Force field analysis & reputation research

Do you want to map the force field around your organisation?

Do you need stakeholder analysis & tracking around specific issues? Do you want to know what the reputation of your branch or company is in the political-administrative arena? Is there political support for your product or lobby objective? Or do you want to measure and increase the effectiveness of your lobby? Public Matters is happy to provide you with this information.

From an independent role, our consultants will do research for you. Based on desk research, in-depth interviews, input sessions, stakeholder dialogues and their own knowledge and experience, they always deliver the required analyses and research on time. These are always provided with interpretation, advice and concrete recommendations, enabling you to take your public affairs efforts to the next level.

Examples of analysis and research conducted by Public Matters:

  • Force field analyses: mapping the force field around your organisation (positions and influence);
  • Stakeholder analyses: mapping the positions of stakeholders with regard to issues (positions and influence);
  • Reputation research: investigating what the perception is of political, official and other stakeholders regarding your company, sector, product, issues;
  • Support research: investigating to what extent your company, sector, product, issues enjoy support among political, official and other stakeholders;
  • Organisational advice: advising on how the lobby is organised within your organisation;
  • Member or partner survey: identifying the expectations and satisfaction of the members of your (branch) association or the partners with whom you cooperate;
  • Effectiveness research: measuring the effectiveness of the public affairs activities – what goes well and what could be improved.

Association management

How to effectively organise your relations with your stakeholders and wider society?

Public Matters supports and advises clients on stakeholder management by examining societal issues from different stakeholder perspectives. We assist our clients with thorough analysis by helping them to embed stakeholder management within their organisations and set up structures for ongoing stakeholder cooperation.

How to effectively organise the association’s lobbying activities?

Public Matters offers expertise to support sectoral associations in organising their lobbying activities in the Netherlands and further afield. More than ever, lobbyists for associations find themselves walking a tightrope, as the interests of individual members sometimes conflict with the interests of the group as a whole. Fewer companies identify with an association, either because they have more of an international focus or because they have shaken up the market so much that they no longer feel tied to a particular sector. This is putting strain on the Dutch tradition of consensus-based economic and social policy making (known as the ‘polder model’), as many political officeholders still value the contribution of sectors as a whole over that of individual companies.

Our consultants aim to ensure that the lobbying activities of individual companies and sectoral associations are optimal and, wherever possible, complementary. We also bear in mind the long-term positioning of associations and help them coordinate with their members and conduct their traditional and social media relations.

Public affairs & lobbying

The importance of a proactive and systematic public affairs and lobbying approach

Decisions by politicians and officials can have an impact on a company’s operations, the reputation of its director or the ambitions of an association. That is why you want to contribute to the development of policy. You do this with a proactive and systematic public affairs and lobbying approach. Investing in public affairs is instrumental in achieving your policy objectives, and is therefore in the interest of your company, sector association, NGO or government organisation. The interconnectedness between governmental levels is stronger than ever, which is why it is important to know where you need to be in The Hague, Brussels, the municipality or province. Or even to be active at several levels of government at the same time.

Public affairs and lobbying are part of overall business operations

Investing in public affairs and managing (government) relations has become a permanent feature of an organisation’s overall operations in the Netherlands. Administrators, companies and social organisations and NGOs are more intrinsically motivated than ever to manage their relationships with politicians and stakeholders.

When lobbying for political interests, the law of economics apply: an organisation will always aim to secure a stronger position than its competitors. This means that interest groups also compete with one another for influence or the attention of policymakers. Not only companies, but also civil-society organisations invest in public affairs and their profile in The Hague and/or Brussels. Over the past decade there has been a strong and visible trend towards government agencies in the Netherlands employing their own lobbyists. Many municipalities and provinces are thus becoming proficient at influencing their fellow authorities in a targeted and systematic manner.

Reducing the distance between policymakers and the business community

Lobbying and public affairs in the Netherlands has become increasingly professionalised in recent years. If you want to make policymakers sit up and take notice, it’s not enough to have a distinctive message. You need to manage stakeholder relations according to a number of general principles: say what you’re doing, share, be transparent and be accountable. By investing specifically in political responsibility, your organisation will be able to achieve this. These efforts bring policymakers and companies closer together, which encourages a better understanding of each others’ interests, improves trust and increases support for policy.

