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Watch now: The Influence Programme 2024


Get new government ready.

This collection of presentations offers a timely summary of key PR and Public Affairs expertise as the UK goes into a general election.
Helps PR and Public Affairs professionals understand the tool, techniques, skills and choices that will be on show during an election.
From experts in public affairs, influencing government, building campaigns and adopting modern techniques.
What you need to know to benchmark your campaign work and strategic approach ready for a new government.


Neil Stewart
Sets out the strategic importance of PR and Public Affairs in modern government and corporate life and why political scientists and historians are including PR figures in their work.

John McTernan
Sets out the key approaches to successful public affairs campaigning and business. The new “attention economy” and how to motivate to action.

Alastair McCapra
Sets out the risks and challenges to the PR profession from un regulated lobbying and the CIPR call for action from government.

Emily Wallace
Responds and comments on Alastair McCapra presentation and the challenges in PR

Panel Discussion
Will lobbying be regulated under a new government? PR’s contribution to the disconnect between citizens and institutions.

James Kanagasooriam
The new generation of polling insights. Uses of Large Language Models. Beware activist polling

Jo Tanner
Lessons from campaign front line. The limits of polling.

Panel Discussion
On polling uses and abuses,

Henri Murison
Case study in building businsess/public sector partnerships. Finding “convening issues”. Power of Economic Research.
Working to balance the whitehall bias.

Panel Discussion
On the dynamics of devolution and economic research.

Francesca Albanese
Lessons from the work of Crisis, the homeless charity. Working to change public perceptions and mindsets on social issues. Key campaign techniques to change perceptions.

Rebecca Deegan
Case study of a social impact start up – what is possible in the internet enabled world.

Anna Garrod
Comment and case study of new sources of impact investment for social campaign start ups. Incubator models for social change. The Free Schools meals case study in London.

Panel Discussion
Importance of framing work in campaign preparation, lessons from. Convening campaign groups. Working out the answers for ministers. Plug the evidence gap.

Neil Stewart
Working with people in charge. Emotional intelligence in campaigning. Build a team around the person in charge.

Iain Anderson
Building a two way conversation is key. Building expertise as the cornerstone of successful PR. Making PR consultancy transparent. The strengths of transparency in PR. The business government conversation, improving dialogue.

Philip Ball
Insights into moving from Director of Communications to Chief of Staff – the strategic role of PR skills, the skills you need. Engaging with members the hard way.

Panel discussion
The importance of getting to the key decision makers. Campaigns that bypass politicians. The importance political experience in PR careers.

Mike Emmerich
How to talk Treasury. Understanding the metrics for success with government. The Greater Manchester Authority story

Claire Simpson, Head of Growth, Hard Numbers
Hard realities in hard numbers. Understanding the metrics that matter. Metrics that communications need to prove to CEO’s. Learn from Sales.

Panel Discussion
On the importance of numbers, metrics and answering the right question for the board or decision maker.

Sunder Katwala
Think tanks as influencers. Working with and understanding the evolution of think tanks and their functions in public affairs. The increasing importance of identity in public perceptions and within organisations and how to understand it.


Patrick Diamond
Are we past peak think tank. New players in the public affairs world. New actors, influence moving out of Whitehall via devolution. The influence of delivery agents. Growing influence of university players. The influencer entrepreneur like Jamie Oliver & Marcus Rashford.

Panel discussion
Using think tanks, universites, new influencers in your campaigning, the world of influence changing.

Neil Stewart
Summary: What we have learned. Examining the whole range of skills, tools formats to be used in public affairs.
The whole landscape of influence can be changed by an election. What works what does not work.


Please click on a presenter to read their biography.