By Lucas Silva, Director of Public Affairs- Miami
Every company in the world works within a regulatory framework, answering to decision-makers and governments executing political strategies that, hopefully, aim to strengthen the country and increase the well-being of its people. For this reason, many companies and organizations have a public affairs department, because they believe that they are not only a business, but also a key stakeholder in the environment in which they operate.
Whereas many public affairs professionals within a company have deep knowledge about their role, their deliverables and their political environment, decisions in this field are critical for the operation of the entire business. That is why more and more companies are looking for skilled public affairs advisers in order to develop strategies that will define their relationship with key stakeholders. But, why do they need this kind of advice?
I believe that there are two overarching reasons to work with a public affairs expert and one way to find the right one.
Broader Perspective. Nowadays, competing goals need to be accomplished at the same time, and it is easy to confuse urgency and relevancy. Public affairs professionals in a company need to resolve multiple problems at the same time, and in some cases multitasking is a barrier to focusing on real and relevant matters. A good public affairs expert will always analyze an issue with a broad perspective, keeping in mind all of the different pieces that could potentially impact the business.
Neutrality. Decisions made by a public affairs practitioner directly affect business, and that may also impact their job. That is why, when facing an important issue, the close, personal nature of a public affairs matter could play a critical role. When the time comes, a public affair professional’s neutral, impartial advice will be necessary.
Now that we have established the reasons why companies need an experienced public affairs adviser, the question remains: how do you find the right one? And there is a simple answer, yet difficult to put in practice, as it requires one to set aside one’s ego and think rationally about the best adviser on whom they could depend.
If you know a public affairs practitioner who is, or could be, a loyal friend, is quite possibly smarter than you, and you believe that they could do a better job than you, this means that you have found a public affairs adviser on whom you can rely.
This person can not only help build a brighter future for your organization, but also a stronger future for your own career. Go forth and find your trusted adviser. Your business will thank you for it.