Communications & advocacy
Without communication there can be no understanding. The ability to communicate effectively and influence outcomes – whether that means a crucial parliamentary vote, an administrative procedure or a Board decision – is essential to the public affairs discipline. Good information, relevant insightful impact analysis and strategies for internal and external action all depend on being able to communicate internally and externally to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
Eamonn Bates Europe is specialised in communicating about public affairs issues (and particularly European Union policy and law matters) so that target audiences understand and act accordingly. We do this in tried and tested ways that work, in innovative ways that command attention, in effective ways that help people understand and that promote change. We know how to inform discretely, campaign visibly.
When the time comes to lobby politicians and policy-makers we are equally at ease. We will develop winning strategies and effective, innovative advocacy programmes to make sure that your message is heard and understood by the decision-makers. We will help you formulate the right political messages that will convince; we will work with you to develop the legal language and compromise solutions that can then turn that “message” into practical reality.
From internal briefings and information programmes to external advocacy and press relations, from building consensus internally to coaxing together coalitions for action, we will advise and support you in whatever way is most appropriate to get results, secure positive outcomes.
Formulation and implementation of communication strategies
When an organisation’s public affairs strategy is clear, the next step is usually communication. Whether the objective is profile raising or focused lobbying, we will work with you to develop the best communications strategy for achieving your objectives. This is one of the great talents of our firm and why we use the slogan "Brussels most effective public affairs agency” in our advertising. In the noisy and overcrowded world of the EU decision-makers, we believe strongly in sticking to the essentials – first getting the political (or policy) message right to win support, then delivering the legal language and technical solutions to make it reality.
Full European Union lobbying services
Eamonn Bates Europe’s consultants are skilled and experienced in influencing the EU’s main institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg. We understand the political processes and legislative procedures perfectly. You will find us the ideal partners to take you through a campaign, taking advocacy strategies off the page and into the debating chamber. The EU is in fact the sum of its parts, currently made up of 27 member states, a range of common polices and institutions. We work with clients to lobby in Brussels and with relevant member states. This does not require the support of a public affairs agency with an EU-wide network of offices. But it does require the ability to understand that many decisions will be determined not in Brussels but in member state capitals. We’ll help you navigate through this and then execute advocacy programmes to inform and influence the key decision-makers. Much of this can be done from a central base (and notably Brussels) but when local support is needed, we’ll work with you to identify who is best placed to help.
In the public affairs arena presenting your position for maximum impact requires an understanding of the political environment in which decisions will be made. This is complex in the EU context which must continually marry both national and intergovernmental politics and a supranational philosophy. It is easy to put a foot wrong if you don’t understand the nuances and the intricacies. We’ll help you get through this maze and advise you on how to adjust your messages so that they appeal best to the multiple political audiences that make up the EU.
Coalition-building and coalition management
It is important to know when and when not to "go-it-alone”. Sometimes a very specific position can only be conveyed directly by your organisation. In other situations, it may be preferable to be perceived as part of a group with a common interest; in yet others, the maximum lobbying impact can be gained through strength of numbers and/or a broad base of interests. Sometimes, policy-makers only want to deal with aggregated interests for sheer reasons of time and convenience. We believe in the merit of building coalitions of interest to achieve advocacy objectives and can advise you on how to create visible and invisible coalitions. Where needed, we will set up and manage these coalitions.
It is often said that one learns best by doing. Trying to get a team of people in shape to participate in public affairs activity can be a tricky task because the whole thing seems so theoretical, especially for the inexperienced. That’s where a simulation game can be useful. We can take your people through the EU legislative process using a role-play simulation game so that they experience first-hand the challenges that the EU decision-maker (and the lobbyist!) has to face – from changes in national politics to unwanted press attention, from last minute unexpected hitches to high profile NGO campaigning.
MEP database for communications and/or lobbying
If your objective is to communicate with the European Parliament it pays to have the key contact information at your fingertips. Eamonn Bates Europe has developed and regularly updates a database of all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) with their contact details and political affiliations. This tool is available in the form of a complete outlook database (e-Contacts EP) and a mobile app (EP Mobile).
The power of the press and media is growing in the EU context as more and more interests seek to be heard and taken into account. Often interest representatives have to compete against each other to get the attention of the formidable international press corps in Brussels, which today rivals that of Washington, DC in importance. Eamonn Bates Europe will assist you in putting together an ongoing press relations programme and communicating with journalists. We can design and execute press events from start to finish.
Some like to suggest that the only important thing in public affairs is who you know, not what you know. Nothing could be farther from the truth and, contrary to popular wisdom, Brussels is a relatively open and accessible place. That said, knowing the players certainly helps. That is why creation of networking opportunities and contact building programmes feature among the services we provide to our clients to enable the uninitiated get started faster or to provide alternative channels for the seasoned EU public affairs professional.