GR Tool: NSW Committee Chairs Mailing List
Download Free

The top 3 challenges in public affairs in 2016

Unwashed dishes in the kitchen sink, loud typing, aircon that's minus 5 degrees all year round so you have to wear a coat indoors in summer...

Unwashed dishes in the kitchen sink, loud typing, aircon that's minus 5 degrees all year round so you have to wear a coat indoors in summer. These are the kinds of little things most of us have to deal with working in an office.

But public and government affairs professionals have their own set of challenges and frustrations. We know this because we spent a lot of time talking with them in 2016 seeking to understand their biggest pain points when it comes to stakeholder relations.

So the following points are not wild theories or exaggerations, but actual processes that those in the field have identified as just a bit annoying, really.

1. Keeping track of staffers

Top of the list is the struggle to track staffers as they move from office to office, or from government sector to private sector. Case in point is this week's announcement that Turnbull's Deputy Chief of Staff is heading back to the private sector just a year into the role. Having been commuting from Brisbane where his young family lives, perhaps this particular departure could have been somewhat expected. Other times, however, not even the staffer sees it coming; this was the case in the whole scale staff review following the federal election, and later for one young shoe-drinking man in Minister Christopher Pyne's office.

2. Sharing stuff with colleagues

No, we don't mean sharing yoghurt tubs and staplers, but debriefs following meetings and events, or even just the 'hey, did you hear' kind of update. So many teams we've met are geographically dispersed, and the nature of the job often means a whole lot of travel. Together these factors make sharing even the most trivial updates quite the challenge.

3. Updating spreadsheets

Aside from being quite impressed by some of the very pretty and comprehensive spreadsheets out there, we were equally shocked to learn that some teams spend hours a week updating them. Of course, if you're dealing with spreadsheets it's a necessary evil. However, with the advent of cloud computing and online databases, spreadsheets in the public affairs sector are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

If you'd like to say goodbye to your spreadsheets or just want to find out more about our cloud-based relationship management tool, drop us a line at

Want more content?

Receive actionable advice and industry news, straight to your inbox.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from the blog

Get started with the leading
advocacy platform
Political Intelligence
Relationship Management
Impact Reporting