Leadership, common ground and citizen focus – a new guide for public sector comms in Northern Ireland

Public sector communications is challenging. In Northern Ireland, it is no less so. It’s also changing. By Ann Williamson, Last year, a group of professionals came together to set up the Northern Ireland Public Sector Communications Forum (NIPSCF). We have been supported in this journey by the Cabinet Office and Government Communications Services. We wanted to …

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 …

Jared O’Mara and what Labour needs to do next

Harold Wilson was wrong. It’s a day, not a week, which is a long time in politics. By Paula Keaveney, In a few days we have seen an MP’s past become a problem, an inquiry launched, a resignation, a suspension and any number of new stories and commentators emerge. In a few days an obscure …

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 …

How comms can help transform charity transparency

The TFN Live panel debate at the Institute of Fundraising Conference in Glasgow highlighted the divide between fundraisers and the rest of charity sector. But it’s a gulf that can be bridged by better communications. Fundraising has been through tough times; negative headlines, changes in legislation and changes in sources of revenue have led many …

Theresa May at CPC17: When it rains in Manchester, it pours

APCO director, Leon Cook, looks back at a turbulent week at the Conservative Party Conference. As we descended on Manchester for the annual Conservative Party conference, a tremendous amount of speculation focused on two things; could the party membership forgive Number 10 for the surprising and disappointing election campaign; and would Prime Minister Theresa May …

How CEOs create their own crises. And what can you do about it?

Your CEO is the face, voice, and personality of your business. Along with the rest of the C-Suite, their words and actions can rapidly reinforce or ruin a reputation you and your communications team have worked tirelessly to build. ‘Stuart Thomson, head of public affairs at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP and CIPR trainer explains in …

Communicating in a politically charged environment

Many organisations have to deal with the reality of communicating in a politically charged environment day in, day out. But what does that mean for their communications and what steps should they take? In the first place, it is important to consider what a politically charged environment really is. It is more than dealing with …