Are you thinking of a career in public affairs?
Awesome! It’s a great place to be.
In this blog post, we’ll go over a typical day for someone in public affairs so you’ll know what you can expect if and when you land your dream job.
Each day will be a little bit different, depending on what type of company you work for. So, we’ll go over a few of the different types of public affairs roles and things you might do.
Read on for more.
What is Public Affairs?
Public affairs is a catch-all term to describe a company’s relationship with either the public or its stakeholders. A stakeholder is typically someone who owns part of the company or has shares in it. It may also refer to employees.
A public affairs officer works to let stakeholders know about public policies that can influence them. They can also work within the government to help their local or national legislature change policies or laws.
Where Does a Public Affairs Person Work?
A public affairs officer can work in a variety of positions.
He or she may work for the state, their city, their county, or private companies.
Sometimes, public affairs or public relations managers are executives in a company. They may even be the vice president or another high-ranking title in a larger firm.
There’s no official title or official range of titles for a public affairs person.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Public Affairs Person Who Works in the Media?
Some public affairs officers specialize in working with the media. In this regard, they may act as public relations or PR officers. However, there is typically a more political focus than with traditional PR.
Public relations, or PR, for bigger companies may focus on outreach or working with the media to promote a brand or company.
In the vein of public affairs, the media is seen as though it’s a stakeholder in the company. If you’re working in public affairs in a political position, this is definitely the case.
Someone on the media side of public affairs will usually spend their day at the office. In some instances, they may work remotely. They’ll spend most of their day either writing press releases, writing articles about the company or organization, and/or writing emails.
A public affairs officer may also be the face of a company or organization and participate in media interviews. But, this will depend on how your company is structured. If, for instance, you’re running public affairs for a political party, the face of the political party will give statements.
You may write the statements, but you’re not the representative of the party itself.
Working at a Company
If you work in public affairs at a company, you may be required to market your products. Often, this is the case when you’re at, say, an energy company and your company wants to have the government become a client.
You may spend a lot of your day speaking to people in office or those who work at the government. Your job is to try and convince them why they should use your company.
Many public affairs officers will also organize and attend events. This is similar to public relations, in that way.
As a public affairs officer, some of your day might include setting up speakers and hosting events for clients and stakeholders. You’ll often be required to ensure the event runs smoothly. This means that as a public affairs officer, you may get asked to work what many might consider unsociable hours.
Another part of your job is networking. This may mean that your company sends you out to events and trade shows where you’re expected to make contacts and spark relationships with people and companies that could be beneficial.
You need to be social and not be shy about introducing yourself and the product that you’re selling. You also can’t be shy about the company that you’re representing.
You’ve been hired because you have the ability to “turn it on.” You’ll be expected to do that whenever you’re with potential stakeholders or investors.
Paperwork and Contacting Stakeholders
Another large part of a public affairs person is paperwork and speaking to stakeholders. You’re in charge of answering emails from stakeholders who are looking for information about your projects or the latest developments.
You’ll also likely be in charge of drafting updates for your stakeholders. These may be sent through the regular mail or email. Your organization may ask you to hold meetings for stakeholders and investors to help them understand what is going on within the company.
It’s your role to be honest and transparent, while still persuading them to continue their role as stakeholders.
There Is No Typical Day in Public Affairs
When it comes to public affairs, there is no real typical day. That’s because what you do for a company or organization varies tremendously from company to company.
Larger companies may even have several people working for public affairs, each of which will have a different role.
As a public affairs person, you may be expected to sit at your desk writing to stakeholders all day. Or, you may be expected to be on your feet, meeting people for lunches and other meetings, as well as organizing events.
If this career, or another in public administration, sounds enticing to you, visit our section on public admin careers.