How COVID is Changing Public Affairs

How COVID is Changing Public Affairs

By GARY NUZZI, Senior Vice President

Tactics public affairs professionals should leverage now, and as the pandemic eventually wanes

Executive Summary

While the current wave of Delta has slowed down America’s reopening, we remain hopeful for a post-pandemic world and focused on how to continue our advocacy through this challenge. There are two questions we hear over and over from clients, employees, members and more:

As public affairs professionals, we are always keeping our eyes forward on the horizon, looking for the best new tactics or opportunities to present our case, burnish our reputation, and advocate for effective policy. We’ve identified four trends we are going to watch in the coming year that could have a large impact on the way our work is done.

The Four Trends

Key Trends

  1. Virtual meetings with members of Congress are here to stay.
  2. Host in-person events when safe for increased impact.
  3. Your reputational boost is short-lived and needs attention.

Keys We’re Tracking

  1. What does work from home mean for politics?

Download the report as a PDF

1. Virtual meetings with members of Congress are here to stay.

During the pandemic members became very comfortable with, or resigned to, holding fundraising calls, townhalls and more over virtual platforms.

 image for congress virtual meetings

Key Takeaways

  1. Use virtual meetings to present a diverse, inclusive and therefore more influential group of advocates to members.
  2. Schedule virtual meetings not just in advance, but also push for them during key moments in time relevant to your organization.

2. Host in-person events when safe for increased impact.

The pandemic has and continues to challenge each and every one of us. Many continue to face those challenges with a limited network of family and friends to support them.

 image for in person
 

Key Takeaways

  1. Work to have in-person events once it is safe to do so.
  2. The novelty window for in-person events won’t last long or forever.

3. Your reputational boost is short-lived and needs attention.

The pandemic saw many facets of American life come together to help.

 image for reputation boost

Key Takeaways

  1. Use the relative lull in activity to assess and plan for how to protect and grow your reputation.
  2. Capture the impact and success of efforts taken during the pandemic to share stories and data targeted to key members to demonstrate your work.
  3. Ensure you have advocates and employees re-engaged and ready to act after what has likely been months of few calls to action.

4. Keys we’re tracking: What does work from home mean for politics?

If you’ve read anything about work, you’ve read about what the impact may be as more and more Americans work from home going forward.

 image for work from home

Key Takeaways

  1. Will a growing professional work from home class lead to a purple shift in more states or districts?
  2. How might 2021 redistricting be affected?
  3. What opportunities for new and increased influence and pressure on members and coalitions form if once solid communities experience a shift?

For more information on each trend, download the full report below.

Download the report as a PDF