Public affairs is the discipline of communication focused primarily on influencing public policy. A public affairs campaign could occur at the local, state or federal level and be aimed at influencing legislation, regulation or the outcome of a ballot initiative. In an age in which we are often overwhelmed with information, public affairs professionals have to find creative ways to break through the clutter with compelling messages on complex issues.
Public affairs professionals use the tools of modern communication to build public support for or opposition to a public policy issue. In some instances, public affairs practitioners may be called upon to build community support and understanding for a major infrastructure project or private sector development. In other cases, a public affairs campaign might be needed to build public support (or opposition) for a proposal that is being debated in a city council, state legislature or even in the United States Congress. Still other times, a public affairs firm might be asked to mount a campaign for or against a proposal that is to be decided at the ballot box.
A competitive public affairs firm will be able to develop and nurture relations between public and private organizations and influential figures, while helping their client achieve their vision and goals, no matter how delicate the subject may be.
Today’s public affair firms offer services designed to influence public opinion on a range of policy issues. Tactics that a public affairs firm might employ include:
- Digital advocacy — Leveraging the power of social media and the internet, public affairs professionals can develop and deliver highly tailored messaging for specific demographic groups
- Grassroots activation — A good public affairs firm employs professionals who are well connected to numerous interest groups and can activate them to advocate in their clients’ interests
- Coalition management — One of the oldest truisms in politics is that there is strength in numbers. Public affairs campaigns are often organized through a collective of disparate groups and individuals who act collectively to advance a common public policy goal
- Campaigns and Issue Advocacy: When an issue is to be decided at the ballot box, public affairs professionals mount sophisticated campaigns aimed at targeting and influencing voters
In today’s complex world, simple and compelling communication is vital. Good messaging and a sound strategy can put you ahead of your competition. If you want to win in the public arena, having the right public affairs team on your side is of the utmost importance. Contact Hubbell Communications today to learn more about how we can help you formulate and structure your public affairs strategy, as well as manage it for you moving forward.