With a general election looming and party conferences now weeks away, parliamentary recess presents a crucial opportunity for public affairs professionals to plan, build relationships and gear up for the challenges of the coming months.
With so much going on, it can be hard to know where to focus. While some are taking a well-earned break over summer, there are still plenty of opportunities for those working in public affairs. Here are our six essential ways to maximise summer recess.
1. Elections are coming: craft engaging messaging
Capitalise on this time by creating key messages to engage MPs.
“This summer it is particularly important for organisations to consider what they are doing to engage effectively with the Labour Party. A General Election will not be too far away so getting engagement ideas, plans and stakeholder lists in full working order should dominate the summer”, says Stuart Thompson, a Public Affairs Consultant at CWE Communications.
2. Think local
As MPs are spending time back in their constituencies, it is the perfect opportunity to engage them on local issues that matter to communities across the UK. It may be recess, but MPs are still working.
3. Build and nurture relationships beyond MPs
If your focus is still on Westminster, the good news is that Parliament, party offices and Government Departments are still staffed. Use this time to develop relationships with civil servants, Special Advisers and Political Advisers. Given their role in influencing policy, these stakeholders should not be neglected.
4. Stakeholder mapping
With Number 10 widely expected to have new residents after the general election, it’s time to focus on stakeholders from across the Opposition. Identifying and categorising those you wish to lobby in a potential Labour or coalition government needs to be on your agenda. DeHavilland’s stakeholder management tool can help you to identify key stakeholders and helps you engage them in a variety of ways.
5. Strategic reflection and goal setting
Reflect on your advocacy efforts by recognising your achievements so far this year and identifying areas for improvement. Setting new goals for the rest of the year can also help with motivation and give you and your team something to aim towards.
6. Plan for party conference season
Party conference season provide plenty of valuable advocacy opportunities. From engaging dozens of stakeholders in person and hearing new and upcoming policy positions first-hand, to assessing the climate of each party ahead of the general election, party conferences are certainly worth attending.
Whether you need assistance building relationships with stakeholders, monitoring the political landscape or planning for conference, our team are here to help.
Contact us to elevate your public affairs strategy and drive impactful change.