Public Affairs and Lobbying

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Public affairs and lobbying
1. WHAT IS PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND WHO ENGAGES IN IT? IS IT THE SAME THING AS LOBBYING? Public affairs is a term used to describe an organisation’s relationship with stakeholders, it is a combination of media monitoring and thorough research. Practitioners can work either 'in house' for a company, as an advisor for a political consultancy working with a number of clients, for a trade association or union, a political or issues based organisation (interest or pressure groups) or for a government agency. Public affairs, also known as lobbying or government affairs, is the process of making a combined effort designed to achieve some political result, usually from government agencies in producing legislation. It could also apply to raising the profile of a particular cause, or getting the go-ahead for a major project.

2. WHAT ARE ‘LANGUAGE FRAMES’, ‘NARRATIVES’ AND ‘DISCOURSES’ IN THE POLICY SPHERE? WHY SHOULD PUBLIC AFFAIRS PRACTITIONERS PAY ATTENTION TO THESE CONCEPTS.? Public practitioners should pay attention to these concepts as they are all communication related techniques. It is in reality storytelling, the art of communicating the message you wish to convey. For lobbyists to frame the language used to make their policies appeal more significant, the narrative used is an account, report, or story, of events and the discourse is choice of appropriate vocabulary, tone and level of formality in a given situation. Lobbyists frame messages in such a way as to achieve certain focus. 'lobbyists attempt to focus attention on issues, facts, and appeals that will lead to acceptance of their client's point of view' (Grunig and Hunt, 1984).

Public affairs practitioners should pay attention to these concepts as strategic storytelling makes messages memorable, and give lasting impact. Lobbyists need the element of persuasion, fact wrapped in an emotion. Representatives of the global foods industry and environmental activist groups during...
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