Don’t let the election get in the way

For those of us working in public affairs the long election campaign has become all consuming.  But beyond the endless speculation about the result, what are the best agencies and in-house practitioners doing to make the most of a year immersed in political events? We are in uncharted territory: the fixed-term parliament act and the emergence of minor parties has changed the shape of how we work. The main parties are holding back their headline policies, no longer under pressure to be ready for a snap election. And as most pollsters assume that no one party will form new a government, attention is focused as much on future coalition talks as the contest itself. And yet there are still causes that need advancing, policies that need to be promoted and politicians that we want to engage.

Connect Communications this week launched its new General Election service offering new training courses, analysis of parliamentary candidates and engagement plans to help organisations make the most of an election year. Our flagship training course, How to deliver public affairs in an election year, launched this week and was attended by public policy professionals from a range of not-for-profits, trade associations and charities. The course offers up-to-the minute polling from our partner ComRes as well as detailed information on the election timetable and likely scenarios for the campaign and beyond. The final session focuses on the practical approaches organisations can take to keep make their messages resonate through the election and to hit the ground running in the new Parliament. Following the success of this sell-out training session the course will run again on 5th March 2015.

Charles Pitt, one of Connect’s team of trainers said afterwards: “If you are working in politics then this year is going to prove very exciting. It was clear that those who came to the course want to really get to grips with the challenges of the election – new parties, new people and a very uncertain outcome. But they were also keen to learn how to make the most of it for their own organisations. Whatever the outcome, come June there will be new ministers and a new programme of legislation – the smartest people in public affairs won’t hang around for a result before they get planning. If there are things you want to achieve in 2015 then you cannot let the election get in the way.”

Charlie Wells, who joined Connect as a graduate trainee in January, also attended the course: “There was a lot of information to take in but the course was the right pace for any level. It has really fired me up for what should prove an exciting year.”

To find out more about our training courses and General Election service click here.

Lora Shopova