Public Affairs Career Advice
As public affairs recruiters everyone at E&A has what we feel is a privileged line of sight into many private and public organisations wanting to maintain or increase their public affairs activity. The public affairs discipline has travelled a considerable distance in the last 10 years. It continues to grow in numbers and reputation with increasing satisfaction from those that buy it. By that I mean the decision makers within organisations that purchase consultancy advice or in-house expertise.
Ellwood and Atfield Team
More and more, Ellwood & Atfield is asked to recruit public affairs practitioners into newly created roles. Recently we were asked by one of the worlds largest companies to recruit a public affairs expert as they had little or no representation in Europe and now was the time to change that.
Career wise public affairs is an attractive destination industry in itself, and not a sub-specialism of public relations or regulatory law as has historically been the case. Attractive because public affairs operates best at the very heart of an organisation, with a line to the top table. Where else would you find a relatively junior manager briefing a CEO? Because of this it is viewed increasingly by serious candidates as a place to go if you’re keen to influence and drive change.
Planning a career in public affairs means thinking strategically, that is thinking three to seven years ahead. This industry continues to undergo rapid change, and predicting what it will look like in the future is difficult. However, your career won’t go far wrong if you follow three rules:
Rule 1. Don’t be siloed. Keep abreast of developments in your sister disciplines, especially media relations, social responsibility and policy development.
Rule 2. Measure your success. Public affairs can measurably influence the success of an organisation; make sure your work does just that.
Rule 3. Manage your reputation. Understand the importance of your reputation as well as that of the organisation or individual you represent.