We work for organisations and above all with people

For over twenty years Public Matters has sought to contribute to the public affairs profession and to a sustainable relationship between the government, the business community, sector organisations and NGOs. In our consultancy practice we work for organisations and above all with people; from entrepreneurs to managers, from public affairs managers to policy makers, and many others. They are central to our work. With over thirty public affairs consultants with different backgrounds, we offer the strength and expertise to support organisations in overcoming the distance between policymakers and stakeholders.

Digital public affairs

How to support your public affairs activities using digital communication channels?

Our public affairs consultants focus mainly on influencing the perceptions of relevant stakeholders and decision-making in the political and public arena. In addition to traditional media, digital communication channels (such as social media, websites and infographics) obviously play a key role.

That’s why the use of digital communication channels is often integrated into our recommended strategic public affairs strategies. For instance, we may recommend providing information to Dutch policymakers and influencers, entering into a dialogue with them or generating media attention for a particular subject via social media.

Examples of our advice to clients on digital public affairs:

  • Social media campaign: influencing the perceptions of relevant stakeholders in the Netherlands or elsewhere by communicating targeted messages, for instance via Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Political sentiment scan: identifying political and public sentiments on a specific issue, with the aid of social media monitoring tools.
  • Public affairs scan: determining whether a website is public-affairs-proof.How easy is it to find relevant content? Does the content match your public affairs messages and goals?
  • Infographics: using infographics to communicate issues and positions in a clear and accessible way.
  • Online stakeholder management: gaining insights quickly and easily as to which relevant stakeholders dominate a debate or issue, what’s being discussed online, and which key opinion leaders and influencers have a strong impact.
  • Crisis communications: actively measuring, managing and nudging sentiments concerning your organisation or a particular issue.

Monitoring & intelligence

Want to make sure that you always receive the latest political and news updates?

We analyse, filter and make sense of relevant political and societal developments at local, national or European level for our clients, so that they can respond quickly and effectively. As well as scanning 24/7 the most up-to-date sources including traditional and social media, we also use informal contacts to get the information we need.

Our political and news updates will keep you one step ahead of the game, for instance when it comes to effectively influencing political decision-making processes or managing your reputation or a particular issue.

We ensure that the “intelligence” that we provide ties in effectively with your needs and interests.

Political monitoring via InfoMatters

Want to be sure that political developments in The Hague or Brussels never catch you off guard? InfoMatters, our monitoring & intelligence system, enables our clients to keep a close eye on issues and stakeholders and ensures that the right people receive the right information at precisely the right time. The system ensures that users know exactly what is going on and provides them with a customised analysis from a Public Matters lobby consultant.

Clients can also use the InfoMatters app, giving them direct access to the latest political updates and the Lobby Agenda, with the option of receiving push notifications.

In addition, ContactMatters makes up-to-date information on key policymakers available 24/7.

Strategic communications & media

How to realise a distinctive position?

We advise clients how they can secure a distinctive position vis-à-vis relevant stakeholders, based on thorough analysis and the most effective communication strategy. Whether managing a social issue or crisis, we rely on careful preparation, effective coordination and perfect implementation to make a difference for our clients in a continuously changing world.

Traditional and social media relations

Effectively managing and deploying both traditional and social media relations requires careful coordination between both, aimed at achieving set goals and reaching stakeholders/target groups.

A variety of factors are relevant in this respect:

  • Choosing the right media – both traditional or social – to reach your stakeholders.
  • Using relevant content and presenting it properly (for instance by means of infographics).
  • Managing the conversation with target groups effectively (mainly on social media) and promoting interaction where applicable.
  • Regularly evaluating results and making any adjustments that are necessary.

Force field analysis & reputation research

Do you want to map the force field around your organisation?

Do you need stakeholder analysis & tracking around specific issues? Do you want to know what the reputation of your branch or company is in the political-administrative arena? Is there political support for your product or lobby objective? Or do you want to measure and increase the effectiveness of your lobby? Public Matters is happy to provide you with this information.

From an independent role, our consultants will do research for you. Based on desk research, in-depth interviews, input sessions, stakeholder dialogues and their own knowledge and experience, they always deliver the required analyses and research on time. These are always provided with interpretation, advice and concrete recommendations, enabling you to take your public affairs efforts to the next level.

