In today’s fast-paced world when nearly everything can be done digitally to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, businesses cannot ignore the importance of using digital public affairs to achieve advocacy success. With many companies relying on digital communications specialists, digital advocacy software, and advanced data-driven campaigns, it’s obvious that digital public affairs are a recurring character in day-to-day business interactions.
The Public Affairs Council defines public affairs as, “a multi-faceted function where lobbyists, grassroots advocacy specialists, policy experts, political involvement specialists and communications professionals coordinate their activities to achieve advocacy success.”
According to Public Affairs Advisor Steffen Moller, there are three levels of public affairs, which include 1) supporting day-to-day public affairs, 2) utilizing digital technology as a campaign tool, and 3) digital and internal communications.
If your business utilizes public affairs in any way for its business functions, then you will want to ensure that you are getting the most out of your efforts. Here are a few key trends from The Public Affairs Council that you should observe:
1) Visual Storytelling:
Including visual elements, such as pictures, videos, infographics, charts, and graphs to accompany your text, which I discussed in another blog post, will keep your intended audience’s attention and make them far more likely to retain the information you’re conveying.
2) Social Media for Government Relations and Thought Leadership:
Social media can be a useful tool for public affairs professionals if they use it to direct content to influential audiences such as reporters, policymakers, grassroots supporters, and other online stakeholders. The internet is the key mode of communication between businesses and individuals in the digital age, so it just makes sense to utilize this technology in a business where cross-coordination is key. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can help public affairs professionals share their thoughts on an issue and showcase their expertise.
3) Data-Driven Advocacy:
It is imperative, in the public affairs industry, to use data to inform advocacy and communications campaigns, because data helps target advocacy efforts and can be a huge improvement to key performance metrics. Overall, data backs up campaign efforts and is, therefore, a major stepping stone to securing advocates.
4) Online Reputation Management:
In any industry, especially public affairs, online reputation directly impacts how key players in the industry view your business. For public affairs professionals, reputation is everything when it comes to building positive relationships with the public and the professionals behind their advocacy campaigns. Your organization’s online reputation can be positively or negatively affected by any piece of content relating to your organization, from blog posts to news articles to social media mentions to consumer reviews. People are likely to search a company on the internet before using their services or offering support, so for public affairs professionals who obviously want to have successful advocacy campaigns, it pays to focus efforts on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing to optimize positive search results.
Unfortunately, digital trends can’t be ignored in the public affairs industry if public affairs professionals want to have any success with their campaigns, but luckily it only takes a few steps to stand out and maximize campaign potential.