Managing expectations

Across public affairs, managing expectations can be difficult but also highly necessary. Sky-high or unrealistic expectations will only lead to disappointment. They should be managed from the outset. Too often when dealing with politics there is the belief that the issue only needs to be explained to them and then their position will change. But …

It’s all about Parliament

For a long time public affairs has had to consider a range of stakeholders, advisers, influencers, communications channels and campaigning techniques but now it’s time to refocus on Parliament. In some ways the approach can be considered a little ‘old fashioned’. Instead of concentrating on advisers, high profile campaigns or the media, this approach is …

How to deliver reform

According to David Miliband, the core to any successful reform programme is Government leadership, business innovation and popular mobilisation. But this takes a lot of effort to put these into place, not least using public affairs techniques. Miliband, the former Foreign Secretary and now President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, was speaking on …

What would a Labour government mean for political engagement?

While the possibilities and timing of a potential Labour government remain uncertain, attendance at their party conference shows that the chances are being taken seriously. But what would it really mean for public affairs? It was not too long ago that no-one was really taking the chance of a Labour government, especially one led by …

Should you fight back against politicians?

Many organisations seem afraid or in awe of politicians and government and what they can do. It is right that they hold many of the trump cards but it can be right to reply, maybe even forcefully. When should that happen? Government needs to be seen as all powerful. Without this, it would risk being …

Please CEOs, do not create your own crises

Reputations take careful crating and building. Too often though it is the words or actions of senior team members that rapidly undo all the hard work. But do not assume they will know how they can inflict damage themselves. Help them avoid mistakes by telling them! Communications may be considered seriously by senior teams in …

Winter is coming: North vs South

There is a serious battle about to take place between the North and South of England. The cities of the North, under the new Mayors and existing leaders, are gearing up for a battle with the South (seen largely as London). This battle will tell us not just about government priorities but also how to …

This is not the political silly season

With Parliament due to rise shortly for the Summer Recess, it is often thought that politics ‘goes quiet’ until early September. With a lack of real debate and issues to consider, the media has to find other, less important, things to talk about. This makes it the ‘Silly Season’. But this summer especially, is not …

Building the investment case: How to get money from Government

Many projects require a government contribution but the process by which this can be secured often seems opaque. So what do you need to do to get that often elusive funding? There are always more projects around than finance available, especially in the current straightened financial times. It is not that obvious that we live …

Political vigilance is needed

The Government’s recent Queen’s Speech was widely criticised for its lack of content outside of Brexit. But just because the legislative agenda looks a little thin shouldn’t mean that anyone takes the potential impact of government any less seriously. Vigilance is needed. Government will continue to operate even if it tries to avoid difficult or …