The social and economic impact of the Covid-19 health will linger for a long time, bringing with it new priorities and ideas forward. Public Affairs professionals need to be open to changing the way they communicate not just with decision and policy makers but with society as a whole. They need to challenge themselves and go beyond the established practices and methods they have relied on so far. While in-person contact will remain important, remote stakeholder meetings, virtual conferences and events, most likely will become the norm.

Companies will be expected to showcase their contribution to society beyond the generation of wealth or employment. In this sense, positioning a specific business or sector as a generator of public benefits will be essential to its efforts to drive policy change. From a practical perspective, companies will be expected to contribute positively to policy-making, instead of trying to block decisions.

Companies and businesses will need to incorporate their contribution to the economic and social recovery into their messaging.  Companies active in the public policy arena will be asked to elaborate on their efforts to contribute to the coming recovery. This should be done with a certain degree of humility, carefully calibrating the importance that a given company or sector actually has on these fronts.

Public Affairs professionals need to diversify the channels they traditionally deploy in Brussels. Now that the potential of virtual meetings and events have been fully tested by necessity, there will be an increased use of these ‘new’ – and more cost-efficient platforms replacing in-person gatherings. The value of digital communications in the field of Public Affairs in Brussels has become an unquestionable truth, making it necessary for all stakeholders active in the EU policy arena to equip themselves with all the assets, tools and resources necessary to deploy fully integrated campaigns.

It is not enough for Public Affairs professionals to simply have the ‘in’,they also need to provide meaningful strategic advice, guidance and insight. The industry will be come more formal. If online formats of engagement become a permanent means of communication, relationships between public affairs professionals and stakeholders may be come more detail-focused and data-driven at the expense of more casual personal engagement. With a decline  in the ability of individuals to engage in person, public affairs professionals will be increasingly judged on value creation and targeted delivery.


Public affairs in this important time of post lockdown economic recovery should be an integral part of decision-making in all organizations. Remote working is here to stay and those who embrace the digital tools available for their Public Affairs efforts will be able to reach their intended audience above those who maintain the use of traditional methods. Government departments and policy makers are increasingly engaging in virtual dialogue with their audiences. Given the phased easing of lockdown measures, it is likely to mean encouragement of remote working for some time to come and the same applies to the public sector. Public Affairs practitioners need to adapt their strategies to the fact that in person meetings, consultations and events will be taking place virtually for the foreseeable future. The benefit of this is that there is greater accessibility, which will positively impact engagement. Public Affairs has been at the core of some of the most important issues during the COVID-19 crisis. Whereas companies used to have to develop campaigns over many months, governments have been in full listening mode and opened up new virtual channels of communications to enable more rapid decision making. Governments around the globe are reviewing economic policy to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, protecting jobs and dealing with potential long-term implications. Every business sector will see increased involvement from the state with various interventionist measures in the medium term to steer the recovery of their country. This is a time when Public Affairs should address the increased demands from businesses for the skills and resources required that can shape policy decisions to their operations on a greater scale than before. Ultimately there will be a shared burden on companies and individuals on helping governments pay off massive debts incurred and for paying for health and social services. The repercussions of this can include an emphasis on Companies need to engage closely with government and plan for this new level of expectation. We do not yet know how long the COVID-19 crisis will last and what the ultimate long-term effects will be. What is certain is that governments will be working on urgent recovery efforts for the coming months to bring their economies back on course. Public Affairs needs to closely monitor for developments in all areas that may affect an organization as this remains a fast moving situation. In the review period of the COVID-19 crisis, organizations should use the opportunity to advocate for a new way of doing things. Businesses need to factor in activist challenges across a range of activities, particularly around tax, environment, and employment rights. Whilst these may not necessarily be new issues, they will have been given impetus and wider public support by the crisis.

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