Public affairs consultant

Description

Public affairs consultants function as representatives for a client’s goal. They attempt to persuade legislative bodies and policy makers to implement laws or regulation in accordance with the client’s wishes, and negotiate with parties with potentially conflicting interests. They perform analytical and research duties in order to ensure that the client’s cause is being addressed in an appropriate way to the appropriate parties. They also consult their clients on their causes and policies.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to public affairs consultant:

public affairs agent
public affairs specialist
public information consultant
public relations consultant
corporate and public affairs consultant
communication and public affairs specialist
public affairs officer
public affairs activist
press and public affairs specialist
corporate & public affairs consultant
lobbyist
public affairs & communication consultant
external relations consultant
external relations specialist
public affairs and communication consultant
public relations specialist

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as public affairs consultant. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Public affairs consultant is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Public affairs consultant career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to public affairs consultant.

member of parliament
diplomat
senator
provincial governor
international relations officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of public affairs consultant. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of public affairs consultant with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of public affairs consultant.

Government policy implementation: The procedures related to the application of government policies at all levels of public administration.
Legislation procedure: The procedures involved in the making of laws and legislation, such as which organisations and individuals are involved, the process of how bills become laws, the proposal and reviewing process, and other steps in the legislation procedure.
Diplomatic principles: The practices of facilitating agreements or international treaties with other countries by conducting negotiations and attempting to protect the interests of the home government, as well as facilitating compromise.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of public affairs consultant.

Apply diplomatic principles: Apply the processes involved in the creation of international treaties by conducting negotiations between representatives of different countries, protecting the home government’s interests, and facilitating compromise.
Protect client interests: Protect the interests and needs of a client by taking necessary actions, and researching all possibilities, to ensure that the client obtains their favoured outcome.
Think analytically: Produce thoughts using logic and reasoning in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Maintain relationships with government agencies: Establish and maintain cordial working relationships with peers in different governmental agencies.
Advise on conflict management: Advise private or public organisations on monitoring possible conflict risk and development, and on conflict resolution methods specific to the identified conflicts.
Influence legislators: Influence the organisations and individuals involved in the process of making or changing legislation and laws in order to obtain a desired result, by identifying which parties would be best to contact and using persuasive methods to influence their actions and decisions.
Advise on legislative acts: Advise officials in a legislature on the propositioning of new bills and the consideration of items of legislation.
Manage government policy implementation: Manage the operations of the implementation of new government policies or changes in existing policies on a national or regional level as well as the staff involved in the implementation procedure.
Perform political negotiation: Perform debate and argumentative dialogue in a political context, using negotiation techniques specific to political contexts in order to obtain the desired goal, ensure compromise, and maintain cooperative relations.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of public affairs consultant. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Government representation: The legal and public representation methods and procedures of the government during trial cases or for communication purposes, and the specific aspects of the governmental bodies being represented in order to ensure accurate representation.
Political science: The systems of government, the methodology concerning the analysis of political activity and behaviour, and the theory and practice of influencing people and acquiring governance.
Legal research: The methods and procedures of research in legal matters, such as the regulations, and different approaches to analyses and source gathering, and the knowledge on how to adapt the research methodology to a specific case to obtain the required information.
Rhetoric: The art of discourse that aims at improving the ability of writers and speakers to inform, persuade or motivate their audience.
Legal terminology: The special terms and phrases used in the field of law.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of public affairs consultant. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Advise on public relations: Advise business or public organisations on public relations management and strategies in order to ensure efficient communication with target audiences, and proper conveying of information.
Establish collaborative relations: Establish a connection between organisations or individuals which may benefit from communicating with one another in order to facilitate an enduring positive collaborative relationship between both parties.
Present arguments persuasively: Present arguments during a negotiation or debate, or in written form, in a persuasive manner in order to obtain the most support for the case the speaker or writer represents.
Moderate in negotiations: Oversee negotiations between two parties as a neutral witness to ensure that the negotiations occur in a friendly and productive manner, that a compromise is reached, and that everything is compliant with legal regulations.
Conduct public surveys: Conduct the procedures of a public survey from the initial formulation and compilation of the questions, identifying the target audience, managing the survey method and operations, managing the processing of acquired data, and analysing the results.
Facilitate official agreement: Facilitate an official agreement between two disputing parties, ensuring that both parties agree on the resolution which has been decided on, as well as writing the necessary documents and ensuring both parties sign it.
Monitor political conflicts: Monitor the possibility and development of political conflicts in specific contexts, such as in or between political parties, governments, or between different countries, as well as identifying its potential impact on government operations, and public safety.
Perform public relations: Perform public relations (PR) by managing the spread of information between an individual or an organisation and the public.
Liaise with politicians: Liaise with officials fulfilling important political and legislative roles in governments in order to ensure productive communication and build relations.
Assess risk factors: Determine the influence of economical, political and cultural risk factors and additional issues.
Advise on public image: Advise a client such as a politician, artist or another individual dealing with the public on how to present themselves in a way which would gain most favour from the general public or a target audience.
Build international relations: Build positive communication dynamics with organisations from different countries in order to build a cooperative relationship and optimise information exchange.

ISCO group and title

2432 – Public relations professionals

 

 


 

 

References
  1. Public affairs consultant – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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