Public Affairs: Strategic Communications

Ensuring Communications Are Strategic

EMA’s PA team insists on giving clients communications plans that are truly strategic and collaborative — because our clients’ challenges demand and deserve nothing less.

Our public affairs clients are trying to favorably influence decisions — executive, legislative, or regulatory — that are essential to their business interests. Knee-jerk press-agent grinding — placing a story, any story, in any paper, at any time — is never adequate. The communications needs of 21st-century clients are both complex and subtle. Rare is the PA problem that can be solved with a news release or two, an interview with a friendly columnist, and a couple of dial-and-hope phone pitches to The New York Times or the Watertown Daily Times.

In public affairs, truly strategic communications plans are laser-focused on the client’s specific business goals. They demand close, active collaboration with many players within the client’s organization and within the client’s network of other consultants — lobbyists, lawyers, engineers, technical consultants, and so on. And they require awareness of the perceptions and objections of the many stakeholders in the arena: elected officials, bloggers, candidates, regulators, tweeters, journalists, advocates, community groups, and citizens.

A cookie cutter won’t do this job.

EMA is a collaborative organization — both within our own offices and departments and with our clients. Our client relationships work most effectively and efficiently when there is a strategic partnership involving the client, EMA and any other entities involved in the project. This is particularly true in public affairs and issues management, where we work hand in glove with any combination of inside and outside legal counsel, government affairs professionals, on-site operations teams, in-house public relations departments and any other parties that are integral to success.

EMA’s model is simple and contains four main components:

  • Research: We work with you to drill down beyond the top line of data to know and understand the issues.
  • Collaboration: You know your side, we know ours. By combining your expertise with ours, we can create a formidable strategic team.
  • Clarity: Honest and forthright communications in both directions serves everyone’s interests.
  • Results: We define success in your terms, and focus all efforts on achieving it.

EMA recognizes that every public affairs challenge is unique. We work with our many teammates, within the client’s circle and within EMA, to shape just the right messaging to highlight the benefits of the client’s goals. Once these key messages are finely honed and fully vetted by the client, we determine who should get them, and how and when they can best be delivered. This three-step process — shaping messages, identifying messengers, and utilizing message delivery systems — is repeated as needed until the client secures the desired outcome.

Sean L. Casey Public Affairs

For the last 25 years, Sean has provided public affairs and public relations strategic counsel and tactical support to clients ranging from major corporations and law firms, to not-for-profit and higher education organizations.

  • (518) 618-1502
  • scasey at mower dot com