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by GK Strategy 28th March, 2017
3 min read

5 Things That All Great Public Affairs Consultants Do

Great consultants are hard to find, they come from different walks of life, have different experience, different strengths and perspectives, but what do they all have in common? here are my pick of five things I think all great public affairs consultants do well:

  1. Take time to understand their client: Great consultancy requires an in depth understanding of the client. What is the organisation trying to achieve, how can public affairs help? What are the internal dynamics at play? What can realistically be achieved within the time and resources available?
  2. Get on top of a brief quickly: Understanding the political, policy and regulatory challenges for the client, the real barriers, real threats and opportunities. Challenge your perceptions, check and double check assumptions. Great consultants have the ability to ask the right questions and quickly work out where the strategy needs to focus. What can be won or lost and who will be the key people involved.
  3. Know a good argument when they see it (and a poor one): Great consultants tell their clients when their argument is weak, work with them to build their case and ensure that it is supported by evidence based research, and third party and independent support. Increasingly this matters as policy making and regulators are under scrutiny as never before. Spin, fluff and conjecture will leave both the client and decision maker exposed.
  4. Communicate effectively (to anyone): All great consultants are great communicators, able to judge their audience, use appropriate facts, build rapport and respect and importantly play to the interest (and egos) of the person they are talking to, whether its convincing a client, a politician, or an official, they always inspire trust and confidence.
  5. Get creative to get a message out there: Finding interesting ways to build support for your client, think outside the box, explore new angles and use every opportunity to present the argument to those who are important. Great consultants can do both detail and creativity, need an armoury of tactics in their toolbox, and an ability to give something new a go too.

GK is always on the lookout for great consultants – if you think the above sounds like you then get in touch with careers@gkstrategy.com!

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