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Reciprocity between politics and those it affects

An increasing amount of political decisions on local, national and EU level are impacting the prerequisites for Nordic businesses, authorities and organisations. At the same time it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict what these decisions will be and in which direction public opinion will turn. For this reason the area of Public Affairs has become increasingly important in recent decades. Public Affairs is about building the bridge between the realities of politics and policy and the realities of the business sector. 


Setting the agenda

To win sympathy for an issue in the political world you need to be able to set the agenda. This applies to companies and organisations as well as to political parties vying for votes. The one setting the agenda and having the right relationships can gain support in public opinion and, in the long run, also among decision makers.

In order to establish your “view of reality” as a relevant view you need to be perceived as a legitimate and socially relevant player. This in turn calls for the ability to place the goals you want to pursue into a critical social context.

According to the classic view, Public Affairs is chiefly a matter of building relationships and winning friends. While good relationships are still crucial, successful Public Affairs in today’s world is broader. To achieve status as a legitimate player with political significance you also need to have a relevant role to play in society. Today, Public Affairs is to a greater extent a matter of winning public opinion, and equally as much about winning the battle over the details of the issue at hand.

The bridge between politics and business

Today, companies’ capacity to develop strategies to manage political and regulatory risks and opportunities is strongly correlated to the future success of the business.

The ability to interpret political conditions, understand the political decision-making process, build good relationships with political decision makers and convey messages to politicians is of vital importance for companies in achieving their business objectives. Public Affairs is therefore a crucial element in a company or organisation’s communication. Public Affairs does not involve informing and influencing anyone and everyone who will listen, but rather always having the right knowledge of political conditions and the decision-making processes in politics.

JKL’s advice is always built around achieving the client’s business objectives. Our advice is based on sophisticated analytical tools that look at a combined picture of political probability and business relevant factors. We offer our clients concrete decision data on which executive management can base their actions. The analytical tools used by JKL provide a foundation for setting priorities and give our clients a roadmap to influence both public opinion and important decision makers.


What does it take for a public affairs strategy to be successful?

How have the skill sets for practitioners changed over time?
Is social media important to public affairs experts? How has it influenced the field?
Peter Steere, head of public affairs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, answers these questions and shares insights into the public affairs arena.