Making a mark during an election year

by Leon Cook, Founder Partner

2024 is going to be the year of political upheaval. Over 40 countries head to the polls this year – including key players on the world stage, such as the United States, Taiwan and likely, the UK. With bets on if the UK’s general election will be in the Spring, Autumn, or even January 2025, the nation is potentially facing its biggest political change in 13 years.

As we start this pivotal year, here are three tips for how organisations planning their public affairs engagement can most effectively educate, impact and influence in 2024:

  1. Build the new network but don’t neglect the current one – During a potentially tumultuous year, with the political world constantly moving, it is important to cultivate your network to develop new relationships. Each new contact offers an opportunity to learn fresh insights or partnerships. It is equally as important to nurture existing contacts as they can also lead to new opportunities – you just need to know what to ask! Looking at current election polling, one doesn’t need to be clairvoyant to envisage who will be in power in a year’s time and to build connections with Labour stakeholders. That said, the famous adage of a week being a long time in politics, couldn't be truer. Neglect the Conservatives at your peril.
  2. Ensure clear messaging – In a year when there will be a constant stream of communications, clear and concise messaging is key. Ensure you set yourself out from the crowd by making sure what you say is both thoughtful and impactful. It is easy to speak for the sake of it, but to cut through the noise you must be able to make your point stand out and be meaningful. To do this, consider who your audience is, what they want to hear, but also what they are hearing elsewhere – what makes you different and where can you add value.
  3. Expect the unexpected – There is little we can accurately predict about 2024, with everything constantly moving, and as we know, there is no such thing as a sure thing in Westminster - just look at 1992, 2017 and 2019. As such, embracing change is key for effective influencing this year. When you are thrown a curveball, use the expertise you have to hand, such as senior counsel, to help you react to unexpected developments. Using industry experts, and their wealth of knowledge, your response can be timely and accurate – key for any developing campaign.  

If you would like insights on how you can best prepare for the election, the year ahead or your campaign strategy – or other political events happening worldwide – get in touch.  

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