Insights

Soak it up – what a damp general election announcement can do for comms

As Rishi Sunak’s pristine navy-blue suit soaked up a torrential downpour, during what was described as a ‘daft’ rain-soaked election announcement, businesses no doubt took a moment to also let the televised speech sink in and consider what the future has in store. We all knew it was coming, but the timing and nature of the announcement did take some by surprise.

We are now rapidly hurtling towards the 4 July vote. While politicians pick apart each other’s manifestos and argue over whether the numbers actually add up, the rest of us are left to go about our business – some setting aside an eagerly anticipated change in Government, while others seize the opportunity to make use of the announcement.

From a comms perspective, for many it serves as a perfect platform to discuss the possible political, economic and legal landscape that lies ahead – a real crystal ball moment that creates valuable thought leadership and insight.

So, when a significant announcement such as this is made, what are the key considerations for companies and what opportunities does it bring? The what ifs and maybes

Is your business in a position to do some forward thinking? Is there value in looking at the consequences of a change in Government and what this is likely to mean for your clients or customers? A lot will change; a lot won’t; giving prospects and contacts a taste of what might be in store positions you as an expert and a trusted source, at a time when people trust what’s being said by politicians the least.

Holding back

It’s understandable that for many businesses this is a time to retreat and pull back on any proactive PR until the vote is done. This is particularly so for non-partisan businesses that don’t want anything they produce from a comms perspective to be twisted and turned for political gain. Sometimes, less is more.

Getting into the detail

For those businesses in niche sectors, there’s a good opportunity to dive a bit deeper into the detail of manifestos and look at what is actually being promised by the various political parties. It provides companies with the chance to understand and comment on what the likely changes mean for them and what they would like to see from a future Government.

Not for everyone

While a business might be perfectly placed to comment on the political and economic implications of a general election, for certain leaders it’s just not for them. Any commentary is always best being associated with a name and not a faceless organisation. But sticking your head above the parapet isn’t for everyone.

Finding the link

Clever comms is often finding an angle, even when it’s not obvious to everyone else. A general election often results in a change in leadership; this in itself is a perfect topic for those who can confidently talk about the qualities needed to lead an organisation and what can be learned from the general election, in terms of business leadership.

Nothing like a deadline

There’s nothing like an impending deadline to force people into action. From a general comms perspective, things may appear busier than usual as businesses get their house in order and attempt to get deals over the line before a changing of the guard. Be prepared for a busy few weeks of just getting stuff done! Planning ahead

For those businesses and organisations keen to embark on lobbying in a bid to create lasting change, now is the time to refocus and start building relationships with future influencers. Sowing the seeds of change at a time when newly elected politicians are eager to please may generate more meaningful conversations in the long term.

Timing is everything

While the build-up to any election provides a good opportunity for proactive PR, the week and day of the election is perhaps one to avoid when it comes to important announcements. If you want to make a splash about your latest hire, or new office, it may get lost in the noise of the day and the subsequent post mortem that will undoubtedly come. Being sensitive to the timings, whether it’s in the media, or on
social, is hugely important.

If you’d like to discuss our blog, or how we can help you with a proactive comms campaign, contact Petal&Co.

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