While there’s no secret formula for how to become a great public affairs specialist, at Hubbell Communications we believe there is a “special sauce” that sets the great public affairs specialists apart from the mediocre ones.
It goes without saying that in order to be successful in public affairs or public relations you have to be a good writer and a responsible professional, but we have found that great public affairs specialists have these five traits:
1. Great Storyteller
In any kind of issue advocacy campaign or public affairs project, the goal is to clearly and concisely tell a story. In order to get that story across, the storyteller must keep in mind their audience and not only the way in which that audience receives information, but also how they best absorb that information. For example, if your goal is to share the story of how individuals in a specific region are impacted by healthcare, you’ll want to share that story using simple, easy to understand terms and place the story in a local newspaper or on social media where members of a community frequently receive information.
Public affairs is more than just public relations. It requires specific and intentional messaging around public policy. Many times, the most important role a public affairs specialist can play in a public affairs strategy is to serve as a connector between different groups who may be able to work together to achieve a common goal. Developing and connecting nontraditional alliances around a public affairs strategy is one of the most beneficial roles a public affairs specialist can play in any campaign.
3. Detail Oriented
Details matter. In any professional environment, your team must check the boxes, understand the intricacies of the project and ensure everything that goes out the door is something every member of the team would be proud to put their name on. Public affairs projects are very nuanced. The best public affairs specialists understand how vital it is to pay attention to the details that make a project or campaign successful.
You cannot tell a story or win a campaign – especially a public affairs campaign – without fully understanding the story you are telling. Especially where public policy is concerned, public affairs specialists must understand the intricacies of the policies they are advocating for or against to develop the most effective messaging and recruit the right messengers.
The best public affairs specialists are the ones who think outside the box. No two campaigns are the same and there is no playbook for how to get your client to a win. Sometimes, the most successful strategies are the ones that, at first, no one believed would work.
If you’re interested in learning more about what makes a great public affairs specialist, or if you’re in need of guidance around a public policy campaign, feel free to contact Hubbell Communications using the form below.