A prediction for how technology will impact public affairs in 2019

Public Affairs Trends 2019

Date posted: 29/11/2018

With organisations facing demands to do more with less, technology has become a great enabler in the drive to increase efficiency. Public affairs professionals typically use as many as ten different tools to help with their various workflows: online calendars, project management software, collaborative documents, parliamentary monitoring, messaging services, and more.

Little progress has been made, however, when it comes to collaborative working between disparate organisations, who often spend large amounts of time and money individually trying to impact the same issues as each other, often to no avail.

In 2019, advanced technology that enables organisations to collaborate with ease will see organisations increasingly working together to effect change. We predict that this will revolutionise the sector in the following three ways:


Levelling the playing field

A combined voice is more powerful than one voice. Smaller organisations who have never had sufficient resources or contacts to impact policy will be able to work with each other, and in some cases with larger organisations, to create a stronger and more unified voice. Size of organisation and budget will become less relevant, whilst the ability to create strong, collaborative campaigns will become more important.


A voice for niche issues

The perceived size of specific issues will also become less of a factor. Niche issues will benefit hugely from greater inter-organisational collaboration. By joining together, organisations working on relatively unknown or specific issues – often without representation from trade associations or other umbrella groups – will be able to take a coordinated approach to ensure their voice is heard.


“Decision-makers don’t want individual organisations all talking at the same time. They want to know what the line is on an issue.”
Brian Lamb, Special Education Consortium


Greater efficiency

One obvious benefit of organisations working together rather than separately is the bottom line. The implications of this are not just financial; it will mean faster change, access to a wider pool of skill and expertise, and less duplication. Fewer decisions about which campaign takes priority based on the resources available will need to be made, as organisations start to tap into the each other’s resources, divvying out tasks to others, and taking advantage of greater, more focussed expertise.

More sophisticated ways of working with colleagues and with other organisations will bring an end to what has been a lone wolf style of campaigning, as technology enables us to enter an era of collaboration and all the benefits it brings.

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