the support of other influencers with a similar agenda such as charities and think tanks, to add weight to your cause.

But stepping a toe into the public affairs arena can be daunting. How does the political system actually work? Who do we need to influence and how? What resources do we need? Where do we even start?

A reputable agency like Genesis that is accredited by the UK Lobbying Register can help businesses and organisations expertly navigate the current environment, interpret developments, build relationships and contribute to policy debate with the aim of achieving the outcome they are looking for.

Our top five factors for a successful public affairs programme

Insight – monitor the political landscape and look for opportunities to promote your views at the earliest moment. Make your points relevant to what is happening now, underline why the issue matters and why the recipient should care.

Influence – connect with the right people. Identify who has the power, who the decision makers and key influencers are and target them directly. Ensure all communications are tailored to the individual’s interests.

Impact – politicians and policy advisers are busy people. They don’t have time for waffle. Be clear and concise to achieve cut through.

Inspire – parliamentarians hear problems all the time. It’s of course important to underline the issue – but also to offer a credible solution. A positive approach will be far better received.

Integrity – honesty and transparency should be at the heart of your approach. Declare your interests from the outset, fact check your statements and never overstate your case.

Working with a full service agency that can combine public affairs and public relations expertise will amplify your message even further to deliver greater impact.

Genesis’ public affairs work has been recognised at a regional and national level, winning Gold at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Awards for Anglia, Thames & Chiltern and in 2019 as a national finalist in the CIPR’s Excellence Awards for Best Public Affairs Campaign.

Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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