Examples of analysis and research conducted by Public Matters:

  • Force field analyses: mapping the force field around your organisation (positions and influence);
  • Stakeholder analyses: mapping the positions of stakeholders with regard to issues (positions and influence);
  • Reputation research: investigating what the perception is of political, official and other stakeholders regarding your company, sector, product, issues;
  • Support research: investigating to what extent your company, sector, product, issues enjoy support among political, official and other stakeholders;
  • Organisational advice: advising on how the lobby is organised within your organisation;
  • Member or partner survey: identifying the expectations and satisfaction of the members of your (branch) association or the partners with whom you cooperate;
  • Effectiveness research: measuring the effectiveness of the public affairs activities – what goes well and what could be improved.

Stakeholdermanagement

Taking your advocacy to the next level?

Political and administrative stakeholders and decision-making processes are becoming increasingly transparent and accessible. Developments like social media and internet consultations have lowered the threshold for following decision-making processes and bringing views to the attention of stakeholders. Lobbying organisations benefit from this, as does the way in which your stakeholders can influence your interests. More and more organisations are making their voices heard. This has made the force field more complex and increased the competition for attention. The need to know that force field and to determine one’s position within it has therefore increased.

An effective stakeholder approach is indispensable for the targeted and effective influencing of policy, positions or your reputation. After all, you want to influence your environment in order to create support for your interests among political and official policymakers. Whether that is on a local or international level. This requires a systematic stakeholder approach that is an integral part of the overall strategy of your organisation. Such an approach is the foundation of successful advocacy.

StakeholderMatters: a strategic and systematic approach to your environment and interests

Public Matters advises and supports organisations, governments and companies in developing and implementing a stakeholder engagement strategy. Precisely because your interests or the license to operate and grow of an organisation are determined outside the political-administrative arena, a stakeholder approach is an integral part of your public affairs activities.

With StakeholderMatters we offer our clients:

  • Development of a stakeholder issue and force field analysis;
  • Implementation of a periodic / structural stakeholder analysis;
  • Expertise in development of an effective stakeholder strategy (organisation-wide and issue-oriented);
  • Support in the organisation of a stakeholder strategy as part of your lobbying objectives;
  • Advice and support in the implementation of a stakeholder engagement strategy;
  • Intensive guidance and coaching in the implementation of the stakeholder engagement strategy;
  • Etc.

Association management

How to effectively organise your relations with your stakeholders and wider society?

Public Matters supports and advises clients on stakeholder management by examining societal issues from different stakeholder perspectives. We assist our clients with thorough analysis by helping them to embed stakeholder management within their organisations and set up structures for ongoing stakeholder cooperation.

How to effectively organise the association’s lobbying activities?

Public Matters offers expertise to support sectoral associations in organising their lobbying activities in the Netherlands and further afield. More than ever, lobbyists for associations find themselves walking a tightrope, as the interests of individual members sometimes conflict with the interests of the group as a whole. Fewer companies identify with an association, either because they have more of an international focus or because they have shaken up the market so much that they no longer feel tied to a particular sector. This is putting strain on the Dutch tradition of consensus-based economic and social policy making (known as the ‘polder model’), as many political officeholders still value the contribution of sectors as a whole over that of individual companies.

Our consultants aim to ensure that the lobbying activities of individual companies and sectoral associations are optimal and, wherever possible, complementary. We also bear in mind the long-term positioning of associations and help them coordinate with their members and conduct their traditional and social media relations.

Training & workshops

Want to improve your team’s ability to cooperate with relevant stakeholders?

Do you want to make your organisation more politically aware or increase your knowledge of how to influence policy in the Netherlands / The Hague? Or are you looking for a sounding board to help you navigate your way through the public administration labyrinth?

Public Matters develops and delivers customised training, workshops and educational programmes concerning the broader areas of public affairs, political communication and personal effectiveness. We approach these activities with professionalism, engagement and enthusiasm for our business. Our experienced trainers put their practical experience of politics, business and civil society in the Netherlands and further afield to use, as well as drawing on their reserves of up-to-date professional knowledge.

Knowledge and competences

Once participants complete a training course, workshop or educational programme, they will have gained knowledge and competences in one or more of the following areas:

  • Understanding the formal and informal workings of decision-making processes and political/administrative structures at local level, in The Hague and/or Brussels.
  • Insight into the force field and a grasp of the basics of stakeholder management: how do you work together and build support?
  • Knowledge of concrete tools, tips and tricks for developing a uniform, integrated and carefully planned public affairs strategy.
  • Practical skills in persuasion, cooperation and support-building.
  • Understanding effective political communication: the power of media relations, language, arguments and framing.
  • Experience with integrating social media into public affairs and lobby campaigns.