1) Educate Internal Stakeholders
According to a survey by Mavence, most public affairs professionals feel that their role is not clearly understood by other functions within their organisation — which signposts the need to start with the basics internally. Other departments can better collaborate with you when they understand what you do and why you do it.
Here are some internal education tactics you might use:
- Run information sessions for new hires: integrate an ‘Introduction to Public Affairs’ session into your onboarding programme so that new talent can hit the ground running.
- Nominate a public affairs ambassador: choose a team member who keeps key colleagues from other departments up to date on your priorities and activities. This could be through scheduled virtual coffees or monthly email snapshots.
- Formalise connections with leadership: ensure that public affairs leaders are consistently invited to strategy meetings with directors and C-suite so that your team’s perspective contributes to the organisation’s overall direction.
2) Articulate Your Impact – Backed Up With Numbers
One of the most convincing methods to illustrate the significance of your team’s effort is through tangible metrics, especially when it comes to other departments that are used to work with concrete metrics like revenue or marketing leads. Even though measuring the impact of your public affairs team can be difficult, investing time in creating a system that will enable colleagues from other departments to visualise your team’s progress is worthwhile.
You can start by measuring the ROI of your stakeholder engagement efforts by evaluating their alignment with your issues over a year. In this way, you can easily visualise how your stakeholders network evolved during that period. Want to be even more precise? You can also start tracking the sentiment of meetings with policymakers to see how receptive they are to your messaging.
💡Tip: We recommend logging your meetings as soon as possible. With Quorum’s app you can not only log your meetings in seconds, but you can also easily access and search for your information on the go.
By layering in these additional insights, you can analyse trends to dig deeper into what works and why. For example:
- Does the volume of meetings correspond to the level of importance to your organisation?
- How are your stakeholders reacting to your messaging around your key topics?
These data-backed insights will allow you to evaluate your efforts and articulate your impact.
3) Partner With the Business Unit To Identify Joint Priorities
With internal education and metrics taken care of, you’ve cleared the way for smoother collaboration within your organisation. Now all you need to do is ensure that public affairs and other departments are working to address complementary issues.
The public affairs function should flag upcoming policy proposals to the business unit, who then evaluates the financial impact on the business if such legislation were to go through. The resulting euro value helps the public affairs team decide how best to allocate resources to influence the policy outcome — and the workflow ensures that both departments remain in alignment on priorities and desired outcomes.