2020 was a year full of uncertainties and the COVID-19 pandemic forced almost 70 percent of public affairs professionals to dramatically shift the way they do their jobs. That is according to a new survey of over 300 public affairs professionals representing every industry of the global economy conducted by FiscalNote and CQ Roll Call.
Despite all the uncertainties of this past year, the trends impacting public affairs professionals seem all too familiar. The survey found:
- Teams are staying small, with nearly half of public affairs teams comprising three or fewer people, and nearly 70% comprising six or fewer;
- Regulatory uncertainty is increasing, with more than 50% of respondents identifying regulatory activity as the biggest shift (besides COVID) impacting their industry;
- And there is not enough time in the day to cover the expanding volume of issues you need to monitor and understand.
It is this last trend that gets at the crux of the challenges facing public affairs professionals. The four biggest challenges facing respondents to the survey were, “Team size too small” (50%), “Volume of issues you need to monitor” (46%), “lack of budget” (45%), and “not enough time” (41%). So if you feel stretched thin and overwhelmed, at least you know you are not alone. In fact, FiscalNote noted in its report on the survey results, “Over 77 percent of respondents said that the number of public policy issues their organization is tracking has increased [in the past year], with almost 40 percent saying that the number has increased significantly. Contrast that with the earlier responses that teams are staying small, and you’re left with a staggering amount of information that organizations need to discover, monitor, and report on to internal and external stakeholders.”
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It is no wonder, then, that the top stressor (59.4%) among the public affairs pros surveyed was “Fear of missing something related to legislation/regulation,” closely followed by “political environment” (58.3%) and “time constraints” (55%). Nearly eight out of ten public affairs professionals believe they sometimes or often miss key updates, and one out of ten is too overwhelmed to even know if they missed something. That means just one out of ten public affairs pros thinks they never miss a thing.
That fear is exactly why we launched Delve five years ago. Since then, effectively leveraging competitive intelligence for public affairs has quickly become a best practice.
Given the small size of many public affairs teams, they may not have the capacity to track and analyze crucial developments – especially when their time is best spent translating that analysis into action to advance the objectives and interests of their organization or clients.
That’s where Delve comes in – our team of rigorously trained analysts leverages innovative techniques and cutting edge technology to ensure we don’t miss a thing that matters to your interests, while distilling those insights into an actionable, easily digestible format. This approach is how our insights change your outcomes.