The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech means that businesses and organisations with an interest in public policy will be bombarded with the views from eager PR firms, keen to demonstrate their public affairs chops.
We know that the Government will use the speech tomorrow to establish dividing lines with the opposition and define the battleground issues in the run up to the general election in what has been trailed as being a very political speech.
However, putting the politics to one side, the King’s Speech is a vital date in the political calendar for anyone who is serious about trying to influence legislation. It sets out very clearly the Government’s political priorities and timetable which in turn should guide how you draft your messaging as part of any wider political engagement strategy.
It also provides an opportunity to get a head start in shaping legislation. Acceptable amendments, to ensure the function of the bill is met or to assuage concerns on its own side, will be generated by the Government itself or via its own backbenchers.
The King’s Speech, therefore, offers an opportunity to influence the direction of travel at the ground floor. Once the legislative programme has been announced, departmental teams will be established, with ministerial oversight, to draft each bill and take it through Parliament.
It’s at this early point, prior to formal consultation, when you should consider getting your messages into the bill team. This is the opportunity to shape the terms of the reference at the start of the process by offering wise counsel and technical advice to officials charged with drafting legislation and who place a value on evidence-based insight from business. With the Government’s priority bills being announced tomorrow, now is the time to be engaging with policymakers ahead of first readings.
Of course, it helps to know a thing or two about the workings of Government and who will likely lead a bill team as well as understanding the hard wiring behind the policy decisions.
At Whitehouse, we pride ourselves on of getting under the bonnet of the legislative process and getting our clients ahead of the curve when it comes to shaping the agenda. You’ll see our expert analysis in your inbox tomorrow – but for added breadth and depth, why not give us a call.
The Whitehouse team are expert political consultants providing public relations and public affairs advice and political analysis to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union and beyond. For more information, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.