Are you an EU public affairs professional in isolation? Do you want to stay focused and effective, but having trouble collecting your thoughts?
We are all in the same boat! In order to make it easier to focus our minds, at LP Brussels we’ve created a list of tips and tricks for getting your message across to EU officials and politicians in an effective way during isolation.
1. Review and refocus. Have a look at your EU public affairs strategy and check whether you might need to review, update or refocus. You might choose to update it in view of recent events and refocus on using your resources effectively online.
2. Make sure your messaging is strong and presented in an understandable way. If you have more time on your hands, why not reread and update your position papers, making sure your arguments are clear and presented in a digestible way. Take your time to add some graphs and/or put together an infographic (or rather pay your freelance designer to do that ????)
3. Stay in contact. Try to convert any upcoming physical meetings into virtual ones, but also check-in with contacts with whom you haven’t been able to catch-up with in a while. Staying in contact, sharing ideas and experiences will be helpful during this time. But be careful not to overload yourself and keep some time for solitary work and concentration.
4. Take some time to expand your horizons or refresh your knowledge on the practice of public affairs, looking into recent studies – for example this one from the PAC, books, articles etc. Check out any online training programmes and/or webinars.
5. Respond to EU consultations and calls for feedback. One of the first steps in the legislative process is stakeholder consultations and calls for feedback and the Commission launches those regularly. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe here to receive all notifications for new consultations. Responses are submitted in writing and if you are going through a slow period, this might be an opportunity to really give the Commission’s questions some thought, consult with your colleagues and put together a meaningful contribution.
6. Follow up on meetings with EU officials. Review any follow up opportunities from meetings you’ve been having with EU officials and politicians in the last few months, share with them any recent relevant research that your organisation has produced that might be helpful in answering their questions, put them in contact with colleagues that have expert knowledge of topics they are working on.
7. Keep up with EU institutions’ work. The EU institutions are still working, albeit erratically. So make sure you stay up to speed with their latest timetables – for example, today we found out that the publication of the Biodiversity Strategy will be postponed by about a month, from 25 March to 29 April. Here you can find the agendas for College of Commissioners meetings, which are very good indicators for official publication dates.
8. Work with the EPRS and/or JRC. Check whether the research wings of the European Parliament (EPRS) and the European Commission (JRC) are working on anything relevant to your business and whether you can provide them with any information, put them in contact with experts from your company or answer any questions they may have.
9. Use online media. Most online media which are widely read in Brussels – such as Politico or Euractiv – offer different corporate packages that can give you access to their services either in the form of original reporting or the publication of your companies reports, interviews, pieces of research.
10. Use social media. People will be spending a lot of time online, getting their news and information from social media. While Twitter is very widely used and can allow you to put forward concise messages, LinkedIn can also be very useful for professional communications – either in the form of short posts or longer blog posts. You can also engage with EU officials and politicians through social media, check out which of those relevant to your work are active on the different platforms.