Social Policy Insight/2: Stress-free policy development

The birthday cake: sketch by Bella Opacic

Given their political and parliamentary know-how, public affairs professionals are often called on to help organisations select policy priorities. Here’s three tips to help you take the stress out of prioritising policy.

• Choose your top policy priority first, then move onto two and three. Once you have one agreed, the others tend to follow more easily. Be careful, a simple mistake you can make here is to be secretive about the selection process.

• Be clear about why you chose those policies. Why are they important? Why’s it an issue now? What financial impact could the proposed government policy change – for instance – have on your current services, your members, the people you support.

• Communicate those messages back to everyone who helped you choose them, and thank them. It’s your chance to connect up and keep people engaged in the policy conversation. It’s always helpful to add a call to action, even if it’s as simple as getting them to express an interest in getting more involved; or asking them to send stories (some people call them case studies) that focus on a policy priority.

Why not e-mail a policy question through to or add a comment.

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