How to get your voice heard through Brexit and beyond

Date posted: 15/02/2019

by Dr Stuart Thomson

With just six weeks to go until 29th March, it is important to remember that there will be life beyond Brexit. At some point the seemingly endless discussions and arguments will come to an end and normality, thankfully, will resume.

Until then, however, for those of you not obsessed with the Brexit issue and those with other ideas and priorities, it is important to be heard during the next six weeks and in the aftermath. Here are our tips on how to get heard:

Think about the political priorities ahead

When Brexit is over, politicians on all sides will turn their minds to the next election, which will open up some listening space for your voice to be heard. For Labour, their next manifesto will look largely the same as the last one; it will just be a little more ‘developed’. For the Conservatives, it is likely we will see a leadership change, which could mean a change in priorities and a new manifesto.

Be creative

Take up issues that are being discussed, so you can be seen as responsive and proactive. This may call for some flexibility on your part, which is no bad thing.

What can be done in advance?

If the politicians are not listening, which may be the case for a bit longer yet, then think about
what else you can do in the immediate future. You might be better off spending time developing grassroots support, building a media network or spending time cultivating potential supporters. This should all be considered as part of your campaign timetable. It’s all useful and means that you won’t be wasting any valuable time or resources.

Collaborate with others

Don’t ignore the power of the collective voice, both during this Brexit time and in the future. Coming together and collaborating so that you can be heard a little louder might just be the trigger to get your voice heard.

Work with the processes

Now is not the time to strike out on your own and reinvent the political process. Instead know and understand how to engage in the policy-making process and work with that. The more ‘rebellious’ you are when politicians have their own challenges, the less favourably you will be looked at.

You can be heard throughout and beyond Brexit but you need to consider what the politicians want, not just what you want to say. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

Dr Stuart Thomson is a political communications and public affairs consultant with BDB Pitmans.

He advises on public affairs strategies including political and corporate communications and reputation management. His work also includes consultation and planning communications and he has advised on a number of high profile media relations and crisis communications programmes. His thesis, ‘The Social Democratic Dilemma’, went on to form the basis of a book published by Macmillan.

Stuart is an honorary research fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen and the author of several books including ‘New Activism and the Corporate Response’, ‘Public Affairs in Practice’ and ‘Public Affairs: A Global Perspective’.

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