‘Public Affairs’ is a term and an area of consultancy that is increasingly in the public eye, from stories about lobbying through to campaigns calling for policy change. But what does public affairs actually mean? Here, we take you through the key questions – and answers – as to what public affairs is.
What exactly is public affairs?
‘Public affairs’ is the practice of managing an organisation’s relationship with the Government, members of the public, and other stakeholders. These include MPs, Peers, civil servants, devolved and local governments and officials, as well as industry stakeholders, such as think tanks and unions.
What does public affairs work involve?
As public affairs specialists, we work with these stakeholders to explain an organisation’s views on public policy issues, whether it’s to outline a company’s position on a new policy initiative, or to demonstrate the importance of an organisation as a stakeholder to consult with when considering a new policy direction.
What are specific types of work public affairs specialists do?
Each piece of public affairs work is different, but broadly it involves:
- Stakeholder mapping: Identifying and prioritising stakeholders to engage.
- Government relations: Building and maintaining relationships with elected individuals, civil servants and regulators.
- Lobbying and advocacy: Directly engaging with policymakers to influence legislation or regulation.
- Message development: Developing clear and comprehensive messaging to explain an organisation’s position.
- Campaigning: Designing and executing specific campaigns to address specific challenges.
- Monitoring: Keeping an eye on Parliamentary and related industrial activity.
- Issues and risk management: Monitoring of political and other external issues that could affect an organisation.
- Crisis management: Plans to support an organisation through managing a crisis.
What are the benefits of working with a public affairs agency?
- Expertise and experience: We bring together a team of experienced individuals who have backgrounds that include working in MPs’ offices, working as Special Advisors and as Advisors to the Shadow Cabinet, as local Councillors, in the civil service and at other public affairs agencies.
- Knowledge: We understand how politics works and keep up to date with on the latest developments through our networks in industry, business and politics.
- Working as a seamless extension of your team: We work closely with you, acting as a critical friend, and are always on hand 24/7 to offer advice and support.
- Integrated campaigning: We are also experts in PR and digital and can create strategies that combine all these elements, making campaigns dynamic and impactful, reaching audiences across a range of channels at the moments that matter most.
At Pagefield, we understand the world of Westminster and Whitehall – we are specialists in Public & Regulatory Affairs with a long-history of supporting clients with tricky regulatory and policy issues. If you want to talk to us about how we can help you to engage UK political parties ahead of the General Election, please get in touch via email@example.com.